ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante has told Ireland's Overdrive that he no longer shares his political views online because he doesn't want to come under criticism from his fans. "I've stopped posting things about my own beliefs and political standpoint on things because of the bashing I think I'll take for it, and I don't think that's fair," he said. "I'm an American, I pay my taxes and all of this stuff affects me just as much as it affects the next person."
According to Benante, he gets slammed for voicing his opinion "just because other people happen to work in an office or work construction and no way shape or form do what I do or understand that playing music is also a job. I get the same shit that other musicians or actors get for expressing their opinions and I think it's really unfair," he said. "It's like they think we should just shut up and play our music or whatever, like it's not a real job. The feeling from this people is, like, 'We don't want to hear your views, just play music.'"
He continued: "The whole thing that they misunderstand is that I'm not trying to bash anyone in the political field; I just have my own opinion on things, and if they keep an open mind, it may open some new ideas or thoughts of which they haven't thought of before, just like when I listen, watch or read some other person's opinion, it makes me think and assess my own feelings.
"Don't get me wrong — I'll say shit about Democrats just as much as I'll say things about Republicans, and at the end of the day, that's my opinion," he added. "Those other people that can't handle any other opinions but their own are just ignorant. These are the same people that don't own a passport. They don't travel abroad and have just one very close-minded view on life. That's just so depressing when you think about it. How are they going to understand the world or other cultures if they have never travelled anywhere? It's just bizarre."
Earlier this year, Benante slammed President Donald Trump for suggesting that the FBI was to blame for failing to stop the latest Florida mass shooting, because the agency was distracted by the Russia probe.
Back in 2016, the drummer spoke about the 2016 presidential election, saying that it was "a very, very scary time out there" and slamming the Republican party for "never [giving] Obama a bit of a chance to really do things." He added: "Maybe this whole Donald Trump thing is meant to destroy the Republican party, what it's become. Maybe this is what he's trying… Because he was a Democrat, and he went over to the Republican party. Maybe this is… He's sabotaging them without them even knowing it."
At the time, Benante went on to criticize the two political parties for being unwilling to work together, both sides wanting things to go their own way entirely. He said: "Things have been heating up and heating up. I always thought that the Republicans never gave Obama a bit of a chance to really do things. And, of course, even me just saying that, if people read what I just said, they would come down hard on me for saying that, because they hate Obama so much. And, I mean, he has done some things that have been good, but other people would look at it as, 'No. He's the worst.' But I don't think anyone was as [bad] as the way George [W.] Bush fucked this country over. And these Republicans don't even acknowledge that — that he fucked this country up so much. He put us in a war that we didn't have to be in. And I truly think that ISIS and all that is because of that whole situation."