TESTAMENT guitarist Alex Skolnick has told Heavy New York that the band's next studio album, which is tentatively due later this year, will not necessarily sound like a direct follow-up to 2016's "Brotherhood Of The Snake".
"I think anytime we make a record, we don't think about the last record," he said at this past weekend's NAMM show in Anaheim, California (see video below). "That's done. Actually, the last thing we wanna be influenced by is the previous record. And I think it's pretty safe to say there's never been two records in a row where they're really that much alike. We don't have a 'period.' Sometimes bands release a pair or a series of records where there's a big similarity. We've never done that. So I think it's gonna be starting fresh. And we'll see where it goes… It's not pre-planned."
Asked if TESTAMENT tries to employ a new approach to writing more than three decades after the band's formation or if there is a "usual songwriting formula" that TESTAMENT has followed since the beginning, Skolnick said: "I think it's new. I think it's new based on changes in the band. Gene [Hoglan, drums] wasn't part of the organization in the first wave of the band. So that's different. And then just the life situations of everybody. I moved to the East Coast in the late '90s, so my working with them is more planned. And also technology has changed. Technology has made it very possible that we can do a lot of work even if we live far away. So Gene actually lives in San Diego. I live in New York City. And we make it work. But just those situations alone are very different from how it was in the first wave of the band when everybody lived in the [San Francisco] Bay Area. We rehearsed at a dingy rehearsal spot twice a week and did the writing there. Now people have lives. People have families. But we find ways to make it work."
TESTAMENT guitarist Eric Peterson recently told Guitar World that he hopes the group's next album will be a more collaborative effort than "Brotherhood Of The Snake", which saw him writing all the music in about three months and then e-mailing the songs to his bandmates.
"I've talked with Alex and he has some ideas," Peterson said. "Right now, I'm librarying riffs and it looks like it'll be pretty heavy and old-school. At the same time, I'm being careful not to copy what we've done before. I can't say for sure when it's gonna be finished, but it's gonna be killer."
Last September, singer Chuck Billy told Inquisitr that TESTAMENT's next record would likely include a ballad. "We haven't done a ballad in 20-something years probably," he said. "I mean, a full-on ballad. 'Born In A Rut', off the other one ['Brotherhood Of The Snake'], it's soft and has melody, but it's not really a true ballad."
"Brotherhood Of The Snake" was recorded under the watchful eyes of producer Juan Urteaga (EXODUS, HEATHEN, MACHINE HEAD), Peterson and Billy and was mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap.