ANTHRAX To Be Rejoined By Bassist DAN LILKER After 40-Year Absence For April/May 2024 Tour Dates

March 28, 2024

ANTHRAX has announced that, due to personal reasons, bassist Frank Bello will not be able to accompany the band on its upcoming South American tour, set to kick off April 13 at MXMF The Metal Fest in Mexico City. Filling in on those dates, as well as two U.S. festival shows in May, will be ANTHRAX founding member and original bassist Dan Lilker, marking his first appearance with the band in 40 years. Lilker, who co-wrote and played on ANTHRAX's debut album "Fistful Of Metal", was also a member of STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH with Charlie Benante and Scott Ian.

"I'm really looking forward to jamming with ANTHRAX again," said Lilker. "When we parted ways back in 1984, they told me to stick around because they might need me in 40 years."

Added the band: "We're all very excited about with playing with Danny again, and we really appreciate his filling in for Frank. It's been way too long since we played South America, so you don’t want to miss these shows, they’re going to be insane."

Bello said: "I wanted to let all my friends know that I'm sorry that I won't be coming to play the upcoming ANTHRAX dates in Mexico, South America or the couple of U.S. festival dates in May. Everything's OK, but for personal reasons, I won't be able to make those shows. I want to thank my friend Danny Lilker for stepping in for me; he's gonna rock it! Enjoy the shows. I'm sure they will be great, and I'll look forward to seeing you all soon."

Lilker has not been idle over the past four decades, having played in a wide variety of bands. He was the bassist for the thrash/metal band NUCLEAR ASSAULT and the grindcore band BRUTAL TRUTH. He also plays bass for EXIT-13, MALFORMED EARTHBORN, THE RAVENOUS, OVERLORD EXTERMINATOR, VENOMOUS CONCEPT, and more.

With Lilker on bass, dates for ANTHRAX's upcoming tour dates are as follows:

April 13 - MXMF The Metal Fest, Ciudad De México, Mexico
April 15 - Cancha Diamante, San Salvador, El Salvador
April 17 - Pepper's, San Jose, Costa Rica
April 19 - The Metal Fest, Quito, Ecuador
April 21 - The Metal Fest, Santiago, Chile
April 23 - Sala de Museo, Montevideo, Uruguay
April 25 - El Teatro Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina
April 28 - Summer Breeze Open Air, São Paulo, Brazil
May 09 - Welcome to Rockville, Daytona Beach, FL
May 17 - Sonic Temple Festival, Columbus, OH

To celebrate ANTHRAX's 40th anniversary in 2021, the band's social media accounts offered a series of video testimonials sent in by former bandmembers, fellow musicians, colleagues, and industry veterans sharing behind-the-scenes stories of working with the band and what ANTHRAX's legacy has meant all these years on. These videos honored each album in chronological order beginning with the original release, "Fistful Of Metal". The 11-week series included video contributions from former ANTHRAX bandmembers Lilker, Dan Spitz, John Bush, Neil Turbin and Rob Caggiano.

Lilker, who played bass on "Fistful Of Metal" and wrote most of the music for the record, told Knotfest about ANTHRAX's 40th anniversary: "I'm definitely proud of that whole thing. I think it's great that those guys are still going… That was real good memories back then. I know people go, 'Oh, they fucking threw you out after that,' and blah blah blah. But, obviously, I got over that and formed NUCLEAR ASSAULT. And next year we were doing S.O.D. So I'm not the kind of guy who stays bitter forever. But, yeah, the memories of those times, writing that record and recording it and everything was... 'Cause there was no blueprint or anything; we just had influences and just tried to put our own stamp on 'em back then. So, yeah, it kind of sucks being thrown out three days before [it got] released, but it gave me an excuse to do something else."

When interviewer Daniel Dekay noted that it was "really cool" of ANTHRAX to allow Lilker to tell his side of the story in the above-mentioned documentary series, Dan said: "There was times in the past where I might have been a little neglected on some of the stuff. So I think they wanted to make sure to just have a nice, inclusive vibe and not forget any particular details. Like the fact that I wrote 75 percent of 'Fistful Of Metal'. You know, a minor detail."

A number of years ago, Lilker told Voices From The Darkside that he was fired from ANTHRAX due to "a conflict" with the band's then-vocalist Neil Turbin. "He was an egotist (like most singers, haha) and it bothered him that I was taller than him," Lilker explained. "Also, he had no sense of humor, so if you busted his balls he took it seriously. So, he told the other members, 'I can't take Lilker anymore. It's him or me.' They decided he was more important as a familiar frontman to the fans, so they threw me out, even though I wrote 75 percent of the music on 'Fistful…'. Oh well. He was, of course, thrown out seven months later, and I played with Scott and Charlie in S.O.D. the next year."

In his 2014 autobiography "I'm The Man: The Story Of That Guy From Anthrax", Ian described Lilker's dismissal from ANTHRAX 30 years earlier as "the worst moment for me in the history" of the band. He went on to say that the decision to kick Dan out ANTHRAX was made by Turbin and not the other members of the group.

"The biggest dick move Neil ever pulled was when he fired Danny Lilker behind our backs after 'Fistful…' came out in January 1984," Ian wrote. "The main reason he did it, in my opinion, was because Danny is taller than him. He honestly didn't think someone should be taller than the frontman onstage. He thought it made him look bad, so he tried to stand as far away from Danny as possible, which was hard when we were playing stages the size of ping-pong tables."

In recent years, Ian has voiced his appreciation for the role "Fistful Of Metal" played in giving ANTHRAX its start, telling Metal Hammer: "Let's face it, 'Fistful Of Metal' gave us our career. It got the band some attention, made people all over the world aware of what we could do — and for that reason alone I have to be grateful to everyone involved. The record was vital in launching us, and everything we've done, and become, since stems from that debut record. I may be critical of it in some ways, but I could never do anything other than admit we owe it all to 'Fistful Of Metal'. If that had never happened… well, perhaps you would never have heard of ANTHRAX."

Photo courtesy of Dan Lilker

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