|Born on: 29.09.1968
Alexander Nathan Skolnick (born September 29, 1968, born and raised in Berkeley, California) is an American jazz and metal guitarist. He was a member of the San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal band Testament from 1983 until his departure in 1993. He returned briefly to re-record some old material for the band's First Strike is Still Deadly release, as well as the "Thrash of the Titans" all-star performance in 2001, before returning full-time four years later.
He joined the band Savatage for the recording of Handful of Rain, as well as its follow-up live album and home video release Japan Live '94. He has also recorded and briefly toured with the Stu Hamm band, and played with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. In 2004, Skolnick made a guest appearance on Lamb of God's Ashes of the Wake album, recording a solo for the album's instrumental title track.
After leaving Savatage, Skolnick fronted several projects in the Bay Area during the mid to late 1990s, such as Alex Skolnick and the Skol-tones, Exhibit-A and Skol-Patrol (a funk band exclusively dedicated to cop-show themes, both covered and original, featuring Michael Manring). He also recorded two albums with Attention Deficit, a 3-piece featuring Tim Alexander from Primus as well as Manring. Recently Skolnick relocated to New York City and began devoting all of his energies to jazz, enrolling in the jazz program at The New School. Most recently, he has been touring and recording with the Alex Skolnick Trio, a jazz group known for playing rousing bebop renditions of classic rock and heavy metal tunes.
In the spring of 2005, Skolnick and the rest of the classic Testament lineup reunited for a short European tour (10 Days of May Tour), with some American dates appended on. The tour was successful and a CD/DVD release was put together from the May 8, 2005 London show. The Formation of Damnation was the first studio album of all new material for Testament in nine years as well as the first to feature Skolnick on guitar since 1992's The Ritual, was released in 2008.In 2007, Skolnick contributed a solo for Egyptian Artist Nader Sadeks' project, "Faceless," which was composed by Steve Tucker (formerly of Morbid Angel) The song was only to be heard in an art gallery in New York.
In October 2007, the Alex Skolnick Trio were support act to Rodrigo y Gabriela on the US East Coast.
Alex released a 3 DVD Jazz tuition set with Rock House Method in May 2010.
He was a student of Joe Satriani in the early 1980s.
Raised in the Bay Area, he now considers Brooklyn, New York his home.
His parents Jerome and Arlene are both professors of sociology at New York University and previously taught at UC Berkeley.
He has an older brother, Michael (b. 1962).
Composed music for the USA Network's broadcast of the 2002 Westminster Dog Show (a big band jazz piece), and the MTV series "Makin' The Band."
Married and divorced at least once, according to his blog.
The silver streak in his hair is natural.
Has become a regular writer of fiction in his spare time while touring, but nothing has been published.
Skolnick now usually plays Heritage Guitar electric and hollow-bodied models with Seymour Duncan pickups. In 2009 Heritage released Alex's first signature guitar. The Alex Skolnick model is a solid body based upon the H 150/157 model. In his early years with Testament he endorsed Ibanez guitars and mainly played the 540SLTD model.
He also briefly played guitar for Ozzy Osbourne's backing band in 1995.
Skolnick tours with the East Coast set of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in the winter months alongside Chris Caffery.
Skolnick played one of the solos of the song, "Ashes of the Wake," of Lamb of God with Chris Poland, formerly of Megadeth. In Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Skolnick would work with Al Pitrelli, also formerly of Megadeth.
In 2009, Skolnick featured a guitar solo on 'Atman' for Rodrigo y Gabriela' studio album 11:11. The Skolnick Trio were also the main support band on Rodrigo Y Gabriela's consecutive European and US tour in late 2010, including five nights in London, all of which sold out.