ANTHRAX's JOEY BELLADONNA On His Singing Approach: 'I Have A Different Style Than Most People'
January 27, 2022
ANTHRAX's Joey Belladonna says that having an original singing style is very important to him, explaining that "trying to be somebody else" was never his goal.
Belladonna discussed his vocal technique while filming a video message on Cameo, which lets users hire celebrities to record brief, personalized video messages about virtually any topic.
In a video he recorded for Boston-based musician Corpseweed last May, but which has just now been uploaded to YouTube, Joey said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Doing a record's a hell of an accomplishment — just to get four or five people together to actually have the best foot forward and the same vision musically and just relying on people to show up and put the work in and just take the time to be a great band and even stick together, for god's sakes. That's a hard thing.
"I really haven't been in a lot of bands, but enough change of bands where I'm just completely amazed how people just come and go — they're just not into it as much, and people have other means of life that they wanna do instead of playing in a band," he continued. "And music isn't a big deal to 'em. They wanna be around all the fun — all the amenities you get with being in a band and all that kind of stuff. For me, I never really was interested in all that. I love music — I love the way it sounds, I like the way it feels, I like the way it puts me in a good mood, and I love to see people happy. At any given time when I've done what I've done, to see 'em all happy and see that it brought 'em joy, that's really the main thing for me. Yeah, there's been plenty of other good things to go with it, but that's the main goal."
Belladonna also reflected on how his powerful, operatic singing style gave ANTHRAX's music unprecedented depth when he first joined the band in 1985.
"For me in ANTHRAX, I just walked into something that really wasn't quite my style, but within days I heard myself sound good over that music," he said. "So I was capable of doing that music where I didn't do it before. But it also gave me a chance to broaden my abilities, to do different things and show that I have a different style than most people. Originality is really a big thing; that's something you really wanna make sure that that sticks with you. Trying to be somebody else really was never my goal. I did listen and favor a lot of musicians, just because I just love the way they do it, but I don't sound like any of 'em. I can do a lot of 'em, but I don't sound like [them]; that's just not me. When I sing my own stuff, I have my own style and it makes it recognizable.
"We [in ANTHRAX] work hard at what we do and we keep ourselves really, really focused on getting stuff that's quality and sharp and original and new and better," he added. "So that's the goal for us. A lot of times we just do whatever feels right. Our music is a little bit more involved than some stuff, so it's not the easy cookie-cutter type of stuff… But we stick to our style and keep it fresh, so that's a good thing. And I like branching off a lot, just because I like singing different styles."
Cameo reportedly features more than 20,000 celebrities — from musicians and actors to drag queens and from YouTubers to Olympic gold medallists — who, for fees from $1 to $2,500, will offer video messages that mention another person by name. Happy birthday messages are common, as are baby announcements, but some celebrities have also recorded messages for Cameo users looking to quit their jobs or ask a potential date to a prom. The price for a video is determined by the celebrity.
Belladonnacharges $54 for each of his Cameo videos for personal use and $280 for a video for business use.
Belladonna, whose most recent return to ANTHRAX was officially announced in May 2010, was originally the lead singer of ANTHRAX from 1985 to 1992, and was considered part of the band's classic lineup (alongside Dan Spitz, Scott Ian, Frank Bello and Charlie Benante),which reunited and toured during 2005 and 2006. His voice was featured on over 10 albums, which reportedly sold eight million copies worldwide.