Some Anthrax History for people who want to know more about the band. Anthrax was formed in July of 1981 by some high school friends who were into Heavy Metal, Hardcore, Punk and Comic Books. Scott Ian and Danny Lilker played guitar. Dave Weiss was the drummer. John Connelly sang. Somebody named Kenny played bass. Scott Ian was a fan of bands such as Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and a huge fan of Kiss. Danny Lilker had previously played in his school's jazz band and was somewhat of a speed freak, musically speaking. Kenny was replaced with Paul Kahn. Some other members changes occurred and Neil Turbin became the new lead singer. Gregg D'Angelo took Dave Weiss' seat behind the drum kit. Paul Kahn left. Greg Walls joined as the new guitarist, as Danny Lilker switched over to bass to fill Paul's spot. By February of 1983, many songs had been written and demoed including the aforementioned "Across the River" and "Howling Furies," "Panic," "Deathrider," "Hate," "Pestilence," "Satan's Wheels" (about drugs, not Satan), "Anthrax," and "Evil Dreams." At this time, Anthrax was now sharing living quarters in the Music Building in Yonkers with San Francisco's Metallica, who had recently relocated to New York in hopes of getting a record deal. Metallica basically had noting but the clothes on their back and their instruments upon moving to New York, so Anthrax helped them by scrounging a microwave and a refrigerator for them. In mid 1983, Anthrax went to record another demo. This time with producer Ross the Boss, of Manowar, who had to taken interest to the young, rising band. Greg D'Angelo was soon replaced with Charlie Benante. Charlie had played drums in a few local bands before, including a cover band called Shire when he was about sixteen. Charlie also actually played guitar, which would prove useful later on down the road. In September of 1983, Anthrax released the Soldiers of Metal 7" single. The A-Side contained "Soldiers of Metal," with Charlie Benante on drums. The B-Side contains "Howling Furies," taken from the demo with Ross the Boss. Only 3,000 of these were made, so they are quite rare now. Former Overkill lead guitarist Danny Spitz would be the next member to join. Touring with Metallica and Raven through 1983 built up the band's reputation. They recorded their debut album, Fistful of Metal in late 1983. By the time it came out in January 1983, a rift between Danny Lilker and Neil Turbin led to Danny's dismissal. "We took Danny Lilker out of the band soon after the album came out, cos he thought it was an easy ride from then on." He was replaced by Charlie's nephew Frank Bello, who had previously been a roadie for the band. Fistful of Metal was very heavy, very fast and full of screaming vocals. It could definitely be placed under the category of speed metal, a new rising form of metal. They carried on with their touring, but a big problem arose again. Danny explains, "Neil was great on the first album, but he just couldn't cut it live with the Raven dates we did. There was also a lot of personal differences, so we let him go." Plans to tour in Europe and record their second album there never materialized. He was replaced with Matt Fallon, but he only lasted for a short time because of personal differences. Scott explains, "In retrospect we never should have taken him, but we lost Neil in August 84, went straight into rehearsals and had all the new material written by September - without a singer! Matt was simply the first person we saw in a bar band who was reasonable. It only lasted a month-and-a-half because his personality didn't really fit in with ours. We were two-and-a-half weeks into recording but we canned him and sent him home anyway!" Then Canedy suggested Joey Belladonna(A.K.A. Joseph Bellardini) of the Canadian band Bible Black. It all worked out for the best, and they were very enthusiastic about their new singer. "He's got a better voice than Neil, as well as a greater range," says Danny. "Joey sounds just like he does on the record live. He's the Steve Perry [Journey] of aggressive metal." Instead of recording a full album, Anthrax wisely chose to record an EP for Europe, titled Armed And Dangerous. It included the title track, a new track "Raise Hell," an excellent cover of the Sex Pistol's "God Save the Queen," and two tracks from Joey's audition tape, "Metal Thrashing Mad" and "Panic." This EP helped them secure a contract with Island Records. Next up was finishing their second LP, appropriately entitled Spreading the Disease, which took five months to record. With some free time on his hands, Scott Ian put together a violent side band called S.O.D. (Stormtroopers of Death) with Charlie, Dan Lilker, and local skinhead named Billy Milano. S.O.D.'s Speak English or Die was also released through Megaforce Records. If one word had to