FoundryMusic.com recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
FoundryMusic.com: I don't know if it's a touchy subject or not, but I've heard, and I don't know if it's a fact or not, that John Bush was asked to participate in the reunion but declined…
Scott Ian: "Yeah, that's not a touchy subject. The first call we made, Charlie [Benante, drums] and I, was to John, the first person we spoke to, because, look, John's the singer of ANTHRAX, and here's what we're planning on doing and our plan was to have John and Joey come out and do it and have both singers kind of split that up, and then probably do some stuff together as well at the end. So that was the initial idea. That was the plan we had in our heads. It was John who decided to step out of it and say, basically, 'You guys need to go do this. It's something that I don't want to be a part of. I wasn't there in the '80s.' And really what would be the point of him being in something he didn't feel he wanted to do? And you have to be honest about these things, that's the bottom line. If any of us didn't want to do it, this wouldn't happen. It just couldn't. Like if I felt weird about being in this reunion or anything, I wouldn't do it. Simple as that. I totally respect John for his decision, although I wish he was out there with us because I do miss the guy."
FoundryMusic.com: What are the main differences you notice when working with John Bush and working with Joey Belladonna?
Scott Ian: "Well, they're completely different singers, as far as the style and tonality of their voices. They're just different. They're different singers, they're different people, they're both great guys, they're both fun to hang out with. I would say the biggest difference is, obviously, they sound different as singers, they're two different voices. When we replaced Joey, we weren't looking to just replace a voice and clone him and have the same thing. Obviously, we went in a different direction with John, so that's obviously the main difference. But they're both amazing metal singers, and they both work within the context of ANTHRAX very well."
FoundryMusic.com: In your experience, are all singers the same when it comes to attitude? Most singers get a bad rep as being pushy and stubborn, but would you say this is normally the case?
Scott Ian: "Everybody knows about LSD, Lead Singers Disease, and we have been lucky enough in this band, between Joey and John, from 1984 all the way through for 21 years, we've been lucky enough to work with two guys who really have the least amount of ego of any lead singers I've ever met in my life. I mean, yes, LSD, Lead Singers Disease, that cliché, is based in the truth just like all clichés. Most lead singers are arrogant pricks, but you have to be, you really have to be that guy on stage. I've actually even said to these guys sometimes, 'You need to be more of a dick! [laughs] You know, be more aggressive, be more intense. John and Joey, both, they're really such amazing dudes, they're both wonderful individuals. And it's like, 'You need to be more like me or Frankie [Bello, bass] sometimes and just be more of a prick. [laughs] So we've been really lucky in that aspect. We haven't had that a typical lead singer who has to be the boss and has his way and wants to do everything. We kinda did have that a little bit with Neil Turbin way back in the beginning, but that was in the infancy stages of the band and it didn't last very long, we put a stop to that immediately. [laughs]"
FoundryMusic.com: Aside from the emotional aspect of it all, has Dime's passing changed anything else for you? Particularly security? Do you eye people up differently?
Scott Ian: "No, I can't say that I do. That was such an anomaly, I mean, it's just such an insane circumstance and situation, I could never imagine that happening, and it did, so then it makes you think, 'Well anything can happen.' And of course, everybody knows that, but at the same time, I don't think that would ever happen again. I don't want to believe that it could ever happen again, and I'm not gonna live my life thinking that it is gonna happen again."
FoundryMusic.com: After everything that happened with Dime, it really brought a lot of people in the metal scene closer together, it really showed a lot of us banding together. But at the same time, the fact that the murder was carried out by a deranged fan made the metal community look bad, and we've always looked bad to people outside the loop. Do you think the public got the impression that we are just as violent as they always thought, or that maybe we're not all so bad since we all kinda banded together?
Scott Ian: "I don't think you could take one maniac's actions. Look, yeah, of course, heavy metal fans, heavy metal music, has always been looked down upon by the general public because of the imagery, because of the way people look or dress, the music, the lyrics, the aggressiveness, the attitude. It's not for everyone's taste, obviously. It's not white bread and milk. It's a lot more aggressive than that, but I don't think one maniac's actions are going to cause the general public to judge now and say, 'All heavy metal is like that, all the fans are like that.' I don't think you can make that statement. I don't believe it anyway."
Read the entire interview at FoundryMusic.com.