Moods & Modes with Alex Skolnick

Guitar legend Alex Skolnick explores the work of renowned musicians through commentary, conversation, and live performance.

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from Moods & Modes with Alex Skolnick

  • The Vault of Les Paul

    Les Paul was an inventor, an award-winning musician, an innovator and a creative genius. In this episode, Alex pays tribute by taking us on a journey through the life of Les Paul – his music, his inventions, and the recent recovery of one of his missing Gibson Les Paul prototypes.Alex visits Mahwah, NJ with Benny…

  • Best of Moods & Modes: Peter Green, Part 2

    At the tail end of the 60s, an unlikely meeting took place in Chicago between some prominent traditional blues artists and a chart-topping rock band from the UK. The results would reverberate for decades to come. In this episode, you’ll hear a discussion on the importance of this session along with further insights into the…

  • Best of Moods & Modes: Peter Green, Part 1

    While Alex is out on the road with Testament on the Bay Strikes Back Tour, we thought we’d take you on a journey back to the early days of Moods & Modes. This week, we’re featuring Episode 3: Peter Green, Remembered and Rediscovered. A deep dive into the life and music of Peter Allen Greenbaum, better known…

  • Best of Moods and Modes: Carnatic Crash Course

    While Alex is out on the road with Testament on the Bay Strikes Back Tour, we thought we’d take you on a journey back to the early days of Moods & Modes. This week, we’re featuring Episode 2: Carnatic Crash Course with guest Guitar Prasanna.In episode 2, Alex welcomes musician Prasanna, a pioneer in performing…

  • Best Of Moods & Modes: Guitar Rescue

    While Alex is out on the road with Testament and the Bay Strikes Back Tour, we thought we’d take you on a journey back to the early days of Moods & Modes. This week, we begin with the vey first episode, which was released in July 2020.Alex visits Matt Umanov of Matt Umanov Guitars, a legendary guitar…

  • MAX ZT

    Brooklyn-based musician Max ZT has been called the “Hendrix of Hammered Dulcimer” and is widely regarded as one of the instrument’s most prolific and innovative performers. In this episode, he joins Alex to explain the origin and design of the instrument, which he describes as the predecessor to the piano, and demystifies how to play…

  • #ASKALEX

    This week, Alex answers listener questions on the very first #AskAlex episode. The questions gathered from fans over the last few weeks range from what inspires him musically to how he comes up with his solos – “write it or wing it?”, as one fan asked; which guitar he would take to a desert island,…

  • Heavy Classical: NY Philharmonic’s Yulia Ziskel

    A member of the New York Philharmonic’s first violin section since 2001, Yulia Ziskel, who holds The Friends and Patrons Chair, has established herself as a highly acclaimed solo, chamber, and orchestral musician. She has been praised by The Strad Magazine for “the sweetness of her sound.” This week, she joins Alex to discuss her upbringing in Russia,…

  • B.I.G. L.I.E. Exposed

    In this episode of Moods & Modes, Alex takes you behind the scenes of the making of “B.I.G L.I.E”, a tune from his rap duo HU$H MONEY that deals with the events of January 6, 2021. Alex explains how the song came together and shares some of the reaction he’s gotten so far – including…

  • DAVID BECKER AND JOE DIORIO

    In the final episode of 2021, Alex welcomes guitarist David Becker to talk about working with the legendary jazz guitarist Joe Diorio. David tells Alex about attending the Guitar Institute of Technology, where he first met Joe when he was a student, and shares stories of recording and touring with Joe over the years. The two…

  • DIVINITY ROXX

    This week, Alex welcomes Grammy nominated musician Divinity Roxx to Moods & Modes. Divinity tells Alex about her transition to writing music for kids and the intention behind the songwriting, and why it’s important to introduce children to a high level of music early on. The two discuss her introduction to bass while at UC…

  • FORQ

    FORQ is a harder-edge fusion band that Alex describes as ‘Snarky Puppy adjacent’, due to its relationship to founding member Michael League. League formed the band with keyboardist Henry Hey in the early 2010s and on this episode, Henry joins Alex along with FORQ guitarist Chris McQueen to talk about their innovative new album “Four…

  • PAT METHENY PART 2

    In part 2 of Alex’s conversation with Pat Metheny, the two discuss some of Metheny’s unconventional work, his association with musicians like Jaco Pastorius and Joni Mitchell, the evolution of his synthesizer sound, and why he thinks in visual terms. Pat shares his daily routine, what he does to keep learning after each gig, and…

  • PAT METHENY

    Pat Metheny, one of the most critically acclaimed jazz musicians in the world, joins Alex to talk about his exceptional career, the enormous range of his playing style, and the idea of music without boundaries. The two discuss the different guitars that Metheny has played over the years, how he found his sound by rejecting…

  • BORROWED MUSIC

    In this episode, Alex examines songs that exhibit nearly identical musical qualities. He dives deep on classic songs, comparing “Waiting on the World to Change” to “People Get Ready,” “Comfortably Numb” to “Here Comes the Flood,” “Always Somewhere” to “Simple Man” and many others, explaining the elements in the songwriting that were ‘borrowed’ from other songs. A…

