CHARLIE BENANTE Says ANTHRAX Has Been Working On New Album For Three Years: 'I Feel Like DEF LEPPARD'
January 14, 2023
In a new interview with Ruben Mosqueda of We Go To 11, ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's follow-up to 2016's "For All Kings" album. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We've been working on a record for fucking three years now. It's embarrassing to even say that. I feel like DEF LEPPARD."
According to Benante, who is also sitting behind the kit for the reformed PANTERA, ANTHRAX is planning to enter the studio sometime this spring to begin recording the new LP.
"Between the PANTERA [tour dates in 2023], we're gonna be working on this record, this ANTHRAX record," he said. "We're hoping to have it finished before PANTERA go to Europe [in late May]. I have a little window after that, before [PANTERA's stadium tour with] METALLICA starts. At least if I get my drum tracks done, then the other guys can continue to work on it.
"That's the plan," he added. "Unless something else happens, but hopefully nothing will happen."
Last November, ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello told SiriusXM that the band is "not in a rush" to record the new album. "We wanna make sure it's the right record," he explained. "We can't just throw out something that's not ready. So we're gonna really make sure it's the right record and live with it for a little bit. We have some brutal stuff and some cool stuff coming up — very heavy — we've been working on. Everybody can say that when they're working on a record. But the proof is in the pudding. I'm pretty proud of what we've come up with so far."
In August, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian praised the production quality on some of the band's recent albums, including 2011's "Worship Music" and "For All Kings". He said: [On] 'Worship [Music]' and 'For All Kings', for me, we've really kind of found our sound. We've got this base level where we're at right now with [producer] Jay Ruston where we know it's gonna be great, and then we could push it even further. Especially with the songwriting that we have right now, going into what will eventually be a new ANTHRAX album, it just lends itself to even a more aggressive production which I think we will have no problem accomplishing."
In April 2022, Scott confirmed to Metal Injection that ANTHRAX had a few songs already written for the upcoming LP. "All I can say is we will get in the studio when we're ready," he said. "I think we're getting there. I think we have great songs. I think people will be very happy.
"Not to make a weird comparison, but it's our third record back together with [singer] Joey [Belladonna]. Actually, it's an odd comparison. I should just say it's our third album since our kind of our reboot in 2010 and our third album back in the day was 'Among The Living'. I'm not saying that this is [like that album], because it's not 'Among The Living II' in any sense, but I just think we have some great songs and there's like a fucking mountain of great riffs. I think people are going to be very happy."
Ian previously discussed ANTHRAX's upcoming LP during a July 2021 appearance on Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. At the time, he said: "We've been at it for a little while now. We actually started writing in '19 — pre-COVID — and kind of stepped away from things when COVID happened. We were all separate and apart and we would kind of revisit some of the demos, but we weren't actively working on it.
"Yeah, it's the same as it's always been," he said. "I would have to think by the time we get to the other side of the writing process and we decide we're ready to go record it, I would have to assume it's certainly going to represent this time in our lives. And the world having gone through a pandemic, I would imagine certainly that's in some way, shape or form going to come out through this next record. I can't tell you how yet, but I would have to think it's going to."
ANTHRAX celebrated 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".
"For All Kings" was called by some critics ANTHRAX's 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 release of comeback LP "Worship Music".
Later this month, ANTHRAX and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY will head back on the road for a 24-date tour, making stops in all new markets, with both bands playing headline sets. Joining ANTHRAX and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY as special guest on this run will be EXODUS. The trek will launch on January 17 at the Revolution Concert House in Boise, Idaho and wrapping in Oakland, California at the Fox Theatre on February 18.
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