During a brand new interview with Meltdown of the Detroit, Michigan radio station WRIF, TESTAMENT axeman Alex Skolnick spoke about the recent deaths of Paul O’Neill, creator of the multi-platinum rock theater experience TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, and the groundbreaking British guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Alex said (hear audio below): “It’s just unbelievable. Paul I knew personally. [He was] one of the most driven people I ever knew. He seemed like he could go forever, but I think part of what happened here, with high-energy people like that, as they get older, they don’t ever slow down; it’s just not in their vocabulary.”

He continued: “I never met Prince personally, but I knew some musicians who worked with him, and they said the same thing — he was just non-stop and just wouldn’t slow down, even as he got older. And it catches up to you. I mean, Allan Holdsworth at least made it to 70, but still, these days that’s kind of young to check out. I don’t think anybody saw it coming. [It’s] a tremendous loss. At least there’s a lot of appreciation coming for Allan Holdsworth, ’cause he’s really influenced so many musicians, but it’s not music you’ll ever hear on the radio, or it’s not part of popular culture at all. At least he’s appreciated by the many musicians he inspired.”

Alex, who joined TESTAMENT (then known as LEGACY) when he was 16, quickly began to wonder if there was more out there for him as a musician, causing him to quit the band in 1992 and move to New York to study at the New School’s Jazz Performance program, where he got his BFA in 2001. Back with TESTAMENT for more than a decade now, he still records and tours with his jazz trio, simply dubbed the ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO, whose 2011 album, “Veritas”, reached the Top Ten of the iTunes jazz chart.

Interview (audio):