In a new interview with the "Thunder Underground" podcast, TESTAMENT guitarist Alex Skolnick was asked if has any reservations about performing live amid the coronavirus pandemic or if he will be "ready when the time comes." He responded (hear audio below): "I'm ready when it's safe, when there's a vaccine and when we can do it responsibly.
"I'm shocked by people that are clamoring to open up and 'get back to normal' and people who don't wanna wear a mask. You're seeing the rate of people being infected rising like crazy. And it's pretty shocking. I don't wanna mess with that. I don't wanna get sick. I don't wanna get anybody else sick.
"We've had pandemics before — not in our lifetimes, but they happen every hundred years or so, and then you get past it," he added. "So we'll be past it at some point. And once we are definitely past it, I'll be more than ready to get back to live music. But not before then."
Last month, Skolnick blasted people who politicize mask wearing, calling it "the stupidest thing I've ever heard." He said: "You're gonna make it political, wearing a mask? Wearing a mask and going indoors to restaurants and breathing on everybody, making that political? I have to say it's the dumbest thing I've heard since Freedom Fries," referring to the "patriotism" fad from the early 2000s — refusing to eat french fries to protest France's opposition to the U.S.-led war on Iraq.
Skolnick lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, which was one of the hardest-hit areas in terms of COVID-19 cases.
TESTAMENT's latest album, "Titans Of Creation", was released on April 3 via Nuclear Blast. The disc was produced by guitarist Eric Peterson and singer Chuck Billy and while Juan Urteaga of Trident Studios handled co-producing, recording and engineering. Andy Sneap was responsible for the mixing and mastering of the album. Eliran Kantor stepped up once again to create a new masterpiece of artwork for the cover of this release.
This past March, TESTAMENT completed "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" European tour with EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL.