JOEY VERA: 'My Time With ANTHRAX Is Done'

March 29, 2005

Bassist extraordinaire Joey Vera (ARMORED SAINT, FATES WARNING, ANTHRAX) has posted the following message on his official web site:

"Coming up in a few days, I leave for a one-off show in Amsterdam (The Netherlands that is) with FATES WARNING. We're headlining the Headway Festival there on April 3rd. We've got Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER) sitting in on drums for us this time. I'm really looking forward to it. We've played with Mike before when we did a song with him every night during our set on the 2003 DREAM THEATER /QUEENSRĊ¸CHE / FATES WARNING tour. But this will be our first 90 minute set with him. It should be killer. I'm not sure who else is on the bill except for a band from the early '90s called LAST CRACK. Remember them?

"I've been home for about 2 weeks now since my last haul with FATES and ANTHRAX. Here's a (not so) brief synopsis:

"My tour started with FATES WARNING on Feb 10. I flew to Greece for 2 days of rehearsal there which was really cool. Got to spend some time with the friends I've made there having been about 5 times since 2000. We did dates in Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece. All of the shows went very well especially Bulgaria and Greece. The Turkey show wasn't much to write home about but just being in Turkey was a trip. My first time there and it was like no other place. Pretty wild. The Greek shows were incredible as always. The crowds there are insane! I always say it, 'Love Greece.'

"The day after our last show on Feb 20, I flew to Chicago to join up with ANTHRAX for a day of rehearsal before touring South America. Of course I got sick from all of the traveling. Nice. A brutal head cold while in Chicago in February. Great.

"Before we headed out to Brazil, we played in Chicago at the Dimebag Darrell Foundation concert with DISTURBED, DROWNING POOL and SOIL. What a show. Sold out, great vibe. Every band did great that night. The crowd was amazing. Nick Bowcott (formerly of GRIM REAPER) played solo guitar of a bunch of Dime's tunes and solos, it was a really cool thing. For our last song, Vinnie Paul came out and jammed 'New Level' with us (Charlie Benante played guitar!) man that was pretty emotional. It sounded so fuckin big. What a night. All of the proceeds went to the victims of that tragic night.

"The next morning (6 a.m. yuk!) We headed off to the airport to start the South American tour. The tour started in Brazil with 3 shows and we went on to Chile, Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico (for 3 shows). The tour was amazing. Again, my first time playing in these places and it went beyond my expectations. The crowds there are so passionate. They drink the music like it's the last drop of water on earth. Not too many bands play down there so they go nuts. Highlights were Brazil, Peru (probably one of the top 5 craziest ever in 20 years for me),and Mexico City (pretty damm crazy too).

"The show in Chile was expected to be the best (and biggest) and judging by the crowd of people waiting for us at the airport at 3 a.m., it was sure to be great (4,500 pre sale). But it would not be. The show that is. Apparently the security guard company that was hired to work the show failed to get the proper permission papers to work that night, and they failed to tell anyone. The Government denied them permission the week prior to us arriving and they thought they could somehow work without their permission. Well, at about 7 p.m. the day of the show (1 hour before doors),the government shows up with armored personnel and shuts the show down. Orders our crew to tear down in 30 minutes. Meanwhile there's a line around the block of about 2,000 people waiting to get in. So, tons of fans show up at our hotel along with the local police who orders us to stay in the hotel. But we came out and singed a few autographs, took pictures for a little while. We had to do a press conference to explain what had happened at about 9 that night. It was a complete disappointment. We were devastated. So, what else to do but cozy up to the bar for a drink or two. At around 11 p.m. Rob Caggiano, John Bush and I decide we'd go out to a local rock bar to continue drinking. As it turns out there were about 300 people there who were going to the show and we said hello, did some photos and such. We noticed a band was just finishing up and tearing down their gear. We looked at each other and said 'let's jam.' The band had no idea who we were and took one look at us and said, 'YOU can't use our equipment!' and they left! So, one of the guys we were with calls his friend at home (this is midnight by now) and actually gets him to bring down his bands entire set up. So, they set up and we pulled a drummer from the crowd to play 'Caught in a Mosh'. But he didn't know any more songs, so we pulled another guy out of the crowd and played 4 more songs. Then we pulled another guy and played 4 more! The crowd was going insane (from what I remember). There were bodies flying, the crowd was helping us sing all of the songs (we were quite, er....tired),the room was spinning for about an hour. So, we (sort of) got to play in Santiago, Chile after all. Those 300 people will never forget night, and neither will I. Pisco Sour!

"In 26 days I had taken 21 flights. Somebody wake me up!

"Sorry this is a long one but in closing I'd like to say that I had a great time jamming with the ANTHRAX guys for the past year (goddam that was fast!). As you well know the band is doing a reunion tour for the rest of this year so my time with the band is done. I had some great times, great gigs and made some great friends. It was an honor to be involved with these guys and I will surely miss it. I wish them all the best. But it's off to another adventure full of good company, good food and good wine. I only hope my body can keep up!"

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