Anthrax returns for a sold out show at the House of Blues in Chicago on a Friday the 13th, with the original line up members; Daniel Spitz (Lead guitar), Scott Ian (rhythm guitar), Charlie Benante (drums), Joey Belladonna (vocals) and Frank Bello (bass). The show was absolutely amazing, and the band only did all their original line up album songs from albums such as “Among The Living”, “Armed and Dangerous” and “Sound of White Noise”, which was the last album created with the original line up before John Bush came in to the picture, and Joey Belladonna left. Although Daniel wouldn’t give Unrated the scoop on John Bush and what happened to him, in an interview with Daniel Spitz we did get some good insight as to why Daniel Spitz left the band, and how the band feels now about playing together again.
So after returning from literally abolishing music from your life after making a career out of playing as lead guitar for Anthrax, are you having a good time on tour, especially after being gone for ten years from music, literally?
Yes, I am. This one most of all! And to add to that, it has taken awhile for me to adjust after being totally removed from music.
So in checking out your bio, you say you like spreading the word about Jesus, is this part of the reason for leaving the band at all?
Well, it was actually many things piled on top of things. I had lost the love of playing, and going from the noise of Anthrax, I wanted to get my degrees in watch making because that’s what I had been doing since I was 8. At the time it was actually nice, the quiet and solitude. Just hearing the tick tock, and a pin drop was pretty cool. I gave all my guitars to the Hard Rock CafÈ! I removed myself from music, and until Charlie e-mailed me asking if I’d come back for a reunion, I wasn’t even thinking about playing music again, because I was pretty happy with what I was doing with creating watches.
Did you make the watch you are wearing?
The inside of it. I’m testing something to put in to some watches. I actually want to start my own watch company up, my own brand, and make watches that are geared towards metal heads, metal people. A good solid mechanical watch, something they can customize to.
So now that you are touring with Anthrax again and it’s the original line up, do you guys have any plans to create a new album?
Yes actually, we are all very anxious to do that. We have gotten to the point where we are getting along really well, and we are back to joking around, and ready to give everyone some of what’s inside us.
Does that mean that Joey will be staying with the band and John Bush won’t return?
No, it just means that the line up that Charlie and I started in 1981 is the line up that will be creating the new music. We’re ready to finish what we started back in 1981 with the line up that started that music.
So if there were any type of message you would want to say to your fans, what would it be?
I missed you! We’re glad to be back and believe me, we are even more glad to be back, and feel that love from our fans, than they can ever think that they love us!
In talking to any of your fans, they certainly agree that they are glad you guys are playing, and anyone asked has the same opinion that you guys always have produced great strong albums without completely changing the root of what got your fans appreciating your style of music!
10 years for me being gone! We haven’t had our line up for 13 years, and now we are playing the HOB for a sold out show! It feels very comfortable, another crazy ride for us, round 2!
Any particular reason why the song “Time” and the album “Among The Living” are you’re favorites?
It was a good period of this entire band. The mindset was that we were all on the same plane. We all had the same desires, clawing and biting, kind of like we are right now again!
I have always wondered myself how you guys came up with the name Anthrax.
Actually that was from our original bass player, Danny Lilker who did some demos. He was sitting stoned in some classroom, and they were teaching about Anthrax, and he said it sounded good. He wasn’t even hearing what the teacher was saying about it, all he heard was “wah, wah, wuh, wuh, wuh Anthrax”…. and that’s basically how the name started.
So are all of you from Jamaica, NY?
No I’m actually from upstate in Rockland County, so I used to drive really far for practice, and pick those guys up.
Well it sure worked out, and got you far, being so committed!
(Laughs) Actually it was pretty stupid, I was young, and it worked out!
What is the direction you feel metal music has gone since getting back in to music after leaving it entirely?
I didn’t listen to too much at first. I listened to the radio at first to re-acclimate myself with music, and I was surprised to hear thrash metal on commercials in the background. Scott and I actually used to laugh, and say “That will be the day when they take Frank Sinatra off commercials, and put an Anthrax song on!” Now everyone seems to have heard of thrash metal, even my grandmother has gotten acclimated to it, there’s thrash metal on TV, it still flips me out to this day!
I’d have to agree metal has certainly come up in the ranks as far as “air time”! Anything else you would like to add?
Yeah, Chicago rocks!
Interview & Photos by Shayna Moskowitz