ANTHRAX's FRANK BELLO Recalls Waking Up In Someone Else's Blood
February 20, 2023
During a recent appearance on "Side Jams With Bryan Reesman", ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello talked about acting, comic book writing, road stories, and his funny home repair fails. When asked about crazy hotel stories, Bello recounted one time when he woke up in someone else's blood.
"This happened, God's honest truth," he said. "I've been doing it for 40 years, so you go from disgusting [hotel] rooms, like the cheap, cheap ones, to the higher-end ones. So in the early days, you're lucky you can get a bed, right? There's no money, all that stuff. So you get into the bed of that night after your club gig and you're hoping that it's clean. There are times in this life where you're so exhausted you just go right into bed. You just want to conk out. These nights are the nights you have to be careful. I get up in the morning, and you know the scene in 'The Godfather', the famous horse scene? There's no horse, but there was blood. And it was underneath, so if I just pulled the sheets and went underneath when I was tired, I didn't see anything. But that freaked me the hell out because — and I'll be honest with you, man — it wasn't old. Somebody must have checked out, whatever they did they did. Maybe they set the bed up so the maid thinks, 'I don't have to change it today, they didn't touch the bed.' But let me tell you, that bed was not made up. When you get up like that, that's not the way to start a morning. I was just screaming at the top of my lungs. 'What the fuuuuck!' At first, I thought it was me. Am I bleeding out? Where am I bleeding from? Then I go to the front of the desk... There's no front desk. There's a partition with a person behind the desk that doesn't want to be bothered with anybody. So I say, 'Look, there's blood in my bed! I'm letting you know, we're not paying for this room. I slept in blood last night!' It was disgusting. I don't know what happened. If it was a sexual thing, whatever the hell it was. It was on me, and that's disgusting. Period. The blood thing freaked me out because it was on my leg. 'Who is this? Am I sick now?' All this stuff goes through your head. 'Oh my God, am I gonna get some kind of disease from this blood?' Who needs that?"
Bello also looked back on acting gigs he's had, including the films "One Long Day" and "Best Man In The Dark", an episode of "Law & Order", and that famous "Married With Children" episode featuring ANTHRAX. He also revealed the biggest lesson he learned from acting. "Who I am," he said. "I'm pretty confident in my skin right now because of acting, and then later on songwriting. But acting got me to know who I am, where I can jump into other things and know that I have a foundation. It's weird to say that acting did that. I did a lot of studying because I loved finding out about me, about what makes me tick and all that stuff. It was more like therapy. Then I could jump into all these other things, and even in music, so I could jump into what I want to jump into musically. I don't know if it works for everybody, but it worked for me."
When asked about other things that made him happy outside of music, Bello replied that he just wants to pay it forward. "I think that's where I'm at in my life," he said. "It's a weird thing to say now because I always thought I was trying to work my career. But for me, it's really about passing it on to the future, because I want to see future musicians, I want to see future bass players that want to make a name for themselves, and create what I call beauty into the atmosphere. I think it's important now, so I'm very much into that and just helping people that want to learn bass or whatever they want to do [like] songwriting. I think that's really important. And I want to write great songs because I don't think we could ever have enough great songs in the world. So I look forward to collaborating with people. And that's where I'm at right now."
Last November, Bello released his debut solo EP, "Then I'm Gone". Issued as a deluxe gatefold split 12-inch via Rare Bird, the EP contains three songs alongside excerpts from his 2021 autobiography, read by the author and accompanied by additional new music. Bello performs all instruments (except drums) on "Then I'm Gone", "It Won't Be Long" and "See Me Now", as well as the score accompanying the narrated pieces, each selected and read from the book released with Rare Bird in 2021, "Fathers, Brothers, And Sons: Surviving Anguish, Abandonment, And Anthrax".
A cornerstone of the legendary "Big Four" of metal alongside METALLICA, MEGADETH and SLAYER, ANTHRAX has sold over ten million albums, traveled the globe countless times, and collaborated with a diverse list of creative icons, including PUBLIC ENEMY, Keanu Reeves and the late "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott. "Fathers, Brothers, And Sons" details the tragedy and triumph of the music industry and Bello's intense personal life.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Bello started playing when he was 12, learning bass parts on guitar; idolizing bass heroes such as Geddy Lee, Steve Harris and Geezer Butler; and frequently jamming with his uncle, ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante. Bello joined ANTHRAX in time for 1985's "Spreading The Disease" album, and fans loved his high-energy stage presence and deftly inventive bass style. Since that time, ANTHRAX quickly reached the upper echelons of metal stardom with a series of classic punk/speed metal albums fueled by Bello's ferociously riffing bass work. On stage and off, Bello is a veritable bass ambassador who doesn't pull any musical punches.
ANTHRAX is working on material for its next studio album, tentatively due in late 2023. The follow-up to 2016's "For All Kings" will be ANTHRAX's third full-length release since the 2010 return of singer Joey Belladonna, who came back into the fold for the "Big Four" shows with METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH, in the process helping inspire a new wave of creativity.
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