ANTHRAX's FRANK BELLO: 'All I've Ever Wanted To Do Is Just Be A Musician To Make People Feel Good'
September 13, 2021
ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello, who is currently promoting his upcoming memoir, "Fathers, Brothers, And Sons: Surviving Anguish, Abandonment, And Anthrax", spoke to Waste Some Time With Jason Green about his desire to keep his political opinions to himself and focus on uniting people in a time of crisis.
"All I've ever wanted to do is just be a musician to make people feel good," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "And I wanna be the distraction from the rest of that world — politics, COVID. I wanna be the distraction that gets you away from that; that's what means everything to me. I want you to put on a record, or maybe pick up a bass… If I can inspire that — if this book inspires you to do something proactive and creatively, dude, come on, that's what it's about. 'Cause I think people — get everything out of the way: your politics, I don't give a shit, whatever it is.
"We have one life," he continued. "That's the way I look at it. I have some people, some good friends of mine, who passed from COVID. It's time to just get the politics out of the way and get back together again. It's really important. And think for yourself. You have one life. Use it, man."
"Fathers, Brothers, And Sons: Surviving Anguish, Abandonment, And Anthrax" is due on October 12 via Rare Bird. The foreword was written by KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons.
Bello, a member of ANTHRAX since 1984, has sold over ten million albums, traveled the globe more times than he cares to count, and enthralled audiences from the world's biggest stages. His long-awaited memoir would be a gripping read even if its pages only contained stories about his life as a recording and touring musician. While those stories are indeed included — and will blow your mind — Bello also focuses on deeper subjects in "Fathers, Brothers, And Sons". Once you've heard his life story, you'll understand why.
Born into a family of five, Frank grew up in difficult circumstances. His father abandoned his wife and children, and Frank's mother moved heaven and earth to keep them fed and educated. Left with no male role model, Frank found inspiration in heavy metal bass players, following their example and forging a career with ANTHRAX from his early teens — first as a roadie, and then as the group's bass player.
International stardom came Frank's way by the mid-to-late 1980s, when he was still in his early twenties, but tragedy struck in 1996 when his brother Anthony was murdered in New York. Although the case went to trial, the suspected killer was released without charge after a witness, intimidated by violent elements, withdrew his testimony.
Two decades later, Frank is a father himself to a young son. Like many men who grew up without the guidance of a dad, he asks himself important questions about the meaning of fatherhood and how to do the job well. This is the wisdom which "Fathers, Brothers, And Sons" offers readers.
Despite the emotive nature of these topics, "Fathers, Brothers, And Sons" is a funny, entertaining read. A man with a keen sense of humor and the perspective to know how surreal his story has been, Frank doesn't preach or seek sympathy in his book. Instead, he simply passes on the wisdom gained from a lifetime of turbulence, paying tribute to his loved ones in a way that will resonate with us all.
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