Testament guitarist covers Dua Lipa's 'Don't Start Now' | NME

Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick has shared a unique instrumental cover of Dua Lipa’s hit ‘Don’t Start Now’.

Acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela had challenged him to “perform this song and put an original spin on it,” Skolnick said. The thrash metal guitarist recorded his response to the challenge from his packed guitar studio, posting it over the Easter Weekend.

Skolnick admitted to taking a lot of creative licence in his epic version, which clocks in at nearly six minutes long. Watch it below:

“The original is an uptempo mainstream pop mega-hit that many would be dancing to in nightclub at this very moment were they not stuck sat home. I went more for ambient/moody,” Skolnick explained, “which seems to fit the emotion being expressed in the lyrics, along with slower tempo (a bit inspired by Pink Floyd).”

Watch Dua Lipa’s video for ‘Don’t Start Now’ here:

Skolnick also noted that “not just anybody could get me to do this”. As a fan and friend of Rodrigo y Gabriela, however, he was willing to rise to the challenge.

Skolnick admits that “there are a few parts I could’ve spent weeks on…but in the interest of expedience, I’m abandoning some of my usual perfectionism. I’ve been inspired by Brian May‘s recent posts where he proudly shares mistakes.”

‘Don’t Start Now’ is taken from Dua Lipa’s recent album, ‘Future Nostalgia’, which NME pronounced in a five-star review a “bright, bold collection of pop majesty to dance away your anxieties to”.

In her recent cover interview for NME, Lipa said ‘Future Nostalgia’ is an album intended for “celebrat[ion] in clubs and bars”, but also a distraction in this current pandemic: “Music serves as an escape and I’m hoping that this music just brings some light and joy, and takes away from what’s going on outside.”