Cameron Edney - http://insideout666.mysite.freeserve.com
Anthrax are currently ‘Spreading the Disease’ across
the globe. Playing too sold out audiences worldwide. The line-up which
has not shared the stage together in thirteen years is back together
and stronger than ever. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Metal
Thrashing Mad front-man Joey Belladonna recently as Anthrax annihilated
Australian audiences. Joey spoke about those first rehearsals back
with the band, the DVD which will be filmed next month, the possibility
of a box set due out at the end of the year, those comments about
singing on “The Sound of White Noise”, juggling family
life on the road and much more.
It’s time once again to get ‘Caught in a Mosh’ metalheads!
I hope you all enjoy it!
Metal Fanatix: First of all welcome back to Australia Joey
and thanks so much for setting some time aside to do the interview
this evening. How has the tour been going so far?
Joey Belladonna: It’s going as good as I could
expect. I think we’re all actually happy about being here and
everything that we’re trying to achieve is coming to the best
of our abilities.
Metal Fanatix: You guys just played a handful of
shows in Europe. Did the fans welcome you back with open arms?
Joey Belladonna: Oh yeah! We only spent three days
there. We played Dublin, Holland & Glasgow. The shows & the
fans were great.
Metal Fanatix: For all the fans back home that haven’t
seen the reunion shows yet, what can they expect to see on this tour?
Joey Belladonna: They will get to see the spark &
the vibe that we had in the old days. Tight playing, getting the five
of us guys stuck in the mode of what we use to do & it’s
right there. There will be a lot of great classics too.
Metal Fanatix: Now, I spoke with you guys in New
York a couple of months back when you announced the reunion tour,
at that point no rehearsals had taken place. Can you tell us about
those first rehearsals? Did everything fall straight into place or
did you have to work out a lot of bugs?
Joey Belladonna: Yeah it came right off the bat.
The fact is that we went right back to our ways. The second day we
didn’t do anything, we just went over a few things so we didn’t
really rehearse. We were only there for two hours. The third day is
when we actually rehearsed again.
Fanatix: At the New York press conference you guys also mentioned
that you would be filming some of the reunion shows for a DVD which
is scheduled to be released later in the year. What can you tell us
Joey Belladonna: The DVD is actually going to take
place on the 3rd of June in New Jersey. It’s the only date we
have booked for the east coast.
Metal Fanatix: That’s great, have you guys
filmed any other footage for the DVD?
Joey Belladonna: Yeah we shot some at Dynamo &
we did some in Detroit. We had shot some footage for the DVD a couple
of weeks before we did the first rehearsal. Our first meetings together,
on the plane, going to MTV, there’s a whole bunch of stuff.
Metal Fanatix: I believe there is a box set that
will be coming out at the end of the year?
Joey Belladonna: When it’s going to come out,
I’m not to sure. There’s going to be some re-mastering
done & some bonus tracks, but I’m not too sure what they’re
going to be just yet.
Metal Fanatix: I want to remind you of a quote you
said back in 1987-88 which reads “Some people do it for the
money; we do it because we love doing it”. How much of the reunion
tour was motivated by money?
Joey Belladonna: None really, we love to do it, we
make money when we play anyhow so there’s nothing that’s
gonna change that. We don’t play for free. We’re like
anybody else and we earn a living playing music. It’s not like
‘since were back were gonna charge this & that’. We
were very interested in doing this together because nobody had to
be pushed into it. No one had to be persuaded. We all wanted to do
it, we’re all able to do it & we’re all real happy
to be doing it together again.
Metal Fanatix: Now Joey, once the press conference
had taken place Anthrax fans voiced there opinions on various message
boards & it seemed to me that there was a lot of fans that weren’t
too happy about the reunion taking place. More than likely a lot of
the fans who were upset may have been younger fans who didn’t
really know too much about your time in the band! A few weeks later
they were offended again when they read your comments in an interview
which was to the effect that you could have done ‘The Sound
of White Noise’!
Joey Belladonna: I said that?
Fanatix: Yeah, I can’t remember who the interview was
with but you had mentioned something about being able to do ‘The
Sound of White Noise’ album in your sleep or something to that
Joey Belladonna: I don’t remember saying that
‘if I was still in the band I could have done most of the records’.
I mean why wouldn’t I have been able to do them? I was capable
of basically singing on any of them. I really don’t remember
saying that. I would never go that far or give a conviction that I
could do things better. If I was going to say anything I would say,
“If I was still in the band, I think we could have kept going”.
I could have done the “Sound of White Noise”; I could
have carried on doing the records. Whether I would have done them
like him [John Bush] or he would have done them like me who knows!
Put it this way he actually recorded all of the old songs.
Metal Fanatix: I’m glad you mentioned that.
The last time we spoke you hadn’t heard ‘The Greater of
Two Evils’. Have you had the chance to listen to it yet &
what did you think?
