ANTHRAX Drummer Says Guitarist ROB CAGGIANO's Departure 'Seems A Bit Sketchy'

Bram Teitelman of Metal Insider recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Insider: I'm not going to dwell on this, but I'll start by addressing the elephant in the room, which is [guitarist] Rob's [Caggiano] departure. Did you know he was creatively unsatisfied with ANTHRAX, or did it come as a surprise to you?

Charlie: It was a bit of a surprise to me. I was bummed. He said that he wanted to pursue more producing options, and that was his reason for leaving. He had other reasons, so I guess it was something that he'd been thinking about for a while. He wanted to get back to producing and getting off the road. And you're probably going to tell me, "Well, you do know he joined another band [VOLBEAT], right?" That makes it a bit confusing. I know a lot of our fans were sad to see him go, but were like, "If you want to go produce, we understand that." But when you read that he went to go join another band, that makes it seem a bit sketchy.

Metal Insider: Let's talk about your covers EP. Wasn't it supposed to initially just be for a special edition of "Worship Music"?

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Charlie: It was talked about as that. But we had some of these songs and we wanted to do something with them because we really liked the way they came out. We wanted to add a bit more, so we talked about doing three or four more songs. Joey [Belladonna, vocals] really liked "T. N. T.", so we did that. Then we did the RUSH, BOSTON and JOURNEY songs, which was another one Joey really liked as well. So we went back and recorded them and they came out really good.

Metal Insider: What are your thoughts on being nominated for a Grammy for a fourth time?

Charlie: To some, it may come as a "yeah, I got nominated for a Grammy, I really don't care," kind of thing. I actually really do care about the Grammys, because it's being recognized for your art. And it came as a total surprise to us, which was even better. We weren't sitting around waiting to be nominated, and it was a complete shock. The amount of hard work and emotion that went into making the record, I feel that being recognized for our art is amazing. I can't say what the other bands put into their records, but I know what we put into ours, and it took a while for a reason. I'm really excited about it, and I hope it goes our way.

Metal Insider: I know this is way premature, but are there any thoughts on a follow-up to "Worship Music"?

Charlie: Yeah, well, we talked about of course not waiting to long to do the next one. We're looking for some time this year to get in and start working on it.

Read the entire interview from Metal Insider.

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