ANTHRAX's SCOTT IAN: 'For A Band Like Us, With Our Catalog, We Don't Have To Make Records Anymore'

January 3, 2021

During an appearance on a recent episode of the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast, ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante and guitarist Scott Ian took part in the "Classic Album Clash", where they joined host Chris Jericho and Eddie Trunk to discuss their classic second and third albums, 1985's "Spreading The Disease" and 1987's "Among The Living", respectively.

Said Charlie: "[1984's] 'Fistful [Of Metal]' is our first album, but, to me, 'Spreading' really is our first album with the lineup that is the classic lineup. And those two records, 'Among' and 'Spreading'… Look, 'Among' gave us a career. If it wasn't for 'Spreading', there would be no 'Among'. The two of them I hold in very high regard in our career. I love both of those records. There was moments, there was things that were going on, there was this camaraderie. We were young, man. We were just early 20s, really getting to know each other, and then, boom, there you go. Bye. You guys are together forever now. Go on tour, and get along. And, all of a sudden, you see this guy has this issue, this guy has that issue, but you all just kind of make it all work, because you love what you're doing. There were some trying times out there, but if it wasn't for those trying times, who knows if we would have made a 'Worship Music' [2011] or 'For All Kings' [2016]."

Added Scott: "Being the guys in the band, we see it in a certain way. And for sure, that time period of '85 through '87 is why we're on the phone [talking about this] right now. We were able to leave a deep enough mark on the planet in people's psyches. People fell in love with what we were doing and continued to all these years later. Right now somewhere on this planet, there is a kid — literally a kid — probably listening to 'Among The Living' for the first time, because his older brother turned him on to it or whatever reason; or he found it online streaming, because it said, 'If you like this, you should try this.' And it's an undeniable record — both of them are. You really can't go wrong, I feel like, with either one; they just absolutely hold up. Yeah, we have those records to thank for a career.

"It'd be really easy, I think — maybe 'easy' is not the right word — but for a band like us, with our catalog, we don't have to make records anymore," Ian continued. "We did come to a point in our career where we could have just gone out every two years and played the songs that everybody wants to hear — the same 14 to 18 songs that everyone wants to hear, and we could have just done that. But it's really not who we are. So when [people] talk so highly about 'Worship Music' and 'For All Kings', it feels really good, because we did work so hard on those records and put so much of ourselves and our lives into those records, and to know that people connect with those records the same way they connected with the records from 30 years ago, obviously, feels really good; it makes me feel really good, as an artist. And the fact that we don't have to just rest on our laurels, as they say. It's always about moving forward."

Two months ago, Ian told "Whiplash", the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie, that ANTHRAX likely won't release any music until the coronavirus pandemic has subsided and he and his bandmates are able to tour in support of the effort. "In my brain, I don't wanna put a record out until I can play shows," he explained. "That's what I wanna do, but, of course, I don't control the world and I don't control what's gonna happen with COVID. I think I can safely say we will certainly be ready to make a record [in 2021]. So I think we will probably go do that once we're ready to go do it. There would be no reason to have a record [written] and then just sit around and not record it. So, I think once we actually feel like we're ready to go into the studio, we'll do that, regardless of where things are at on the planet, and then just take it from there. At least it'll be in the can, and then we'll be able to make a decision on what the best course is for us to take at that point."

At the 2019 Download festival in the United Kingdom, Benante said fans can expect to hear some surprises on ANTHRAX's next disc. "There's some extreme stuff on this record that we touched on," he said. "There's different things that we're gonna try and do that's gonna make it next level."

Also in 2019, Benante told Australia's "Everblack" podcast that ANTHRAX's new music is shaping up to be "a little more in the aggressive style."

"For All Kings" was called by some critics ANTHRAX's strongest album to date. Its arrival followed a five-year period during which the band experienced a rebirth of sorts, beginning with ANTHRAX's inclusion on the "Big Four" tour, and continuing with the release of comeback LP "Worship Music".

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