ANTHRAX Guitarist: DIMEBAG's Murder Could Only Have Happened In U.S.

December 21, 2004

ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian recently spoke to about the death of DAMAGEPLAN/ex-PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and ANTHRAX's latest album, "The Greater of Two Evils". An excerpt from the interview follows: I'm asking musicians whether his death has given you second thoughts about live performance. Every time you take the stage, you make yourself vulnerable to the world. Has [Dimebag's] death made you reexamine your security measures?

Scott Ian: "Will we beef up security? It's really hard to say. In my heart, I don't think this will change how I live my life." Were you in Arlington for the memorial?

Scott Ian: "Yeah, I just got home yesterday and finally sat down and wrote on my website. I'm not going to let it change the way I live my life. Anyone who knows Dimebag knows that would be the last thing he'd want. This goes back to politics. People can say anything about 'guns don't kill people, people kill people.' But people allowed to have guns kill, and we live in a country that allows guns.

"The bottom line is this would not have happened anywhere else in the world. If this doesn't wake people up and these pro-gun people ... The fact this murderer was allowed to own a gun ... He was a diagnosed schizophrenic and his mother bought him the gun. He had done well and quit drugs and was diagnosed. But you know what? Maybe his guns should have been taken away. It's insane to me. I've lost two people in my life: Frankie's brother and now Dimebag." Was Dime planning on laying down solos for your new material?

Scott Ian: "Yes, he absolutely would have. Are you kidding me? He's the sixth member of ANTHRAX. That's one of the reasons I'm so upset over this. It's devastating. I've been lucky not to have lost too many people close to me in my life. But Dimebag's among those few." I still remember the phone calls that night. When did you first hear the news?

Scott Ian: "My fiancée and I had flown to New York to visit relatives and were driving to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to visit her grandmother. At the hotel, my phone started blowing up. My friend Dominic called. Charlie [Benante, ANTHRAX drummer] called. I said, 'Man, this is weird. All these people calling at 12:30 at night on a Wednesday.' After I got in the shower, the phone kept ringing. I got out of the shower and Charlie told me." I'm assuming you attended the funeral, too.

Scott Ian: "Yeah, at the funeral, Eddie Van Halen said everyone's gotta stop whispering. This isn't church; this is Dimebag's funeral. Then everyone started yelling and had a big cheer. And it's true. Look, obviously it's easy to say this isn't what Dimebag would want. But everyone's in this intense grief. It's hard not to be." Anything else would be fake.

Scott Ian: "Absolutely it would be fake. You're talking about someone who touched people deeply in his life. He had an extended family of millions." He'd be the first one to kick everyone's butt for moping around at his funeral. I can hear him saying, "Getcha a pull, blow it up."

Scott Ian: "Definitely. He was a great musician and this goofball who brought smiles to millions. It's devastating knowing that energy is gone from this Earth. That guy's not going to be here next year to put a smile on your face with a new home video or whatever."

Read Scott Ian's entire interview with at this location.

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