ANTHRAX Bassist To Sit Out Next Few Shows; ARMORED SAINT's JOEY VERA Steps In

ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello, who is the nephew of the band's drummer, Charlie Benante, will miss the next few shows on ANTHRAX's current North American tour in order to spend time with his grandmother (Benante's mother), who is terminally ill. Filling in for him will be his "good friend" Joey Vera (ARMORED SAINT, FATES WARNING). Bello says, "Please make [Joey] feel welcome. I'll be back [as soon as possible]."

Vera temporarily replaced Bello in ANTHRAX from April 2004 to March 2005 before Frank returned to the group as part of the reunion of ANTHRAX's classic lineup, also featuring singer Joey Belladonna and guitarist Dan Spitz. Vera also filled in for Bello during ANTHRAX's appearance at the Heavy MTL festival in June 2008 when Bello wasn't able to make the gig due a "family obligation."

Benante is taking a short leave from ANTHRAX's concert tour to be with his mother. Immediately following last Thursday's (January 26) show Kansas City, he flew to New York to join his family at his mother's bedside. Filling in for Benante since last Friday's (January 27) show in Indianapolis has been TESTAMENT's drummer Gene Hoglan.

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