Alex Skolnick is an American guitarist, born on September 29, 1968. He is one of many great guitar players, other
students include Steve Vai (Frank Zappa, Whitesnake, David Lee Roth), Kirk Hammett (Metallica, Exodus),
Larry LaLonde (Possessed, Primus), who
studied under famed guitarist Joe Satriani. Alex is best known for his work in the bands Testament and
Savatage. Testament was formed in 1983 by Eric Peterson and Derrick Ramirez, two guitarists in the
San Francisco area. Alex happened to replace Ramirez the same year the band was formed. Testament did
not release their first album until 1987, when "The Legacy" was released under Megaforce Records. This album
helped them gain instant success with "metal heads", as they were often reminiscent of the band Metallica. Alex
only released four more albums with the band, (their greatest achievement being "Practice What You Preach") up until
1992, when he left.
In 1994, Alex joined up with the band Savatage for the album "Handful of Rain". After the album release, the band followed up with a short tour. Soon after, a live video known as "Japan Live '94" was released in support of the album. When the tour was over, Alex left the band to search for something of more interest.
During the late 90's, Alex was a frontman for many bands, some of those are, Exhibit-A and Skol-patrol. He has also recorded with Attention Deficit, a three piece band that also featured Tim Alexander from Primus. Alex has also played with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which was founded by Savatage producer Paul O'Neill.
Skolnick now lives in New York City and spends most of his time studying the art of jazz, after enrolling himself in a jazz program at "The New School". His most recent tours and recordings can be heard with his band, the Alex Skolnick Trio, a jazz band known for playing classic rock and heavy metal tunes, with a jazz sound.
In 2005, Skolnick reunited with Testament to embark upon a short European tour. The tour came out to be successful, and soon after a live CD and DVD were released from a show they played in London. In 2008, they released their first album in nine years, "The Formation of Damnation". It was the first album to feature Alex on guitar since 1992. Testament is currently in the studio recording and plan on a 2010 album release.
Alex Skolnick Guitar Lessons & Videos
Alex Skolnick Gear
Guitars & Pickups
Ibanez 540 PII
DiMarzio or Seymour Duncan pickups
Seymour Duncan: 59 and JB. On Ibanez: DiMarzio PAF
Gibson L5 Hollowbody
Les Paul Classic and a PRS
ADA preamps into a JCM 900
Marshall DSL 2000 with a Keeley modded tube screamer
Marshall Mode 4 for live shows
Rivera 212 combo
Jim Dunlop volume pedal
Prescription Electronics Experience pedal
Lexicon JamMan for loops
Eventide harmonizer for delay
Additional gear info - submitted 4/20/10:
alex skolnick gear info needs to be updated. he is most known for his ibanez 540 saber seen in most
testament videos, the greenhouse effect video he is playing an ibanez flying v, during the ritual album he
was playing an ibanez 570 (black w/ maple fretboard), and have seen him with a heritage cherry les paul, and
of course his new endorsers Heritage Guitar, the original builders of Gibson Les Paul, to which he has a signature
model. Also, early on prior to obtaining the 540 saber, ibanez made the Maxxas guitar to which Alex was using a
lot....also seen in testament videos (this maxxas guitar is somewhat mysterious as it appeared to be ibanez but
you could clearly tell by the headstock that it was not an ibanez, so what was this mysterious ibanez looking
guitar he was using?? Later thru research i found an interview with a key ibanez designer who talked about the
development and conspiracy related to the Maxxas, as ibanez the company was afraid
if this strange design failed it would not be linked to ibanez.
-courtesy of Jeff Y. Thank you Jeff!
Do you know more about what gear Alex Skolnick used / uses? Please
Alex Skolnick Discography
The Legacy (1987)
The New Order (1988)
Practice What You Preach (1989)
Souls of Black (1990)
First Strike Still Deadly (2001)
The Formation of Damnation (2008)
Handful of Rain (1994)
Alex Skolnick Trio
Goodbye to Romance: Standards for a New Generation (2002)
Last Day in Paradise (2007)