A minor controversy has erupted over the upcoming VH1 Behind The Music special on ANTHRAX, the interviews and background information for which are currently being collected and prepared for a tentative February/March air date. It appears that former ANTHRAX bassist and founding member Danny Lilker is being “blown off” (to use his own words) by the current members of the group, and in particular guitarist Scott Ian (who, along with ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante, is in a long-running side project called S.O.D. [STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH] with Danny), to the extent that ANTHRAX are allegedly intent on rewriting the band's history and taking credit for coming up with the group's name when it was in fact Lilker who reportedly came up with the name “anthrax” in high school and shared it with the rest of his then-bandmates. Based on postings by Lilker, his wife Heather Lilker and S.O.D. frontman Billy Milano on the Relapse Records and Metal Maniacs message boards, ANTHRAX have intentionally left Danny's name off the list of potential interviewees for the upcoming special (despite Ian's claims to the contrary), and are one again “find[ing] it useful to leave the Lilker side of their history out of sight,” according to Milano.
Without further ado, here are some of the public comments that have been made on the subject by Lilker, his wife Heather and Milano that are presently fuelling this controversy:
DAN LILKER [on the Relapse Records message board, where he posts under the name “balth”]:
”Yes, it's f.cked that I'm getting blown off. Yes, I am still obligated to do another S.O.D. release, which I will do, 'cos let's face it, [the rest of the band would] be f.cked without me and it would be nice to put away some $ for rent for the next year. I think that at the end of the day, Scott [Ian]'s one of those people who does whatever is necessary to get ahead, and those people get theirs in the end. So f.ck it.”
BILLY MILANO [on the Metal Maniacs message board, where he posts under the name “Buzzard”]:
“I'm in a band with [ANTHRAX drummer] Charlie [Benante] and Scott [Ian]—both of whom have told me to my face Lilker thought of the name [ANTHRAX]. And they got rid of Lilker because hey was too tall. Again, they said that to my face. No one could tell Scott and Charlie to do anything without them agreeing on it. They are just too cowardly to take the heat. I should know—I've been on the road driving for ANTHRAX and sing[ing] for S.O.D. for 17 years now. They are the most unoriginal, boring people you will ever meet. They stole everything they could to forward their career. Believe me, THEY ARE SCUMBAGS. And I tell them to their faces, which is why they are afraid of being around me. [email protected]
“My point about this [topic] is simple: [ANTHRAX] are scumbags and once more find it useful to leave the Lilker side of their history out of sight. Anyone who knows me , knows that I am a royal ball-buster when it comes to Lilker. I always bust his balls—especially about his smoking. But the guy deserves the credit—respect and acknowledgement. ANTHRAX are f.cking assholes.”
HEATHER LILKER [Danny Lilker's wife, on the Relapse Records message board, where she posts under the name “HellQueen”]:
“Dan has still not heard from Scott. When I posted about this originally weeks ago. Dan e-mailed him again last night. I figure this — like Scott is going around the press taking claim for coming up with the name ANTHRAX (when Dan really came up with the name in high school). He also wants to take total claim on forming the band. But that is just my opinion.
“I talked last night with a friend who is a promoter in Buffalo. She said that when they did the GOO GOO DOLLS BTM the list of people they gave VH1 — VH1 contacted every person on that list — VH1 wants to get the WHOLE story. Scott says that he gave his list to VH1 and Danny's name was on it. So now I think that is total bullsh.t by Scott. Again he wants to take total [credit for coming up with the name and] forming ANTHRAX. Scott also has said that they have done 6 hours of interviews - including great ANTHRAX personalities like [former ANTHRAX guitarist] Paul Crook and Charlie's Mom. But they couldn't interview a founding member? Bullsh.t again. Also Scott claims that this is [VH1's] show and he has no control over who gets interviewed. Well, duh, doesn't he work for the f.cking network [hosting the Rock Show]! I think he has control, but he is not letting on and trying to play Dan for a fool.
“This is an absolute insult to Dan. If Dan doesn't hear from Scott — Scott said last weeks ago that VH1 were doing more interviews around January 7th. And since Dan hasn't heard from Scott or VH1 (That is why Dan sent him a reminder e mail last night.), then I will try and get a hold of the producer myself and find out whether Scott really did give in Danny's name. Then I will go to the trouble of continuing my troll on ANTHRAX's [message board] and let the public know Danny has been shut out by Scott. And yes... Dan is just as upset as I am.
“Scott is just being greedy. If anybody knows Dan they know Dan will not hurt even a fly. Dan has not one mean bone in his body. He has done absolutely nothing to Scott except not selling out and following the path of his buddies in $$$$$lica [METALLICA] and all the bands Dan has ever done after ANTHRAX have had much success... NUCLEAR ASSAULT, EXIT 13, BRUTAL TRUTH, etc. If it wasn't for Dan still [being] in S.O.D. —S.O.D. would not have any metal credibility anymore considering how much ANTHRAX have sucked in the past 13 years. Yes, S.O.D. are due to fulfill another record obligation with Nuclear Blast [Records]. Who knows when that will take place considering all the 'ANTHRAX Business' going on.”
To read Danny Lilker and his wife's statements in their entirety, complete with comments from other people on the Relapse Records message board on the same topic, click here.