The Shred Zome

Metalhead sees the light in complex time signatures.

Nighttown regulars, prepare to be knocked out of your comfort zone tonight with the Alex Skolnick Trio. Skolnick, one of Trans-Siberia Orchestra's shred-happy guitarists, grew up on Kiss and Van Halen records. "I wasn't a big jazz fan," he says. "That all changed when I saw Miles Davis on television with one of his electric groups."

Skolnick, drummer Matt "Zebar" Zebronski, and bassist Nathan Peck will perform Kiss and Scorpions covers at tonight's show. It's metal, but with a jazzy touch. Skolnick credits his bandmates for the sonic blend. "They're very deep musicians," he says. "They teach me rhythmic and improvisational concepts."

Skolnick says he keeps his guitar distortion at lower levels with the trio than he did when he was a member of San Francisco thrashers Testament. Still, he likes to turn it up to 11 occasionally. "There are times we switch to a full rock sound," he says. "But it's for peak moments."
Fri., May 26, 9 p.m.