Singer JOHN BUSH: 'I Am Not Ready' To Commit To ANTHRAX Again

February 7, 2007

On January 23, 2007, Bob Nalbandian of Shockwaves magazine conducted a 36-minute interview with ARMORED SAINT/ex-ANTHRAX vocalist John Bush about Bush's current status with ANTHRAX and his future plans. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET from Shockwaves Podcast #9):

Shockwaves: A lot of people are wondering, everyone wants to know your side... What is the situation with ANTHRAX right now — with you and ANTHRAX?

John Bush: The situation is, ironically enough, I'm actually still a member of the band legally, although I haven't really made any decisions relating to the band in the last couple of years. But on a legal level, I'm still a member of the band. It was March of 2005, I guess… That was the last tour I did with the band, which was that South American thing that we did, which was awesome, and that was it. So I, mean, a bunch of stuff has gone on — and we don't wanna get into that — but the bottom line is that we're here now almost two years after that, and there's been talk about doing some writing, and I'm just not ready to do that with ANTHRAX yet. Ever? I don't know. I live my life kind of like that anyway. [adopting a David Lee Roth singing voice] "I live my life like there's no tomorrow…" Anyway, I do really like to live my life that way, and so I can't really speak for the future too much as much as I can speak for the present, and the present, right now, it's just not where I'm at mentally. I've kind of got other things going on in my life that are really my priorities and therefore to get into a situation of just writing, I think, is a commitment, and as little of a commitment as it may be perceived as, it's still a commitment. So for me to go, "Yeah, I'll do some writing," to me that kind of says, well, I'm not just doing some writing — "Hey, we'll write a couple of songs, and hey, maybe we'll do something with it." I know the bigger picture, and the bigger picture is if you're writing songs, it's commitment, and I don't wanna give them any false sense of commitment that I'm not willing to follow through on. And so that's why I've declined that. And that's about as far as I've taken it. I don't know what they're gonna do other than that — I think that's kind of in their world — but as far as me writing with the band, as of January 23, 2007, I'm not ready to do that.

Shockwaves: A lot of people are wondering what you've done since the departure. Obviously you're a family man now. You've got a young daughter and you've got a second one on the way…

John Bush: A son.

Shockwaves: Son?

John Bush: Yeah, a little boy. [laughs] You find out that stuff here after about five months or so.

Shockwaves: Congratulations.

John Bush: Yeah, it'll be awesome.

Shockwaves: You're also involved in your wife's casting company, and you've done quite a bit of commercials yourself.

John Bush: Well, that's separate — that's voiceover stuff. That's my thing — I was doing some voiceover work, and I've done some work…

Shockwaves: Can you talk about some of the stuff?

John Bush: Yeah. I have an agent as well. I do voiceover work — well, when I get it. It had been a long time since I actually got a job, and then I finally got a job a couple of months ago, and it was just a big job — it was Burger King. It's also with XboxXbox made these videos for Burger King that they sold exclusively through Burger King and they were looking for a new voice for the campaign, and I got it. So it was cool, and it's been pretty nice, and it's fun, and the commercials are funny. The director's good. It's this guy Kinka Usher, who's done a bunch of commercials, and probably done music videos as well — I can't think of who off the top of my head. But they're cool commercials, and it's fun. And I like doing it. Voiceover's fun. I'm still using my voice in some capacity other than not singing, really. And that's it. And then my wife's company — we have our own business, and this is a casting studio that we do commercials out of. When I left the band, I had to say, "OK, how am I gonna make a living?" It wasn't like I was sitting back and relying on my giant, enormous savings. [laughs] I still had to work, so that's what happened. I went into… Obviously my wife has a business so I've helped her in various ways, whether it's helping her cast commercials or doing janitorial duties, or whatever… I'm not above it, so I don't give a shit. But, yeah, that's the story. It's been great, 'cause it's our own little family business and it's neat. And it's been helpful, and it pays the bills. I did some stuff with [ARMORED] SAINT — we did some shows. Actually, I think we're gonna do the Rock Hard Festival [in Germany] — one show in May. That's pretty much almost confirmed now. Mainly because we're really good friends with the writers of that magazine — they've been supportive through the years of my career and ARMORED SAINT's career, so they want us to play, so it's a one-off in May, so that should be cool. But other than that, I don't have any plans with SAINT because…

Shockwaves: You did England, too?

John Bush: We did some dates last summer. It was real fun. We had a good time.

Shockwaves: It was your first time in England, huh?

John Bush: Nah. Second time. We played London in 1991, but we never really did any other dates in the U.K. other than that, so we feel like that was cool. We did some festivals, and we played some local shows — being the Galaxy and Anaheim, and, of course, House of Blues [in West Hollywood] with DEATH ANGEL and FLOTSAM [AND JETSAM], and that was awesome. But I'm not looking to do some big thing with ARMORED SAINT right now either. That would be a commitment that I'm not willing to make either at this point. The handful of shows was fun, and it was easy, the House of Blues was awesome — we never played there as ARMORED SAINT. It was packed and it was a great gig. Like I told the guys, "Let's cherish this memory, because this could be it." [laughs] "So you'd better really embrace this one." I mean, 'cause it was. What are we gonna do? Go try and play it again? It's just unrealistic, at least at this point.

Shockwaves: What about recording with ARMORED SAINT? Have you been writing with Joey [Vera, bass] at all or getting together with him?

John Bush: No. I mean, we've talked about it. Joey's kind of been pretty occupied with his life and his family and he did his own solo record, so I don't think the time is now for that. It's also a big bite to chew, and I don't think that's where my mind is at either. It's funny… Not to look at it like I'm some "true man to his art," because most of those people that say that shit are full of shit, but the real fact of the matter is — and I think this is something that everyone should really appreciate — I've gotta love it. I've gotta love it, I've gotta believe in it, I've gotta want it. And if I don't want it — whatever that may be — then I'm not gonna do it. And I think that should be admired, because I could probably do different things for a couple of various reasons that probably are superficial and not real genuine, and I'm just unwilling to do that at this stage of my life. Again, I don't know what the future holds — all I know is right now this is where my head's at. For me to go, "OK, let me do an ANTHRAX record because I can or because maybe those guys wanna do one, but my heart's not in it," I don't wanna sell that short, because I'm really proud of everything that I've done in that band — we've made amazing records, regardless of the sales; especially "We've Come for You All" was an awesome record. And for me to go into a position where I'm not, like, super serious about it and wanting to do it, and the desire is not there, I think I'd be selling myself, the rest of the band and the whole fanbase short. And so why would I do that? That's my theory.

Shockwaves: Where do you see [yourself going from here musically]?

John Bush: I don't know yet. Like I said, I don't think it's something that I have to really worry about too much right now. I think that time will decide as to what my future is. I know that's kind of vague — no one really wants to hear that, especially a journalist — but I'm being honest. I just don't know. I think that whatever I do next, I wanna make sure that my heart's into it, and if it's not, then I don't wanna do anything. 'Cause I feel that my catalog of music speaks for itself. So it's not like I feel like I've gotta rush to hurry up and make something because otherwise people will forget. I know that I run that risk, and that's OK — I'm OK with that. But the reality is whatever I do next, I just wanna love it, so that I can give it the love that it deserves. So until I feel that, I don't know. I do know that I'm doing a song with Peter Wichers, who was in SOILWORK, who is the guy that is orchestrating this whole Nuclear Blast 20th anniversary record that's gonna come out this year sometime. We've written a song together, I think it's really cool. I still have to record it. I'm excited about that. It came really quickly to me, as far as writing it, so I think that gives me a lot of hope for the fact that I still have the ability to write songs. And so when the next step comes to doing that, I'll be ready. But when that'll be, I don't know.

To download Shockwaves Podcast #9, featuring the entire 36-minute interview with John Bush (plus a chat with former MEGADETH and current F5/TEMPLE OF BRUTALITY bassist David Ellefson),click here (30 MB).

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