Alex Skolnick, Axes Cruise ’16

Axes and Anchors cruise wouldn’t have been the same without Alex Skolnick!

Incredible musician with a lot of skill and expertise which those on the ship got the full benefit of enjoying. One of the most devoted guitarists, he is most well-known of course from the popular thrash metal band Testament.

Those who are very familiar with Skolnick will know that in between Testament tours he is playing all sorts of diverse styles of guitar, especially with his trio group which often plays Jazz. It is currently comprised of himself, a drummer named Matt Zebroski, and a bass player Nathan Peck.

The many musical projects he partakes in or produces himself do attract major attention such as, let’s say- a nomination for a Grammy award with his Planetary Coalition album that encompasses players from around the globe. A very gorgeous achievement, just listen!

Metal Allegiance the record and tour began as a collaboration with Mark Menghi with Dave Ellefson and drummer Mike Portnoy, to name only a few. Fantastic metal music if you haven’t had a chance to check it out you’re gonna have to, in order to keep up with what’s trending in cool.

Mightn’t you think that it wouldn’t be expected that the opportunity to meet Alex in person would present itself very often? Well, on the Axes cruise we all had the chance to hang around with him. Especially fortunate was our attendance at more than three Alex Skolnick performances.

The first night it was Randy Rhoads Remembered the band in which he appeared for at least a few songs, they played until very late and we’ll still never get enough of his metal shredding. They even put on a second show a couple days later.

Next it was a very laid back evening in the Adriatic Lounge listening to Alex play with his Jazz Trio AST lounge style. Too cool and comfortable were they, whilst the ship rocked enough to sway the passengers.

Eagerly we had anticipated Skolnick’s Metal performance with the same two players for back up. We were thrilled to see the flashing light show, smoke and colors dancing through the songs which were highlighted by Alex ripping it up in true thrash metal style.

I wouldn’t have missed the workshop he gave one morning, honestly it was like a promise I made for the love of metal. Up close we could see Alex play, do warm ups and vocals and talk a little about the process of creating music. He played songs as we sailed into the day.

Perhaps you’d had a hoary streak by now, the surprise was that Alex joined the gang at the fan jam at the earliest opportunity and stayed until late. What a wonderful experience for those young players who were attending the event. Next time, I hope we meet again.

Thanks Alex Skolnick!

Photos and article by Hek82

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IMG_1643Randy Rhoads Remembered with Dewey Bragg vocals, Rudy Sarzo bass, Brian Tichy and guest Johnny Kelly on drums, feat. Alex Skolnick on guitar

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w/ Matt Zebroski drums and Nathan Peck bass

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