Joey Belladonna: Yeah, it’s alright! I don’t
hear anything extraordinary like “Oh my god finally they’ve
done it right, its amazing I never thought it would be like this”.
Whether he [John Bush] does it in a lower voice or with more growl,
I don’t really hear anything that’s over the top. Someone
can do something like that, why not do it? It’s really flattering
but at the same time I never would say “Oh my god I could have
done it better” or anything like that. I don’t go that
Metal Fanatix: What Anthrax song would define Joey
Belladonna to a complete stranger?
Joey Belladonna: Indians! It’s got all the
elements of what we do in it, there’s a hook, there’s
this there’s that there’s speed in it.
Metal Fanatix: I only recently found out that you
were in a band called Medusa before joining Anthrax?
Joey Belladonna: Yeah Scott Thomas from Manowar was
in the band as well.
Metal Fanatix: After Medusa you went on to play in
another band called Megaforce which was Anthrax’s record label
back in the day, it’s a strange twist of fate isn’t it?
Joey Belladonna: Yeah, that was the band I was in
when Anthrax called me too.
Fanatix: Now Joey, you’re married. How do you juggle
family life when you’re on the road so much?
Joey Belladonna: I don’t, I just do it. I go
out on the road & she does her thing as I do mine. There’s
not really much choice. It’s a way of life really. I was doing
this before I met her & it would be really hard for me not to
do it because she wouldn’t want me to. But she really wants
me to do it. She knows I love singing & playing, that’s
why I’m here. I really love being out on the road.
Metal Fanatix: Are you currently listening to any
of the newer bands?
Joey Belladonna: I listen to the newer stuff. Anything
from Sevendust, Foo Fighters and Slipknot’s pretty cool. Anything
classic I’ll listen to all day long.
Metal Fanatix: Like Iron Maiden & Kiss?
Joey Belladonna: Yeah Maiden, Kiss, Priest.
Metal Fanatix: Toto & Journey [laughs]?
Joey Belladonna: Yeah I do, I swear to god.
Metal Fanatix: I know I seen you looking at the shirts
Joey Belladonna: I'm a total jukebox, I love just
Metal Fanatix: In a few words what comes to mind
when I mention the following anthrax tracks/albums!
Madhouse: I just think of that video we did, it
always puts me in a spot. That was the first video we did, I remember
walking in there & not really knowing what to do. It’s like
ok, we’re gonna roll camera now. [Laughs]
Among the Living: A great
bunch of songs for a second record to have, and having Eddie Kramer
there who has produced plenty of great albums Hendrix, Zeppelin etc
was kind of a treat.
Medusa: I like it a lot because its one
of those songs that’s got a great groove to it & a good
bunch of placements for vocals.
I'm the Man: Oh god, I’m the man is
just one of those things where you’ve got a variety of funny
moments & being able to play drums live, that’s always been
a cool thing to me.
Fanatix: What advice do you have for up and coming bands?
Joey Belladonna: Well, to me I think anything that
you do you’ve got to do with intentions that you feel good naturally
about it. You have to go in with a good solid bunch of guys that really
wanna work together & love to practice & play, and take every
step with patience to let it develop without going “ok if it
doesn’t happen today then I quit”. You really want to
love doing it. For me, I have always played in a band, so I don’t
care if I’m not riding in a plane or if I’m driving in
a van, it’s all good. I don’t have any special recommendations
as far as what I need to do what I love.
Metal Fanatix: Well Joey I know your really busy,
so I won't take up anymore of your time, I want to thank you again,
it’s really been a pleasure to finally meet you. Do you have
any last thoughts for our readers?
Joey Belladonna: It was great to meet you to, it’s
great to be back, and it’s also a real pleasure to see everybody
again & I’m really happy that everybody’s welcoming
us back and feeling good about being at the shows. Basically have
fun at the shows.
For all the latest Anthrax news Check out the following websites.
- Official Anthrax Site
- Official Joey Belladonna Site
- My Rock/Metal Interviews + more
- Dedicated to 40 years of pure hard rock & metal music.
Anthrax is currently on tour. You can catch them at the following:
Fri 06/03/05 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom (Filming for the
new Thrax DVD)
Thu 06/09/05 - Solvesborg, SWE - Sweden Rock Festival
Sat 06/11/05 - Donington, UK - Donington Park (Download Festival)
Sun 06/12/05 - Milan, ITA - Gods of Metal Festival
Fri 06/24/05 - Le Mans, FRA - Fury Festival
Sat 06/25/05 - Dessel, BEL - Graspop Festival
Sun 06/26/05 - Tolmin, SLO - Metalcamp Festival
Sat 07/02/05 - Leipzig, GER - Full Force Festival
Sat 07/09/05 - Athens, GRE - Rock Wave Festival
Used with permission by Cameron Edney © May 2005