ANTHRAX guitarist Jonathan Donais has confirmed to "The Chuck Shute Podcast" that the band is working on a new album. "Hopefully, once this pandemic's over, there'll be a new record and a ton of touring behind it," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "I know the band is working on stuff, and I know they've got stuff written. [But] I haven't gone into the studio with them or anything yet."
Asked if he is involved in the ANTHRAX songwriting or if the other guys piece together the material on their own, Donais said: "They've done all the writing. They've got a system down. All bands work different. It works great for them. They've been successful for over 35 years, [and] they're going strong — stronger than ever, really. The last few records have been amazing."
Donais, who joined ANTHRAX in 2013 as the replacement for Rob Caggiano (now in VOLBEAT), went on to admit that he has not yet actually heard any of the material that will appear on the band's follow-up to 2016's "For All Kings" album.
Five years ago, ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello said that Donais "brought a great energy to the band." ANTHRAX rhythm guitarist Scott Ian added: "Jon's approach towards lead guitar playing, he's more of a guy who's looking to construct something that makes sense and helps a song rather than the 45 seconds for him to be showing off how many notes he can play in X amount of measures."
Last November, Ian told "Whiplash", the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie, that he and his bandmates likely won't release any music until the coronavirus pandemic has subsided and they are able to tour in support of the effort. "That's where I am personally right at this moment," he said. "Six months from now, who knows where the world is gonna be? We don't know. Maybe things will be closer to being back to normal; maybe they'll be further away from back to normal. Nobody has an answer to this, so anytime someone asks me about that, I really don't have an answer.
"In my brain, I don't wanna put a record out until I can play shows," he continued. "That's what I wanna do, but, of course, I don't control the world and I don't control what's gonna happen with COVID. I think I can safely say we will certainly be ready to make a record [in 2021]. So I think we will probably go do that once we're ready to go do it. There would be no reason to have a record [written] and then just sit around and not record it. So, I think once we actually feel like we're ready to go into the studio, we'll do that, regardless of where things are at on the planet, and then just take it from there. At least it'll be in the can, and then we'll be able to make a decision on what the best course is for us to take at that point."
At the 2019 Download festival in the United Kingdom, drummer Charlie Benante said fans can expect to hear some surprises on ANTHRAX's next disc. "There's some extreme stuff on this record that we touched on," he said. "There's different things that we're gonna try and do that's gonna make it next level."
"For All Kings" was called by some critics ANTHRAX's strongest album to date. Its arrival followed a five-year period during which the band experienced a rebirth of sorts, beginning with ANTHRAX's inclusion on the "Big Four" tour, and continuing with the 2011 release of comeback LP "Worship Music".