be used to describe the album, it would be heavy. S.O.D. did seven opening gigs through the rest of the year in the New York and New Jersey area before calling it quits. Despite their short career, S.O.D. were a very influential to heavy metal, thrash metal, death metal and hardcore music. Spreading the Disease was released in October of 1985 in the US, but it was not until March of 1986 that it was released in the U.K., Europe, and Japan. Anthrax signed with DMA booking who set them up with a support slot with the Scorpions in the States. They also headlined in the US and Europe. A single was released for "Madhouse" in May of 1986. There was the regular version of the single, but there were also four different versions besides that. They all had the same songs ("Madhouse," "A.I.R.," and "God Save the Queen."), but they were recorded live. There was a chance to win a trip to see the band live in Europe if all four live versions were bought. The band had a problem with this though, because the recordings had never been approved by them. Production was stopped after a few thousand. A video was also made for the song, which helped in the U.K. and Europe. It was not helpful in the U.S., because all of the major stations banned it, claiming it was detrimental to mental patients. It showed Anthrax and some of their friends jumping around like crazy people just having a good time. They also did a very US arena brief tour with Black Sabbath and WASP before Sabbath's diminishing popularity caused the rest of the dates to be canceled. Anthrax came to the U.K. to play before 1,200 moshers at the Hammersmith Palais. This was an especially exciting show for Anthrax, as Scott explained to Kerrang. "What sticks out in my mind particularly was the cup fight at the end of the show! The audience had been throwing plastic cups onstage throughout the set and our roadies just collected them on the side and when it came to the encores we just hurled them all back into the crowd - only for them to throw them back at us in the best possible spirit. Oh boy, what a great night!" They also supported Metallica in Europe, which made a very intense bill. The grueling touring ended on October 26 with the Aardshok Festival, also featuring Slayer and Metallica, three of the bands considered to be the leaders of this new wave of metal called thrash. Spreading the Disease was a very successful album and sold about 100,000 copies in the U.S. In November of 86, Anthrax went south to record their third LP, Among the Living. Eddie Kramer was the new producer, who worked well with Anthrax. Scott had learnt a lot about album production from the S.O.D. record, so a producer to just help them along was all that was needed. A single for the song "I am the Law" was released in February of 87 for the U.K., Europe and Japan. The song was about the comic book character Judge Dredd, which was a favorite of Anthrax. (Batman being their second favorite.) Brian Bolland, who draws Dredd, designed the cover for the single. The B-side contained two odd tracks, including a rap/metal song called "I'm the Man," which came from a quote by Rodney Dangerfield in the movie Fast Money. Among the Living was released a month later, and was a big success. The album had a wide variety of lyrical topics. N.F.L. (Efilnikufesin) was about drug use ruining a person's life, while the title track was inspired by the Stephen King novel The Stand. Another King inspired song was "Skeleton in the Closet," from the novella "Apt Pupil," from the book Different Seasons. This album is considered a classic thrash metal album by many people. In June of 87, a single was released for the song "Indians." A live performance video was also made. Much moshing went on in the video. Joey, who is a native American, wore an Indian headdress for part of the video, which became a mandatory part of concerts. The "I am the Law" single was selling quite well in Europe, but surprisingly partially due to the rap/metal song "I'm the Man." It reached the top ten in the U.K. Because of increasing demand, "I'm the Man" was released in the U.S. as a mini album with a few other tracks including a cover of the Black Sabbath classic "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath." A video was made for the song. The mini album went gold and was Anthrax's first gold-certified release in the U.S. Both "I am the Law" and "I'm the Man" became live favorites, with Scott, Frankie, and Charlie singing, Joey on drums, and Danny staying on guitar for "I'm the Man." They supported Kiss on arena tours. They headlined sold out tours in the U.S. (with Metal Church as openers), Japan, and Europe. They played at sold out European festivals including Castle Donnington's Monsters of Rock. The night before that, they played a secret show under the name Satan's Lounge Band at the Dynamo