NEIL TURBIN Talks About Split With ANTHRAX, Musical Influences

September 13, 2009 recently conducted an interview with former ANTHRAX singer Neil Turbin. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. "Back With A Vengeance" is the title of the upcoming record [from Turbin's band DEATHRIDERS]. How long did it take to write and record the whole thing?

Neil Turbin: "Back with a vengeance" is our tag-line! Nowadays, with all the major steps in technology, there are many possibilities and we have the ability to work in remote capacities over the same album. So, in our case, the work was divided in between the studio in Phoenix and Sweden where we collaborated with a gentleman called Jonas [Hornqvist of the band TREASURE LAND]. All in all, the recording process is different in comparison with the past. The songs are being put together and with the aid of Pro Tools we handle things more easily. With DEATHRIDERS, we don't have a label to support us but on the other hand we are not pushed to come up with new material. So, we take it slowly and go with our own pace. The name of the band is an obvious reference to your past and the album that you recorded with ANTHRAX ("Fistful of Metal"). Is it really a blessing or a curse to have your name linked with such an established act?

Neil Turbin: The fact of the matter is that I'm linked with the fucking name whether I like it or not. I have every right to use the name… after all, I wrote the song. You know, once you get involved in something successful, then people automatically link you to that period of your life… it's like the case of an actor who finds himself tied up in a role and people almost refuse to see him playing any other role…they put you in a category! DEATHRIDERS is an original metal band and if people, or even ANTHRAX, don't like the name or the attitude of the group… well, fuck 'em! You were a member of ANTHRAX for almost two years. What was the reason behind your departure?

Neil Turbin: I was a member of ANTHRAX from August 1982 up until August 1984. I was a member of ANTHRAX for exactly two years. The reason I left… well, there were a number of things, actually. The whole relationship started to deteriorate after a while, there was definitely backstabbing from certain people who chose to hang around with other people instead of focusing in the band. I was into metal…focused on music while Scott Ian [guitar] and Charlie Benante [drums] formed an alliance and Dan Spitz [guitar] just followed. In a matter of months, it was simply a case of them versus me. It was very difficult to deal with them, because it was obvious that we wouldn't get along and they were also more interested in other things than music… at least back then. We didn't establish a trusted friendship within the band… that's for sure! I guess that you haven't kept in touch with them, right?

Neil Turbin: There is no reason to see your ex-girlfriend! Neil, you have a very distinguished voice and you are considered a really capable singer. Which were your influences?

Neil Turbin: I really appreciate great singers regardless the style or the genre…I admire Paul Rodgers for his great ability and his unique vocal range. Also, Glenn Hughes for soulful style… We are friends and he has been a great influence. The other day, I had the luck to meet Stevie Wonder in the airport and get to shake his hand… He is one of my heroes I've been blessed to have met some really important musicians, but I don't want to isolate singers… I love metal music… all kind of bands from LOUDNESS, SORTILEGE, BLITZKRIEG, RAVEN, ACCEPT to NOCTURNAL RITES — this guy has a spectacular voice — HELLHOUND from Japan, SYMPHONY X, KREATOR, DESTRUCTION… you name it!

Read the entire interview from

Fan-filmed video footage of DEATHRIDERS' performance at this year's Headbangers Open Air festival — which was held July 23-25, 2009 in in Brande-Hörnerkirchen, Germany — can be viewed below (courtesy of "stoneagelightning").

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