  • LESLIE WEST REMEMBERED

    In this episode of Moods & Modes, Alex pays tribute to legendary guitarist Leslie West. Leslie is known as the founding member and co-lead vocalist for the groundbreaking hard rock band Mountain. Mountain is often credited as one of the bands that helped influence the development of heavy metal music, and Leslie West’s guitar playing…

  • Michael League

    This week Alex welcomes Michael League, one of the most accomplished musicians of the last two decades. Michael is best known as the founder, bandleader, and bassist for the New York-based instrumental group Snarky Puppy, and in this conversation you’ll hear him tell Alex about the band’s genesis and musical evolution. Michael tells Alex about…

  • Percy Jones

    In this episode, Alex welcomes bass legend Percy Jones to the podcast. Best known for his work with jazz fusion ensemble Brand X, Percy tells Alex about the evolution of the band, including the period of time when Phil Collins was the drummer. The two discuss the incredible London music scene in the 60’s and…

  • REZ ABBASI

    Rez Abbasi is an accomplished jazz guitarist and composer known for his ability to fuse traditional Pakistani and Indian classical music with modern jazz. In this episode, he discusses his eclectic guitar style, the diverse musical projects he’s contributed to, and the inspiration for his 2020 release, Django-shift, a collection of songs inspired by the…

  • ARIELLE

    Arielle is a guitarist, singer, and guitar builder who has risen to prominence in the rock community for her soulful, uninhibited guitar playing and songwriting. Disregarding industry norms, Arielle has forged her own path and as a result, has performed with a stunning list of legendary acts including Brian May, Gregg Allman, CeeLo Green, Eric…

  • PETER FRAMPTON

    Peter Frampton is among the most celebrated guitarists in rock history. His 1976 album, Frampton Comes Alive!, remains one of the top-selling live records of all time and produced a handful of hit singles that remain in rotation. In this episode, he joins Alex to talk about his exceptional career, from his early days with Humble Pie…

  • CHICK COREA REMEMBERED

    In this episode, Alex pays tribute to Chick Corea. It’s a journey through the life of the great musician, from his early days in New York, debut as a band leader and first album, to the musicians and cultural movements he inspired. Corea’s ability to reinvent himself musically is showcased throughout, as Alex explores the…

  • RODRIGO Y GABRIELA, P.2

    In part two of the series with Rodrigo y Gabriela, the tables are turned as Rod y Gab interview Alex. They dig into Alex’s musical history, beginning with early influences like The Beatles and KISS, and his immersion into the Bay Area metal scene that ultimately led him to Testament. The trio discuss thrash vs…

  • RODRIGO Y GABRIELA, PART 1

    In part one of two episodes with Rodrigo y Gabriela, Alex is in Mexico with the duo during the recording of their album 11:11 in 2009. Alex captured the conversation as they shared food and wine overlooking Zihuatanejo Bay, after a day of recording. The trio discuss their influences, like Paco de Lucia and Strunz &…

  • 20/21: LOOKING BACK & LOOKING AHEAD

    Alex looks back on 2020, from the great artists who were lost, to the trajectory of the pandemic and some of the unexpected moments in between. He shares personal reflections and stories, and gives us a peek at what’s ahead for Moods & Modes in 2021.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Sweetwater Runs Deep

    In this episode, Alex travels to Sweetwater Music, the musician-led retailer in Fort Wayne, IN. to give a master class and recording workshop with Stu Hamm. During the trip, he documents the story of Sweetwater and digs into why “always doing the right thing” has made all the difference in their success. Alex walks the…

  • EDDIE VAN HALEN TRIBUTE PART 2

    Presented by Osiris Media

  • EDDIE VAN HALEN TRIBUTE PART 1

    Presented by Osiris Media

  • THE CASE FOR A CHEAP STRAT

    An extensive jam session and conversation with Brooklyn based guitarist Nir Felder, whose resume includes jazz luminaries (Brad Mehldau, Jack DeJohnette), soul superstars (Erykah Badu, Chaka Khan), jam rock icons (Dave Mathews, John Mayer) and even celebrities (Dave Chapelle, Ben Platt). Despite owning several high-quality instruments, the guitar that comes through the most for Nir…

  • PETER GREEN PART 2: CHICAGO BLUES & MORE

    At the tail end of the 60s, an unlikely meeting took place in Chicago between some prominent traditional blues artists and a chart-topping rock band from the UK. The results would reverberate for decades to come. A discussion on the importance of this session along with further insights into the impact of the late Peter…

  • CARNATIC CRASH COURSE

    Prasanna is a pioneer of performing Carnatic music on the guitar. He is also thoroughly knowledgable in rock, jazz, blues and other styles. Here in conversation with Alex, both verbal and musical, he breaks down his unique style and helps shine light on the inspirations behind it.

  • GUITAR RESCUE

    Debut episode: A visit with Matt Uminov, guitar dealer and repairman who’s been a fixture of New York’s Greenwich Village since the late 1960s and whose regular clients include the likes of Eric Clapton and Pat Metheny. Hear his reaction to Alex’s two nightmare repair jobs, along with some great stories (contains adult language).

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