ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello was interviewed for a recent episode of "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon". You can now listen to the chat below.
Asked about ANTHRAX's plans to work on the follow-up to 2016's "For All Kings" album, Bello said: "There's no pressure to do anything [in terms of releasing new music]. But we will. The great thing about it is we know we will. It's not gonna be long, it's not gonna be a long time, but we have to do touring. And you know what? Individually, we all… I have a guitar as I speak to you right now. I have my little amp and my guitar right here, I have my recorder, and it's non-stop playing. My wife's at work, I have my kids at school. This is what I do; this is my job. I just love writing stuff. So you have a bunch of stuff on the recorder, and then eventually, we'll start jamming different pieces of each other's parts and sending MP3s back and forth — 'What do you think of this?' — just sending riffs back and forth via e-mail. And then Charlie [Benante, drums], Scott [Ian, guitar] and I will get together eventually and start pieces pieces together of songs. And that's how it works. And then it just builds into songs. And then we'll get a group of music together, and then we'll start putting melodies on top, then the lyrics, and that's how we do it."
Regarding ANTHRAX's approach to songwriting and whether there is any room for musical experimentation, Bello said: "It's gotta be good. But at this point, you would know what ANTHRAX is. You wanna go outside the box, but you still want it to sound like us. And I think just us playing it would sound like us. But it's always [about] bringing something cool. There's stuff that you're never gonna bring into an ANTHRAX… Like, I would never bring into ANTHRAX what I would write for somebody else, or maybe a side project I have. But there's stuff that I write… If I write a riff, it's, like, 'That's an ANTHRAX thing.' Or a melody, 'Oh, that's an ANTHRAX melody.' I'll save it. I'll say, 'That's just good. I'm keeping…' You know what I mean? 'It's heavy. It's gotta be that.' But I think if it's good, just bring it out there."
Released in February 2016, "For All Kings" was called by some critics ANTHRAX's strongest album to date. Its arrival followed a five-year period during which the band experienced a rebirth of sorts, beginning with ANTHRAX's inclusion on the 2010 "Big Four" tour with METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH, and continuing with the 2011 release of comeback LP "Worship Music".
ANTHRAX's upcoming disc will be the band's third full-length release since the return of singer Joey Belladonna, who came back into the fold for the "Big Four" shows, in the process helping inspire a new wave of creativity.
ANTHRAX will release its long-awaited live-in-concert DVD, "Kings Among Scotland", on April 27 via Megaforce. It will be preceded by ANTHRAX's North American co-headline tour with KILLSWITCH ENGAGE — "KillThrax 2018" — set to kick off January 25 in Montreal.