ANTHRAX Guitarist Talks Politics, Touring With DIO

October 31, 2004

ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian has posted another installment of his regular online column, dubbed "Alpha Mail". A couple of excerpts follow:

On upcoming presidential elections:

"There have been three televised debates between Kerry and Bush and Kerry has won all three. And don't just think I'm being partisan; I saw polls on Fox News say this as well. Even after these clear-cut victories by Kerry, here's an example of what the average American thinks (these are actual quotes from newspaper articles after the debates):

"'I think Kerry is smarter but I’m going to vote for Bush.'

"'Our country is in a big mess and the war is out of control but I don't think we should make a change.'

"What the hell is wrong with these people? You'd rather vote for the less smart guy? You'd rather vote for the guy that got us into this whole mess? The guy that's made the world less safe? Where does this small-minded thinking come from? People can only see as far as their own backyards and that's it. They have no global view. America has the lowest percentage of citizens with passports. We need to be inclusive of the rest of the world, especially now. These republican robots need to open their eyes. It wouldn't matter if Bush punched a little girl in the mouth on TV, they'd still vote for him and explain that Bush had to punch her in the mouth for Homeland Security, she was obviously carrying a weapon of mass destruction. Every day the death toll mounts in Iraq while Bush and his cronies sleep safely in their mansions. There was and is no plan for peace. Did they really think they'd be able to bring peace to a region that has been at war for thousands of years? Of course Saddam had to go, but that's not why we went there. Bush had his own agenda, lied about it, and went to war. So while he's riding horses on his ranch in Texas, some poor innocent schmuck is videotaped spending the last seconds of his life in absolute terror as some stinking maniac brutally cuts into his neck. Was this part of Bush's plan? Stop toeing the party line for one second and think about that. I know most of you, for or against me on this don't want to hear it. I understand but it's just the way I feel. If I can't be honest as a person, how can I be honest as an artist? If big business can influence elections, artists should be able to as well. At least vote on Nov 2. It's the American thing to do."

On performing with PUBLIC ENEMY:

"Getting to play with PUBLIC ENEMY again was nothing short of fan-fucking-tastic. The fact that what we did together was important enough in their history to warrant Chuck calling us and asking us to be a part of their night is incredible. The two days in NYC we spent rehearsing and playing were magic. It was like twelve years were erased in the snap of a finger and we had played Paris (the last show of the ANTHRAX/PE tour in 1992) the night before. Everything came together so easily and Charlie and I and our family and friends and crew were all treated like family by the whole PE band and S1W's. There is so much mutual respect between us it's scary and from that intensity comes great things. All I can say is a door has been opened again and what's coming through is monstrous. If you were lucky enough to be at our show at the Beacon Theater the night before the VH1 thing, you got to see Chuck D come out and do 'Bring The Noise' with us. The place went fucking nuts. It was like the whole stage elevated ten feet off the ground at the sound of his voice.

"The performance at the Hammerstein for the 'Hip Hop Honors' was the sickest of the night. The whole building was shaking from the force coming off that stage. It was like a sonic version of the 'Hulk vs. the Thing'. It was awe-inspiring for me to play with PE again. Thank you Chuck and of course Flav (you haven't aged a day!)."

On touring with DIO:

"The shows with DIO have been cool. We've had to work hard some nights when the DIO fans just kind of stare at us like we're a really hard math problem. It usually takes about three songs and then they get it and realize that they understand and they like us. Hey, I don't mind hard work, I crave it. I love a challenge. Although it's not really a challenge because DIO's fans are as metal as it gets and they just need to set their metalometer up a notch to get us. A challenge would be playing to R.E.M. fans.

"As usual Chicago, Milwaukee, NYC all killed. Detroit was a surprise because it was the best Detroit gig we've had in years. It reminded me of old-school Harpo's shows. There were no fights and no one got hurt. Just a big fucking rock show and everyone had fun. Atlanta turned out good too. We finished our set!! Thank you!! Florida was also better than it's been in a long time with St. Pete being a real standout. Janus Landing was packed and raging. The Revolution in Ft. Lauderdale was a great gig as well. Anaheim ruled last night, maybe the best gig yet.

"We've got two shows left on the tour, SF and LA and then it's time to start writing the new ANTHRAX. There are so many things in the works right now for next year that are going to blow your minds. Crazy things are afoot my friends. It's going to be a good winter."

Read Scott Ian's entire column at this location.

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