On April 3, Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden's Rocksverige.se conducted an interview with ANTHRAX singer Joey Belladonna. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Rocksverige.se: You recently mentioned in an interview that you're not close friends with the rest of the guys in [ANTHRAX]? Have you heard back from any of them?
Belladonna: Yeah, Scott [Ian, ANTHRAX guitarist] asked me, "We're trying to keep things positive, right?" But what I say is what I feel. I don't necessarily say that we're not getting along, it's just that it's a different band. When I grew up playing with people in my hometown, we'd go out together, hang together and do things together and we (ANTHRAX) just don't, but that doesn't mean that we're not doing what we need to do. My intentions were not to be not positive and make things sound like we're just a mess. It wasn't that.
Rocksverige.se: I also guess that people have a very romanticized view of bands and that the members are always hanging out together. I know I had when I was a kid.
Belladonna: You're very capable of doing it. I have a little cover band (CHIEF BIG WAY) and I always try to get people to hang out and we're like 10 minutes away from each other and we still don't. One guy is teaching lessons and another guy needs to go to work or whatever. It's just not in the cards, and I understand that. When we're (ANTHRAX) on the road together, we don't hang out together even then. Everybody goes to their separate room with their computer to Skype or they just don't want to be bothered or they need to rest. It's not intentional. Some of it might be — I don't know and you'll never know that. That's why I'm always picking at people and trying to get them to open up and maybe talk. It's just great to be able to be more conversational with other people. A lot of people don't wanna do it, and that's fine, but I'm not that kinda guy. Sometimes you don't even know what you're dealing with until you talk with people. If you wanna find out what people are thinking, you're just never gonna know, and sometimes it's good to know. Maybe you can get something off your chest and maybe something can actually be resolved by it. I meant nothing by that as far as "I can't wait to tell people this story." I have no idea even remember [saying those things in the aforementioned Sweden Rock Magazine interview] or even having those intentions the way it turned out to be. And Scott was out on his promotional tour and doing his spoken-word, so what a great time to answer questions! [Laughs]
Rocksverige.se: What about the new ANTHRAX album then? Are you yourself writing stuff now?
Belladonna: I have stuff at my house on my Pro Tools and we have a lot of stuff. There could be around 15 or 16 [songs] at this point. I have 3 at this point just finished, and they're actually getting better as we go, and there's some really good stuff. For once, since I've been in the band, we actually have more songs than we need. I don't know if we're planning on putting 16 or 17 songs on the record. Before we had 9 or 10 and that was it, so we're definitely gonna have some stuff to choose from.
Rocksverige.se: Is it in anyway similar to the stuff on [2011's] "Worship Music"?
Belladonna: My opinion right off the bat so far is that it's definitely riffy, very intense and heavy. It's still early, but my first impression is that it's gonna be challenging. It's hard to compare to something you just did and you don't set out to try do something you did. You don't know what you have when you're doing it, it just happens, and if it comes together and you dig it, then we did something cool. It's hard to say that it's gonna be like that song or this song. It could be crazier. I don't know if the album actually has its legs like the other one, if it has all the elements that everybody was looking for on the last one. I don't know since it's so early at this stage. But it's gonna be really intense and I don't think we'll let you down.
Read the entire interview at Rocksverige.se.