In a new interview with Talk Radio Europe's Giles Brow, ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello was asked what keeps him motivated to tour and record with the band more than 40 years after the group's inception. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Honestly, every night I step on a stage, this is why I do what I do. And the reaction from the first note we play, and people… Think about it — this is 40 years plus [since ANTHRAX's formation]… A thrash metal band is still around 42 years [later]… I'll tell you, we're stronger than ever. Our numbers are going up instead of down. We see the crowds turning over. We're getting younger fans coming to these shows, along with our old fans who've been around with us for a long time. They're bringing their children and their kids, and believe me, I see it in the crowd every night — our audience is getting bigger. You would never think that. But that's what sustains you and that's what keeps you going. And so for me, that's the fulfilling part. It's, like, wow, we're doing this and there's a whole new generation that's finding out about ANTHRAX and loving it. And that's the reward right there. It's the drug — this thing's a drug. You can't stop doing it… It's about connection from when we step onto the stage, when I look in people's eyes, and they're singing whatever song — 'Caught In A Mosh' — and they're singing lyrics better than me. There's nothing more fulfilling than that. I love that, and that's what gets you going for the next day, because every audience is different."
Bello added: "It's 2023 and ANTHRAX is a relevant, thriving band. And I can't be more proud of that and excited for the future. So it's a really good thing."
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.