JOHN BUSH: 'I've Never Made Enough Money, Even When I Was In ANTHRAX, To Justify Not Having To Work Again'

January 3, 2022

During an appearance on the latest episode of "The Ex-Man" podcast hosted by Doc Coyle (BAD WOLVES),former ANTHRAX and current ARMORED SAINT singer John Bush discussed how he has managed to pay the bills over the years while juggling his music career with other non-music-related employment opportunities.

"Music, really, has never been enough for me to do nothing else," John said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "Those early days [with ARMORED SAINT], I wish someone would have told me — and probably the guy who was handing our money at the time and who was our attorney, he probably said, 'Look, don't quit your day job. Don't quit your day job.' But when you're 21 and you just played arenas, even though you were a support act, you think you're gonna be a rock star — you do — you think that you're gonna be a rock star on that sort of level.

"If I was giving advice to somebody right now, I'd say take your merchandise advance, go on the road and then when you come back still do your job," he continued. "So you're not just depleting the money that you got as advances. That's the conversation I would have with myself now. But I don't regret any of those things. It's not like something I look back on and go, 'Man, I really screwed up.' I just think that was the way life went. I [think that way] mostly throughout my career [about] almost all decisions I made. Many of them were probably not the proper decisions, but I don't ever wanna reflect and really just kind of have regrets. So I just look at it go, 'That's the life went.'

"The bottom line is I've never really made enough money, even when I was in ANTHRAX, to justify not having to work again or not having another job," Bush added. "So I've been working with my wife. When I married her 20 years ago, she had opened up this casting studio, and that was her thing. And when I actually left ANTHRAX, I kind of ingrained myself in her job. My daughter had just been born — she was a newborn — and I was not in the band anymore. So I was gonna just kind of be home and help raise my kid and kind of get involved in my wife's business. 'Cause I wasn't really ready at that point — we're talking right around [2004] or [2005] — to jump right into ARMORED SAINT again. So I said, 'Let me do this,' and we kind of followed this road. And it was the way life went. So I've stayed with her business — it's our mom-and-pop business. It's not this enormous cash cow, but it certainly helps pay the bills. And so I'm kind of ingrained in that when I'm home. I kind of juggle that with my music career. And that's another way of earning money."

John previously discussed his involvement with his wife's business in a 2015 interview with Jägermeister. At the time, he said: "I have a business with my wife. She's a casting director. We cast commercials. We have a business. It's a cool little mom-and-pop thing that's pretty lucrative and gives our family a good life."

He continued: "I also used to do a lot of voiceover work. I did countless Burger King commercials in America, probably about seven years ago, for about three or four years. You can probably see them on YouTube. If was during a phase where Burger King was promoting 'The King,' which they don't do [anymore]. Actually, they're bringing them back, which is smart, because it was really a cool part of their advertising campaign. So I did that. It's a very competitive world. When you're going up against people like George Clooney and Jeff Bridges, it's kind of hard to compete with actors on that level, but I like doing voicover; it's still using my voice, and it's creative."

Bush fronted ANTHRAX between 1992 and 2005 but was sidelined when the group reunited with Joey Belladonna for a 20th-anniversary tour. When that collapsed, and relationships disintegrated with next frontman Dan Nelson, Bush returned for a time before Belladonna took the job back in 2010.

Last October, ARMORED SAINT released a new CD/DVD, "Symbol Of Salvation Live", via Metal Blade Records, to celebrate the seminal album "Symbol Of Salvation"'s 30th anniversary. It is a combination live album and video of the band playing the album in its entirety at New York's famed Gramercy Theatre during their 2018 tour.

ARMORED SAINT's eighth full-length album, "Punching The Sky", came out in October 2020 via Metal Blade Records.

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