ANTHRAX's IAN Offers Update On New Album, Upcoming Tour

February 11, 2003

The following is a re-posting of the latest installment of ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian's regular online column, dubbed "Alpha Mail", as it appears on the group's official web site at


"First off, thank you to all our Scottish friends. The show in Glasgow got moved up from The Garage to The Barrowlands due to 'massive demand'. Thanks you crazy motherfuckers! I normally don't get my hopes up and I try not to have high expectations, but I've got a feeling this is going to be a good gig. Let's see if you can sell this one out for us as well. I am fucking pumped.

"Things in general seem to be going well right now. The response to the record by the press in Europe was overwhelming. Calling it a 'comeback' for us even though we never really went away. I guess almost five years between studio records can be called a comeback. All I know is we've been bleeding for years and working to get to a point where we can just be a band and do what we do. I guess you could say I'm cautiously optimistic.

"I love that all of the press thinks we made a great record. I really love the responses we've been getting from friends and people that have already heard the record. People seem to be connecting with it. Especially 'Safe Home'. It's such a strong emotional song. So real. It's the first time I've ever written a love song. Yep, a love song with a stronger emotion than any hate filled song I've ever written. That's why it works. The emotion is so from the heart and soul that people can feel it. If it wasn't, it would be lame. Or, it never would've made the record. I think it's the best song we've ever written. I can't wait for everyone to hear it already.

"Not too much longer. The Japan release is on Friday. Europe in two weeks. I'm sure a lot of you reading this will have ordered the record from Nuclear Blast. The U.S. release will come with something different. Hopefully that will counter the imports and downloads. Either way, I think you're going to love the record. And the packaging. Brent did a sick job. He created a different icon for every song. It's so cool. I feel like when I was a kid buying records and I'd sit and stare at all the pictures and stuff. There's so much to look at. The packaging for the vinyl that Nuclear Blast is doing is the best because you get the art in the size it should be.

"So Europe was great. We've got the first leg of the tour starting in Dublin in a few weeks. Great way to start. We get in to Dublin the day before the show. That gives us two days of Guinness. It's good to start the tour healthy.

"There are U.S. headlining dates that will be announced shortly. It's gonna be good. Then we go back to Europe for a whole bunch of summer festivals. MAIDEN and METALLICA are headlining a lot of those shows. Playing festivals with MAIDEN is as good as it gets. They've always been great to us. After that, back to the states and then Asia, Australia, NZ, South America etc. We've got a lot of ground to make up touring wise and I think the last thing we are in danger of is overexposure.

"I got to hang out in Germany with [girlfriend/MEAT LOAF's daughter] Pearl after my promo trip was done. She came over with MEAT LOAF for promo for his record. In case you haven't heard, Paul Crook is playing lead with MEAT now. I was stoked to get to see his first gig, which was only the biggest TV show in Germany. It's called 'Wetten Das' and 18 million people were watching. On the same show with MEAT were Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio (they were promoting 'Catch Me If You Can'),Hugh Grant, Faith Hill, Christina Aguilera and Tom Jones. That's a fucking crazy way to start in a band! Paul nailed it. He was great. They also played a full show in Koln and Paul rocked. It's a great place for him to be. It was fun to hang out too. Tom Hanks was cool. He took pictures with everyone. I talked to Spielberg about MINISTRY (they were in 'A.I.'). Al Jourgensen told me a great story about how when they met Spielberg after a few days on the set, he told Spielberg that 'he had a big problem with the movie.' Spielberg asked him what it was and Al said, 'First off, we were told the title stood for 'Anal Intruder' and that this was a porno film, not some movie about a little kid robot and a fucking talking teddy bear.' Al said that Spielberg freaked until he put his arm around him and said, 'Steve, just kidding.' That broke the ice and after that Spielberg talked to them all the time. When I asked Spielberg about Al he said, 'Oh I love him, what a sense of humor!' Al really did tell him he thought the movie was called 'Anal Intruder' as well as 100 other porno movie names after that.

"We've been kicking around a lot of different songs for the set. A lot of stuff we haven't done in a long time. We're learning loads of stuff so we'll have a nice repertoire to choose from. I know we can't please everybody. Unless we do every song from 'Deathrider' to 'W.C.F.Y.A.' That would be a long night.

"We came up with an idea for a video for 'Safe Home' that is so cool. If it comes together, it will be crazy. I won't let the cat out of the bag yet. One hint: The picture of Keanu Reeves has something to do with it.

"If you haven't seen 'Bowling For Columbine' yet what are you waiting for? This movie should be required viewing for everyone 13 and up. Michael Moore asks the questions that everyone else in the corporate owned media can't or won't ask. He is the king. Read 'Stupid White Men' as well. The questions he poses to Bush about Bin Laden are terrifying. Read this book. Learn it. The truth shall set you free!"

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