Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick just released a video of himself performing a soft jazz cover of Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now” in response to an online challenge sparked by his friends Rodrigo y Gabriella, according to Billboard. The cover both diverts from the original sound and style of the song, as well as Skolnick’s signature hard metal style that he is most known for.
Skolnick’s cover is a unique, jazzy take on a Billboard top 100 hit; the harmonies Skolnick introduces to the song allow for harmonious chord progressions that Skolnick uses to his musical advantage. The solo Skolnick delivers shows off his technical chops on the guitar as well as his knowledge of musical theory, delivering masterful uses of scales, arpeggios, harmonies, and seemingly everything else a world class jazz guitarist would have in his bag of tricks. At the end of his solo, Skolnick activates his guitar distortion, and, although not too heavy, is a good reminder of the span of musical genres he is able to play.
Skolnick has experience as a jazz musician as the leader of the Alex Skolnick Trio, and has released five studio albums with the band. Their most recent, Conundrum, was released in September of 2018, and was their first album as a trio in seven years.
In addition to his time with Testament, Skolnick also actively collaborates with Charlie Benante of Anthrax and Ra Diaz of Suicidal Tendencies; the three of them released a cover of Rush’s “La Villa Strangiato” and “YYZ” within the past two weeks, both in an effort to keep their fans entertained throughout this quarantine period.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat