Watch: ANTHRAX Plays First Concert With Drummer DEREK RODDYJanuary 21, 2023
ANTHRAX played its first concert with drummer Derek Roddy last night (Friday, January 20) at the PNE Forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Roddy, who has previously played with HATE ETERNAL, NILE, MALEVOLENT CREATION and TODAY IS THE DAY, among others, was filling in for ANTHRAX's longtime drummer Charlie Benante, who is being forced to miss a "few shows" on the band's North American tour with BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and EXODUS in order to undergo an undisclosed operation.
Fan-filmed video of the Vancouver gig can be seen below (courtesy of the C KrubsackYouTube channel).
When ANTHRAX first announced Benante's absence from the dates on Friday, the band said in a statement: "Our man who beats the beat - Charlie Benante - has stepped away from the tour for a few days to have a minor procedure done and will not be at the next few shows. Never fear, the formidable Derek Roddy is filling in while Charlie is away - and no worries, Charlie will be back soon. In the meantime, the metal is still heavy and the show must go on. We'll see you there!"
Less than two years ago, Benante spoke to the "Drum For The Song" podcast about how he was finally able to overcome his long-running battle with carpal tunnel syndrome, a repetitive stress condition that happens when a person does repeated movements with the hand and wrist. He said: "I was suffering so much from it because I would go out and start playing the show, and then, by the fifth song, my hand would just go numb; I couldn't feel the stick. I tried so many different things, from acupuncture to physical therapy. I even had a can of the spray air that when you turn it upside down, it gets really cold — I would do that to try to get the feeling back. I tried so many things, but I knew at the end of the day I was gonna have to have the surgery. And Paiste cymbals referred me to a doctor that one of their other drummers went to and was such a great doctor. [He] talked me through the whole thing, and my recovery was quick, and, to this day, it's awesome."
Benante urged fellow drummers suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome to find a surgeon with experience and expertise in the condition before undergoing the operation. "Make sure you find a good doctor, because I've seen drummers that have had [huge] scars," he said. "And [on my arm] you can't even see anything, where he went in. So you have to be careful."
Beginning around 2012, Benante was forced to miss certain shows on ANTHRAX's tours due to his battle with carpal tunnel syndrome. He was replaced at the gigs initially by Jason Bittner (OVERKILL, SHADOWS FALL) and then by Jon Dette (SLAYER, TESTAMENT).
A few years ago, Charlie told San Antonio Metal Music Examiner about his inability to make all the dates on ANTHRAX's tours: "Unfortunately, we're like athletes, and like athletes, they suffer from certain things. I suffer from carpal tunnel problems. But I try and do as much as I could when I can. So we still wanna keep the band… We don't wanna disappoint people. So that's why we do it that way."
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