CHARLIE BENANTE: How I Became ANTHRAX's Main Music Writer
May 18, 2021
ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante spoke to "Drum For The Song", the podcast hosted by Dane Campbell, son of ex-MOTÖRHEAD guitarist Phil Campbell, about how he became the band's primary music writer. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "How it happened was I couldn't really convey what I was hearing in my head through drumming to someone else, so I had to teach myself how to play another instrument, which turned out to be guitar, because it came very natural to me; it was easy. And that's how I would do it. I would just put tons of riffs on tapes and then, just later on, listen back and compile 'em and just make a song out of them, and then bring it to the band. And that's how it happened. And basically, it was after our first album [1984's 'Fistful Of Metal'] when we lost our singer [Neil Turbin], and we went in to start writing, which would be the 'Spreading The Disease' record, our second album, and Scott [Ian, guitar] basically took over a lot of the lyrics; that was his department. So I stepped up and took over the main musical side of things. And that's how it was, and that's how it is."
ANTHRAX is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2021 with a number of special activities and events. Formed by Ian and bassist Dan Lilker in Queens, New York on July 18, 1981, ANTHRAX was one of the first thrash metal bands to emerge from the East Coast and quickly became regarded as a leader in the genre alongside METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH.
Active over the past five decades, ANTHRAX has released 11 studio albums, been awarded multiple gold and platinum certifications, received six Grammy nominations, toured the world since 1984 playing thousands of shows, including headlining Madison Square Garden and playing Yankee Stadium with the "Big Four".
ANTHRAX's latest effort, 2016's "For All Kings", was called by some critics its strongest album to date. Its arrival followed a five-year period during which the group experienced a rebirth of sorts, beginning with ANTHRAX's inclusion on the "Big Four" tour, and continuing with the 2011 release of comeback LP "Worship Music".