After the success of his London Garage show last month, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian will embark on a full spoken-word, Metal Hammer-sponsored U.K. tour in May/June. The 16-date trek, dubbed "Speaking Words", will give him a chance to air some of the stories accrued over a 30-plus-year career as a touring musician.
"It's something I've always wanted to do, and I've always been trying to figure out how can I do this, how would I ever make this possible," he tells Decibel magazine about the upcoming trek. "I've seen [Henry] Rollins do it all these years; I saw Rollins, maybe on the first time he ever did a tour I went to see what it was going to be about. I mean, I am a huge fan of Rollins' music and I had read all his books at the time, so I really knew that he had a point of view and something he needed to express and he did it really well. It's something that I always wanted to do and I finally had the opportunity this year; doing this one-off show in London. I was approached by the band's agent, who basically put it together, and asked, 'Are you interested in doing this?' And I said, 'Absolutely. I've been kinda waiting for this to happen but I didn't know how to kick-start it.' I did the one show in London and I enjoyed myself so much, I had such a good time with it that I was like, 'Can I do more of this? How do we do more of this?' They came back and said, 'There's a lot of interest in it, do you wanna do a tour?' I was like, 'Sign me up! Let's find a window when it works and go and do it.'"
Asked where he got the material from and whether it was something that he had sketched out in advance, Scott said: "No! I did absolutely zero rehearsal. I didn't even know how to prepare for it, truthfully. The show was booked months in advance, and I had all these months to think about it, and think, 'Okay, I'm going to put a whole show together… ' Because I am friends with a lot of stand-up comedians and a lot of writers, and I am a big fan of comedy and certainly live stand-up comedy. I've seen my friends do it and I think that it's the most challenging thing in the world just to sit down, write jokes, get on stage and make people laugh. I mean, I think that's the hardest thing in the entertainment industry. It doesn't get any more raw than that, and I am certainly not a joke writer nor am I a stand-up comedian, but I just feel that my life is, in so many ways, ridiculous. The last 32 years of my life spent in a metal band; I've got so many stories, whether it's shit that I've done, people that I've met, stories that I know from other people … I've kinda been in this bubble for so long. I sit around in bars with my friends and I'll get around to telling stories, as we all do, and most of my friends are in this industry or connected to it somehow, so we all have stories and we all sit down and tell stories to each other and crack each other up. I always felt that people need to hear this stuff. This shit is hilarious. It's just a really fun thing for me to do, to relate to people on that level. That's what it is. That's what the material is; it's shit that I have been through in my life."