Jesse Capps of RockConfidential.com recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX singer Joey Belladonna. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
RockConfidential.com: Joey, it's great to catch up with you man. I'm gonna be really honest here. As an ANTHRAX fan, I had completely given up on the band. It wasn't until you joined the band this most recent time that I gave a shit anymore. There just seemed to be so much drama with those guys. Seeing you on stage with ANTHRAX again really kicked me in the ass. I'm excited about ANTHRAX as a band again.
Belladonna: Thank you. That's one of those things that I thought was fine myself and was working quite well. They had another way to present the band and it just wasn't ideal enough for them. It's hard when somebody else doesn't want you there. What can you do? You can't change their mind. I was doing everything I could as a singer to make us do well.
RockConfidential.com: The band is tighter than ever and the ANTHRAX groove is heavier than ever. How do you feel about the band now as opposed to any other time in your career?
Belladonna: We've all matured enough to realize this is the way to do this. Let's keep it together and work things accordingly. This is a "must" situation. This band is great and there's good reason we should be together. We have a really strong chemistry that a lot of bands can't find. It's hard to find the lineup that makes a band who they are.
RockConfidential.com: I know the guys in the band had worked on a lot of material with Dan Nelson before you came back on board. How much of the material was finished when you started working with band again? How was the material presented to you?
Belladonna: There was some pre-production stuff but I think a lot of it the band did to present to him [Dan]. I know what I had lyrics-wise in front of me and I'm sure Scott [Ian, guitar] wrote 99 percent of it. Charlie [Benante, drums] or Frankie [Bello, bass] may have put some stuff in there. There was all new drums, all new bass, all new leads. There's a ton of new rhythm guitars. I put a lot of everything in vocally. I don't follow anything. There are guidelines, like start on the fourth time in and where the chorus will stop. If they had an idea of what they wanted me to do they would point it out but I pretty much sang I would sing a song a day and present it to them at night. If they liked it and most of the time they did we moved on and started another song. When you asked about how much material was done when it was presented to me, what were you concerned about? I just like to know. The lyrics were done but the melodies and all that was all my own stuff. Are you trying to find out if I copied something?
RockConfidential.com: No, not at all. I'm just curious how they presented the material to you.
Belladonna: They didn't. They gave me basic tracks of the music. I got two tracks, not even all the instruments. I sang to basic, rough versions of the songs. We'd print out the lyrics, I'd go in the booth and sing away. I'd find out basic things: where do I start, where do I stop, do I sing there, stuff like that. I didn't dwell on anything. I don't need that. I just need to know if I'm right. You know, the songs had a basic foundation. I didn't try to mess with that. I wasn't there to pick the songs apart. There were some things that changed, not to get so specific. I did my best to make the songs fit me and make it rock like I always did. Obviously, any vocals they may have had before they just dumped 'em.
Read the entire interview from RockConfidential.com.