ANTHRAX has tapped SHADOWS FALL's Jon Donais (pictured below) to play second guitar on all currently scheduled tour dates following last week's departure of Rob Caggiano. Donais will temporarily fill in for ANTHRAX's upcoming shows in India, the series of Soundwave festival dates in Australia, and the North American Metal Alliance Tour.
"Jon is a bro and he's also a total fucking ripper," said Scott Ian. "I've worked with him twice before on side projects and he tears it up. I'm excited to have him on my right burning up the stage with ANTHRAX. 13's gonna be a good year."
"I grew up on ANTHRAX, they're the thrash scene, they're one of the 'Big Four,' I'd be crazy to not want to play with them," said Donais. "Initially, Rob called and told me he was leaving the band, and asked if I'd be interested in filling in. Then Scott called me and everything fell into place. Rob and I are using Skype to work on solos and other guitar parts, so he's being great. I also have to give special thanks to my band — Brian, Matt, Jason and Ed — who have been incredibly supportive and encouraged me to do this."
Caggiano announced his departure from ANTHRAX on January 4 to focus on his other passion: producing records. The remaining members of ANTHRAX said in a statement: "Rob has been an integral part of ANTHRAX for so many years, as our lead guitarist, in a production capacity, but most of all, as our close friend. His contributions to the band have been enormous. While we are sad that he is leaving, we wish him nothing but great success going forward, and hope to share the stage with him again sometime down the road."
Caggiano — whose two stints with ANTHRAX ran from 2001-2005 and 2007 to now — stated about his decision to leave the band: "We accomplished so many great things together over the years and I shared some of the best times of my life with these guys. As a band, we also weathered quite a few storms along the way. It's been a wild ride (to say the least) from Day One and I wouldn't change one single thing about the last 12 years."
Caggiano added that, "This is an extremely difficult and emotional decision for me to make, but my heart is just steering me in a different direction right now. I've always been one to follow my heart in everything that I do and while this might be one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, it feels like the right one for me at this time. Scott [Ian, guitar], Charlie [Benante, drums], Joey [Belladonna, vocals], Frankie [Bello, bass] (and [former ANTHRAX singer] John Bush) will always be part of my family and this decision doesn't change the way I feel about that in the slightest. I would also like to say thanks to all the amazing fans I've met and hung out with worldwide over the years. You guys always were and always will be the reason why I make music!"