Bassist JOEY VERA Issues ANTHRAX European Tour Report

Bassist Joey Vera (FATES WARNING, ARMORED SAINT, ANTHRAX) has posted the following message on his web site:

"Hey all, I'm in the end stages of tour decompression and feeling like I should write an update. I've been home now for a week but it feels like only a few days. Weird 'cause when I was out on this last short leg of the tour (2 weeks) It felt like we were out for a month! Jet lag freaks my world.

"We arrived at the airport in Prague and as the baggage carousel came to a halt, John Bush, Charlie Benante and I were there left without our suitcases. Not a great way to start a tour.

"The second leg of the ANTHRAX tour was killer though. Eastern Euro block countries mania. Started in Prague, a killer festival with mostly Chech Republic bands, really cool — we headlined the main stage, huge crowd, great. Back to the hotel, John and I got our bags delivered from the airport. No bag for Charlie.

"Off to Austria for 3 club shows. First time for the band playing the following cities although I'd been to all. Salzburg was in a club built right into the side of a small mountain. Packed, and a great show. Salzburg is a beautiful city. John Bush, Rob Caggiano and I went up to the castle in the middle of town, checked out the local catacombs and Mozart's violins. It was raining and the belfry was ringing. Very BLACK SABBATH. Still no sign of Charlie's bag.

"Dornbirn was also packed and great but we thought Hobbits might come out and jump us as the gig was way out up in the mountains complete with a bubbling river next to the venue. We disturbed the wildlife for and hour and a half then moved on to Worgel which was also packed with 90% humidity and that always makes for a good metal concert. Charlie's bag: MIA

"On our way to Poland we stopped for a day off in Berlin where the hotel posted warnings of an insect infestation. What? But we later felt relieved that there was a bigger population of spiders EVERYWHERE, and they were eating the insects from the adjacent river. It was pretty eerie actually, the spider webs covered the entire exterior of the hotel. I broke up the day by doing some sightseeing and going up in an tethered hot air balloon 500 feet up in the city center with ANTHRAX band photographer extraordinaire Andy 'Mel' Buchanan. Oh, and we went to see 'Super Size Me' and were totally disgusted. Great movie.

"Next off to Warsaw, Poland — my first time there. The people there were incredibly nice especially the promoter who drove us to an in-store before the show. Not many bands go out there so the fans love it. The stage was fairly small but the club was about 1,000 and packed. Totally insane. Again really hot and sweaty. My strap smells really bad by now. After Warsaw off to Magdeburg, Germany for a last minute booking to fill a date. It wasn’t so packed and we are all tired by now but went out and rocked anyway. It turned out to be pretty good anyway. Funny. Peculiar, not Ha, Ha. But they found Charlie's bag and he's having them ship it home at this point. Fuckin airlines.

"Next day was the Wacken Festival outside Hamburg, Germany. Because of our schedule we went on early for us band guy types, but we went out with afternoon anger and killed everyone, all 35 thousand of 'em. It went great. Afterwards had enough time for a quick bite then it was off to the airport to catch a plane to Hungary for the last show. Said goodbye to our friends Andy, Mark Johnson and Danny Gombert. Thanks!

"Budapest is probably the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen. It's divided by the Danube River which starts in the Black Sea and cuts all the way through southern Germany. In fact the city of Budapest is actually two cities divided by the Danube. One is called Buda, the other Pest. Get it? Buda-Pest. Kinda like the twin cities Minneapolis-St. Paul except it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as does Budapest. Okay, enough geography. We closed the festival which is literally located on an island on the Danube and it is the biggest festival in all of Europe, over 500 thousand people go to this thing each year. Or so I'm told. But it's cool for me to say I've played a gig on the Danube River. Alright, enough with the Danube! It was pretty crazy though, it took us almost 20 minutes of driving just to get to the stage once inside the festival site. We drove through what seemed thousands of tent camps and flea markets and food stands and amusement park rides and port-a-potties and slow walking zombies and more flea markets. Oh, and corn on the cobb stands. It was nuts. We headlined the main stage there in front of 40 thousand people (I guess the other 460,000 people had something better to do) and it was a great way to end our run. It was a killer show and a great run, needles to say I had a blast, again.

"Arrived at LAX and guess what? That's right, the baggage carousel stops and no sign of bass guitars for your author. Apparently the baggage system back at London Heathrow has their employees fumbling towards inadequacy while leaving us customers with a bit of the old in - out. 4 days later I got my basses still wet with sweat from the festival. Fuckin airlines.

"Back home now and back to work here. I'm finishing up some recording with John Bush for ANTHRAX's upcoming record of a bunch of old songs from the pre-John Bush era but with John singing them. We’ve been recording here at my studio and we have about another week of work before we’re done. Scott Ian came in last week to do his background vocal parts so now we’re just finishing up this week with John. I think they are hoping to get this out sometime this fall. Check the bands website for details and some cool photos from the tour.

"Still waiting for some things to pan out for the fall but for now I'm enjoying my time home and am in no hurry to rush back to the airport. Fuckin airlines. Besides my tomatoes are feeling awfully neglected. Oh, the small things in life..."


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