Peter Atkinson of KNAC.COM recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX vocalist Joey Belladonna. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
KNAC.COM: Were you able to gel again with the guys doing [the recent "Big Four" festival] shows, or was the focus more just on playing the gigs and working on other issues once they were done and you had some time to catch your breath?
Belladonna: That's always a factor, just trying to keep the system intact as far as fairness and making myself feel a part of it where I'm an equal member and I feel we're working together to get to that goal, versus "we'll tell you about it later, after we've done it." I wanna be there, even if I'm not calling any of the shots, you want to know what's going on, you want to know how it's being run, you just want to be a part of it, that's all, and try to participate in every aspect of it. I'd like to be able to sing they way I sing and not be put in a position where it just doesn't fit my style because they're trying something new. Those are the harder ones to deal with because those are about personal preference and sometimes physically you can only get so many things out of certain people. To me, I just want to be as natural as possible.
KNAC.COM: So the plan going forward is to have you continue on as the frontman, this is not a temporary situation?
Belladonna: I don't feel it being temporary, but I don't read anybody's mind. I personally think this is a good lineup to stay put, it works, it's been successful before and it can be successful again. We work well together. I'm the easiest guy to get along with. I don't cause any havoc, all I ever look for is great vision and fairness, that's all. And I try to do the best I can for the good of the group. So yeah, I see this thing moving as long as it wants to move. As long as everybody stays focused and just doesn't try to flip the coin real quick and find out that you don't have anything on the other side.
KNAC.COM: Does this go-round feel any different than when you reunited with the band a couple years ago?
Belladonna: The reunion, it seemed like there was a discrepancy about how long it was gonna go. At first it was like "let's do it in baby steps" and I guess they claim that we walked into this thing too fast and went out of it too fast and nobody had a chance to get along with each other. I don't know if was really all that, I think it was that nobody really could put everything on the table and say, "This is what we're gonna do, let's make this happen." Now I think we're trying to do that, where everything is on the table and let's be a part of everything we're trying to do together. I just don't want to be an outsider. I just want to be there and involved. Make it fair, make it interesting enough for everyone.
KNAC.COM: When they asked you this time, were there any second thoughts on your part?
Belladonna: Oh yeah, you wonder what's in store. What's different now? What do they want to do now? For me, it was "What are you asking? Do you want me to some shows? Do you want me to be in the band?" But the question was, "Do you want to join the band again?" So I was like "yeah, let's do it, why not? Sure, I'd love to. It would be absolutely cool as hell."
KNAC.COM: So they've got this album, "Worship Music", that for all intents and purposes is done. Is the idea to now rework the album or rerecord the vocals and finally get that music out, or create something completely new together?
Belladonna: All the above. I think you'll get everything you just mentioned. I think there will be some down time along the way [during the upcoming tour with SLAYER and MEGADETH] where we might be able to whip up some ideas songwise. People were talking about writing a little bit on the road, which would be kinda neat if we could find the time and desire to do it. With the stuff they've already done, we'll take every song and if you've got a second shot at anything, you can do whatever you want to them. If something's so good you don't want to touch it, we'll leave it alone, I'll just come in and redo the vocals. It's gonna be different anyhow. I already sang on one song and it's pretty cool, even the guys who are in the crew who were there for the session said it sounded like a completely different song, and that's the way it will be and it's cool. It sounds fresh. I don't even pay attention to what he [former ANTHRAX singer Dan Nelson] did. I just don't think about it, I'll do what I do on a song and make it right with myself in mind. I try to be as focused and original as I can be, I don't like to follow anybody, that's the way to approach it. Make it sharp and maybe make it that much more awesome. Again, it's different, it sounds fresh. I've done[John] Bush songs on the road and didn't have any problems there.
Read the entire interview from KNAC.COM.