Club. The idea was inspired by the lounge singer Bill Murray portrayed on the T.V. comedy Saturday Night Live. The name for the band came from the joke song "Bud E. Luvbomb and Satan's Lounge Band" which was a b-side to the "I am The Law" single, along with "I'm the Man." "The idea behind the name was to have this lounge singer backed by an extremely heavy thrash band. Joey was Bud E. Luvbomb; the rest of us were his lounge band," explains Scott. Scott took a few days off to co-produce M.O.D.'s debut (the band of former S.O.D. vocalist Billy Milano) U.S.A. for M.O.D. Scott described it as "very heavy." He even played acoustic guitar on it! Anthrax recorded their first live video, N.F.V. (Oedivnikufesin) at the Hammersmith Odeon and released in late 1988. The beginning of 1988 was spent writing and rehearsing for their fourth album, State of Euphoria. The first single was "Antisocial," originally by the French band Trust, a favorite of Charlie. A video was made for the song, which reached number five on MTV. The video also included a cameo appearance by the Madman Ozzy Osbourne. The day after the video was made, Anthrax left to tour with him. State of Euphoria went gold within three months of its release. They did their Road to Euphoria Tour with Living Colour. They headlined the Headbanger's Ball tour with Exodus and Helloween. A single was released for "Make Me Laugh," which is about televangelism. Other song topics include "Now It's Dark" inspired by the David Lynch film Blue Velvet and "Misery Loves Company" in response to Stephen King's novel Misery. A video was made for the song "Who Cares Wins." This song came about because of the homeless situation in New York. It didn't receive support from MTV basically because it was too serious for them. Yes, a song encouraging teenagers to help the homeless was too serious for MTV. (More like eMpTyV) An EP entitled Penikufesin was released in 1989. It featured "Now It's Dark" and 5 songs that were originally b-sides on State of Euphoria singles. After the touring was over, they decided to take three months off before beginning work on their fifth album, Persistence of Time. The rest was well needed. "Last July, I virtually locked myself in my room and didn't come out until October," Charlie revealed in a 1990 Island press release. Part of me felt like that guy in the Saigon hotel room in Apocalypse Now while the other part was coming up with some of my strongest stuff ever." On December 5 and 16, 1989 at L' Amours, two more shows were done under the name Satan's Lounge Band. It helped bring back the old local gig tradition which they couldn't do last year because of touring commitments. "It's a way to get back to our roots...to give back a little something to the community and to all the people who have supported us over the years," says Frankie. While writing the album, a fire caused $100,000 worth of damage in their studio. The guys formed a train to save what equipment they could. This is the band who lent some equipment to Metallica when $50,000 worth of theirs was stolen. They also had the misfortune of an earthquake while recording. No, not even Mother Nature can stop Anthrax from spreading their disease again. Persistence of Time was released in August of 90, and Anthrax joined Iron Maiden on the No Prayer for the Road tour. The first single released was for their cover of Joe Jackson's "Got the Time." A video was also made for the song. It received about four weeks of support from MTV before they quit playing it because t was too heavy for them, despite countless requests from angry Anthrax fans. Again, MTV lives up to their reputation of being eMpTyV. The next single and video was for the song "In My World," a song about "sticking up for your rights," Joey would say in many live performances. A video entitled Persistence of Video was released. It consisted of all of their music videos, two live videos, and interview footage. In place of the original "I'm the Man" video, parts of several live performances recorded by Scott's guitar tech John Rooney, who had co-written the song, were used. Needless to say, the footage was pretty terrible. But as Danny says introducing the video, "tough shit." Anthrax joined Slayer and Megadeth on the Clash of the Titans tour. The first Clash of the Titans took place in Europe with headliners Slayer and Megadeth and openers Testament and Suicidal Tendencies. Alice in Chains were opening this tour. "There's never been anything like this in the U.S.," said Scott. "Sure there's been Monsters of Rock," but there's definitely no Dokkens or Kingdom Comes on this bill." It was an enormous tour for all bands and costed $75,000 to $85,000 a week to keep going. The three bands switched turns headlining every few nights. The show was symbolic in showing that a band need not bow down to MTV and radio's every