Former TESTAMENT/SAVATAGE guitarist Alex Skolnick has sent the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET regarding the death of DAMAGEPLAN/ex-PANTERA guitarist Dimebag Darrell:
"I was watching CNN early this morning when they cut to the scene of a conert shooting in Columbus. I was sure it was some local band, then they showed the pictures of Darrell. I still can't believe it.
"I remember meeting those guys for the first time in Houston in '88, when TESTAMENT got up and jammed with them, They were a metal cover band with a reputation of playing better than some of the bands they were paying tribute to.
"I remember Darrell asking me to show him one of my TESTAMENT solos to see if he was doing it right. He was, and added his own thing to it. As time went on, I'll be the first to admit the PANTERA found their own voice as a band and took it to levels which blew us all away.
"I hadn't seen [Darrell] in about ten years or so. We were very different types of players and people. I wanted to explore other musical styles, he wanted to delve deeper and deeper into metal. I was shy and quiet (at the time), he was a loud, wild Texan. We weren't close but when I saw him over the years I always felt a mutual respect. I considered him one of the best metal players out there and am truly saddened by this and in disbelief that something like this could happen.
"I don't know what else to say.