During a brand new interview with ModernHeavyMetal.net, TESTAMENT guitarist Alex Skolnick spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's follow-up to 2012's "Dark Roots Of Earth" album. He said: "TESTAMENT is in a writing phase right now. And everything drifts back and forth, you know, it happens in phases. We go into the studio in spring. A new album comes by mid-year. Sometimes it doesn't go according to the plan, but I think this is gonna happen."
Skolnick also talked about the songwriting process in TESTAMENT, calling it "definitely a committee." He said: "That used to be very frustrating, when TESTAMENT was my only project. Now I have these other things like PLANETARY COALITION. It was this massive project with 27 musicians, but I had final say in everything. Whereas with TESTAMENT, I, come up with the ideas and I hope they are liked, and I accept it if they're not. I didn't form the band, so it's very different."
Asked how much freedom he has within the TESTAMENT confines to explore new things, Alex said: "It's a feeling of identity. I was out of the metal world for a long time (when TESTAMENT was in hiatus in the '90s), just purely playing other kinds of music, which I needed to do. Then when I came back, which was about ten years ago, which was longer than I was in the band the first time, I think I was ready for it again. Because I had sort of proven I could exist outside of the bubble."
He continued: "I love metal, we all do, but it is a bit of a bubble. And if you're somebody with diverse taste, you know, it can be tough. And most of the people in it that play the music professionally, that's what they do. They don't do another type of music. I've always found it odd. There are chefs that may cook normal western cuisine but they can also do sushi or Chinese food. Or they can go to these other areas and work there. There's a great noodle place in my neighborhood and the guys making the noodles are Mexican. But somehow in music people really tend to stick, especially with guitar, with one thing."
Skolnick added: "I just remember being excited by these moments on the early VAN HALEN records. There are amazing acoustic moments, like 'Spanish Fly'. And the Ozzy albums, you know, there was the intro in the 'Diary Of A Madman'. I just remember being excited by all that stuff. And I always thought, you know that somebody like [Eddie] Van Halen, maybe he'll do a whole album with that stuff. You know, Randy Rhoads was planning to do more of that stuff, but he never got the chance to, unfortunately."