Scott Ian spoke to News-Press.com about the fact that he is arguably the most well-known and most recognizable guy in ANTHRAX, thanks mainly to his goatee which, some people have joked, actually lays claim to its own zip code.
"I wish everybody that recognized me would buy the record. Then we'd be as big as Adele," laughed Ian.
"I get recognized everywhere in public… But nine times out of ten, it's people who recognize my face but they really have no clue. I wish there was a way to make this happen: 'Oh, you want a picture? Okay, well buy the record right now and we'll take a photo.' You know, what do I get out of it?"
According to Ian, he can easily deduce if the person approaching him is a fan of ANTHRAX or just someone looking for a photo opportunity.
"Trust me: I can tell the difference between a person who's really into the band and someone who's walking up to me because they probably saw me on VH1 for half a second and they think they're about to meet somebody famous," he said. "And I do my best not to destroy their hopes and dreams in those situations.
"If it's a fan, it's a completely different story. The experience will probably be much better for that person. And people may think, 'Well, how can you tell?' Trust me: You can tell.
"When someone's asking, 'I recognize you. Where would I know you from?' And I'm like, you know what, it's really not my responsibility to answer that question. It's not up to me to finish that sentence. It's up to you.
"I just feel like if you are going to approach somebody — which is something I never do — but if you are going to approach somebody, you should know who you're talking to. I don't think that's a lot to ask."
During a recent interview with Radio.com, Ian elaborated on what it's like constantly being recognized in public, especially at events where he is surrounded by other fans of rock music.
"Sometimes the last thing I wanna do is be around other people, and other times if I'm going to something, I just wanna go see it," he said. "And most of the time, if I'm going to see a band, and you're watching a band play, and people are coming up and trying to talk to you, and I'm like, 'You didn't buy a ticket to come talk to me, you came to see the band, just like me. I'm trying to listen to IRON MAIDEN right now. Can we talk later or something? Yeah, I'm trying to hear them play.'
"So yeah, most of the time I'm like anyone else. I see myself that way. I know that's not the reality, 'cause I understand people recognize me and they're a fan, and they wanna have that moment, and I totally understand that."
Ian, who is probably best known by most non-metal fans as a regular commentator on various VH1 shows, including the "I Love The 70s", "I Love The '80s" and "I Love The '90s" series, "100 Most Metal Moments" and "Awesomely Bad Number One Songs", admitted in a 2014 interview with Metal Insider that he may have everexposed himself a little bit by appearing on so many programs on the Viacom-owned cable television network. "Maybe at a point in time, yeah, I had done a lot of stuff," he said. "Especially on VH1, because it seemed like every other week I would get an email saying, 'We've got another stupid list show. Do you want to come talk about stupid shit?' To sit for an hour and talk about stupid trivia from the '80s or '90s or whatever it may have been — the best or worst songs of this time, or whatever stupid show it was — for an hour out of your day, and what they would pay me to show up and do that, it was kind of like a no-brainer for me. I sit around and talk about that stupid shit with my friends anyway, so if you want to pay me to talk trivia, hey, I'm not going say no. [Laughs] I think the ideas for those list shows eventually dried up; there's only so many you can do. I guess give it another year and they'll just start repeating them again, the same exact shows with a different title."
ANTHRAX's latest album, "For All Kings", came out on February 26 via Megaforce in North America and Nuclear Blast in Europe.