On October 13, Book Soup hosted a virtual conversation between ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello and SiriusXM radio personality Jose Mangin about Frank's recently released memoir, "Fathers, Brothers, And Sons: Surviving Anguish, Abandonment, And Anthrax". You can now watch the entire chat below.
Asked how he feels about fans coming up to him in public, Frank said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Right now, it's all about — for me, 'cause I have a family, and I'm very respectful to other people — it's about, for me, [making sure everybody is wearing] masks, number one. I'll do the elbow [bump] — all that stuff. 'Cause I have an immune thing going on. You probably don't know this, but I have an immunization thing I have to be careful — an immune disease I have to be careful with where I can get sicker faster. So I've gotta be careful. Even though I have both of the [COVID-19] shots — I've just gotta be careful. So I'll do the elbow. I'll always wear a mask.
"[ANTHRAX] just [made an appearance at New York] Comic Con [in October in support of the band's graphic novel, 'Among The Living']. So the great thing about that, you say hello to people. 'Hey, man, how're you doing?' Everybody's got their masks on; very respectful. It's just for now, though. This won't be forever. I can't wait to do this again and hug people and stuff like that. Let's all be respectful and we'll get through this and then we can march on. That's the way I look at it."
This past June, Bello told MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn's "No Fuckin' Regrets With Robb Flynn" podcast that he was "not ready" to take part in any in-person fan meet-and-greets on tour.
"I was just at this meeting the other day at some restaurant, and the dude comes out," he explained. "I know it's me; I know I'm anal retentive at this point. I'm fucking freaking out on it. [He walks] right up [to me] with [his] hand [out]. It's like a defense mechanism. I put out my elbow fucking immediately. It's like a karate thing all of sudden.
"Dude, I'm in Japan at this fucking point," he said, referencing the Japanese custom of bowing rather than hugging, kissing or shaking hands. "I'm bowing and shit. Fuck the rest of this garbage. No fucking way. Most of these fucking people have sweaty goddamn hands. No offense to people. It's just too many germs touching your fucking hand. We all learned now — we just fucking learned this shit.
"No disrespect to anybody," Bello added. "I don't wanna offend anybody, 'cause you've gotta be careful — you can't offend anybody now. I'll [give you an elbow] bump anytime, but the shaking-hand thing — you can float me your boogers; you've got fucking diseases. There's no way. It's done, dude. I want out. I'm out.
"I'm all for meeting people," he explained. "I love meeting people and talking to people — I'm a people person. I'm not like that. I don't wanna stay away from people; I wanna be around. But the whole idea of just that germ thing… Like, when I have a cold from now on, I'm gonna wear a fucking mask. They do it in Japan, and it's a great way to go. I don't wanna spread my germs to anybody, so please, please do that."
"Fathers, Brothers, And Sons: Surviving Anguish, Abandonment, And Anthrax" was released on November 2 via Rare Bird. The foreword was written by KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons.
ANTHRAX is working on material for the follow-up to 2016's "For All Kings" album, tentatively due in 2022.