Charlie Benante has confirmed that ANTHRAX has commenced the songwriting process for the follow-up to 2016's "For All Kings" album. "It's already been started," the drummer said during an appearance on the "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" podcast. "I've been just doing demos of songs already, and I will say that, for some reason, it's just sounding very pissed off and angry again. I think maybe it's just a reflection of the world and everything in general in this so-called business. I don't know why it's coming out like that, but it's coming out very — like I said — angry and pissed off and just very aggressive."
Benante also spoke about the upcoming twentieth-anniversary expanded reissue of ANTHRAX's "State Of Euphoria" album, which is scheduled for release in 2018. "I've been working on that for over a year now, just compiling different versions, demos, rehearsal tapes, some live stuff," he said. "I just want it to be a really cool release, because, of course, you're gonna have the album remastered and everything, and then you'll have the B-sides on it also too. And then the other disc will have, basically, the evolution of the songs, from demo to rehearsal to recording — you know what I mean? You'll hear how [each] song came to be the song. It's just pretty interesting. I wish a lot of bands would do something like that, just to show how the song evolved to be the song that it was."
According to Benante, "State Of Euphoria" "was the record, in our whole catalog, that we all felt a bit like it wasn't quite finished, because we were kind of rushed. Back in those days, you did a record, you did the tour, then you went back to do another record and then you had another tour. It was just such a really crazy schedule. And it's a classic case of the band just being rushed and really not letting it kind of sit and breathe for a bit [and allowing us to] live with it for a bit. It was tough.
"Back in those days, you have to remember, we were only a real band for about what? Four years at that time?" he continued. "So we were learning everything in a hurry and experiencing things in a hurry, and we didn't have the experience to say, 'Stop! Stop for a minute. Let's regroup here.'"
ANTHRAX's upcoming disc will be the band's third full-length release since the return of Joey Belladonna, who came back into the fold for the 2010 "Big Four" shows, in the process helping inspire a new wave of creativity, beginning with 2011's "Worship Music".
"Throughout these years, I've realized, and I think we've all kind of matured in a way that we weren't maturing back in the day," Benante told "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" about what it has been like working with Belladonna again. "I think we were kind of in this state, 'We're gonna do what we wanna do and not think too much about the repercussions or things.' And I think we surrounded ourselves with people [who would tell us], 'Yeah, yeah, whatever you wanna do. Yes.' And then, I think once there was time for the smoke and the dust to just settle, we started to rethink things. And I think the best decision we ever made was getting our relationship with Joey back and just kind of repairing it and putting everything aside and just being on the same page again and just making music again that really means a lot to us. And I think that's a big thing. And all the insecurities and all the idiosyncracies and all the bullshit that goes with it, just fucking throw it out the window, because it doesn't mean… It never really meant anything, but back in the day, it meant more. Nowadays, it doesn't mean shit."
As previously reported, ANTHRAX's February 15 concert at the Barrowland in Glasgow, United Kingdom was filmed for a DVD, to be released later this year via Megaforce. Seventeen cameras, including five GoPros and a full-size camera crane, captured more than two hours of ANTHRAX favorites that were voted onto the evening's set list by fans and included "Madhouse", "Be All, End All", "Breathing Lightning" and "A.I.R.", followed by ANTHRAX's classic 1987 album "Among The Living" performed start to finish. In addition to the live footage, the DVD will include "fly-on-the-wall" interviews and other B-roll shot on the band's tour bus, backstage, in hotels and elsewhere. The DVD is being produced and directed by Paul Green of the Manchester, U.K.-based Paul Green Productions who has filmed concerts for OPETH, THE DAMNED, Gary Numan, THE LEVELLERS and many others.