wish to be successful. Anthrax and Slayer remained friends when it was all over. The same cannot be said about Slayer and Megadeth though. To this day, they still don't get along. An EP consisting of foreign b-sides, some new songs and other hard to find songs was released in 1991, appropriately entitled Attack of the Killer B's. Many people consider it a full length album though, because most EP's don't last over 44 minutes. But as it says inside, it is the "longest EP ever." Another rap/metal crossover was made with Anthrax and members of Public Enemy. The song was "Bring the Noise," originally "Don't Believe the Hype" by Public Enemy. The song was made metal with the heavy riffs and drum rolls Anthrax added, but was still rap. Charlie explains "the music that I've always loved has been the old Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and if you listen to those bands, they're very drum driven. The heart and soul of those bands has always been the beats and one thing the rappers used to say to us is that Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith have always got the great beats. That old metal was the heaviest stuff at the time. When we started playing, it was like the Rappers had captured that feeling so we wanted to work with the best of them who for us was Chuck D and Public Enemy." A single was released for the song, and a video was made. This EP really shows the schism developing between Joey and the rest of the band, as he didn't do much of the singing on the album. Most of the "singing" on the heavier songs is done by Scott. As explained before, this EP was meant to compile some of the Anthrax songs that were harder to find. But many people also say this EP was done to help fulfill Anthrax's contract with Island Records, who were not doing a very decent job managing and promoting Anthrax. Attack of the Killer Videos was released, which featured two versions of "Bring the Noise" and "Belly of the Beast"(live). After its release, Anthrax did a genre shattering co-headlining tour with Public Enemy. Primus and Young Black Teens (YBT) were the opening bands. It was appropriately called the Live Noize tour. At the end of each show, Public Enemy joined Anthrax on stage for the songs "Too Much Posse"(originally by Public Enemy) and "Bring the Noise." One of these great shows, recorded at Irvine Meadows, California, was released as Anthrax's fourth home video, Live Noize. After that, they continued touring, because that is what they like to do. They signed a new record deal with Elektra records, who had experienced multi-platinum success with Metallica in the past years. By the time the contract was signed in March, Joey was fired from the band. It was the night of the Grammies. (Attack of the Killer B's had been nominated for a Grammy.) The band did not speak to Joey the whole night. When he got home, he found a message on his answering machine from Johnny Z saying he had been fired. Musical differences were the sole reason for his dismissal. "A lot of people seem to think (the split with Joey) had to do with personal differences, and it wasn't that at all," explains Scott. "It was strictly creative. The guy had no input into the band at allby his own doing! I used to think I would like it that way, because it gave me more control. I didn't. What it really came down to is me asking myself if someone's not putting much of themselves into a band, what's the performance going to be like?" Scott and Charlie reformed S.O.D. for one show at the Ritz in New York with Agnostic Front and Morbid Angel opening. The show was released and entitled Live At Budokan. It came out as a CD and video. Anthrax struggled for a few months trying out new singers. They finally settled upon John Bush, formerly of Los Angeles's Armored Saint. Bush had been invited by Johnny Z to try out for the band. He was exactly what Anthrax was looking for, not just as a singer, but as a member of a hard working band. "Once the phone call came, I asked a lot of questions. I wanted to know where everyone's heads were at. I said I want to create, I want to contribute,' cause I like doing that, I like writing." Leaving Armored Saint was a difficult decision for John, who had spent ten years with them. "Musically speaking, I was really happy with Armored Saintwe all were. John explains. "We made great music. Unfortunately, not enough people were exposed to it to have somewhat of a financial security with it. Look, I'm not a martyr, and anyone who says, I just do it for the music,' is already really successful. Being broke sucks. You need some stability in life, however, and it just seemed like the chances of becoming successful were getting slimmer and slimmer. As spiritual and hokey as this may sound, it felt like it wasn't meant to be. Believe me, walking away from Armored Saint wasn't easy."