Valerie Bastien of RockSource360.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist Alex Skolnick of San Francisco Bay Area metallers TESTAMENT. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
TESTAMENT has been spending time in the studio recording its new album, “Dark Roots Of Earth”, tentatively due in February 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records.
Due to a “serious injury,” regular TESTAMENT drummer Paul Bostaph was unable to take part in the recording sessions for the CD. Playing drums on the follow-up to 2008’s “The Formation Of Damnation” is Gene “The Atomic Clock” Hoglan (ex-DARK ANGEL, ex-STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, FEAR FACTORY, DETHKLOK), with LAMB OF GOD‘s Chris Adler set to make a special guest appearance on a couple of bonus tracks.
Commented TESTAMENT guitarist Alex Skolnick: “We’re more than halfway done recording the new album, ‘Dark Roots of Earth’. It’s coming along as well or better than any album this band has done. It just seems to have a focus, clarity and definition on a level that I don’t remember at this point in the process. Of course, you can never truly sum up an album until all the tracks are recorded, the mixes are done and the entire collection is mastered. But from where things stand right now, it’s looking like we may have a winner.”
TESTAMENT has tapped its former drummer John Tempesta (EXODUS, WHITE ZOMBIE, ROB ZOMBIE, HELMET, THE CULT) to sit behind the kit for the band’s upcoming U.S. tour with ANTHRAX and DEATH ANGEL. The trek is scheduled to kick off on October 14 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Although Tempesta recorded only two studio albums with TESTAMENT (1994’s “Low” and 2001’s “First Strike Still Deadly”, a collection of re-recordings of songs from “The Legacy” and “The New Order”), he left a lasting impression on TESTAMENT guitarist Eric Peterson. “John is definitely one of the best drummers in the country,” Peterson remarked. “He has the power of John Bonham, the finesse of Carter Beauford, and the aggression of Dave Lombardo. As a drummer, John really has it all.”
SADUS drummer Jon Allen sat behind the kit for TESTAMENT when the band performed in the place of IN FLAMES at the first two shows of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival — on July 9 in San Bernardino, California and on July 10 in Mountain View, California — as well as on the group’s recently completed South American tour.