ANTHRAX Bassist JOEY VERA Talks About METALLICA, OZZFEST Rumors

Bassist Joey Vera (ANTHRAX, ARMORED SAINT, FATES WARNING) recently spoke to the Dio Message Board about the rumors that he was considered a possible replacement for Cliff Burton in METALLICA and reports that ANTHRAX are going to be performing at this year's Ozzfest with their "Among the Living" lineup, among other topics. Several excerpts from the interview follow:

Q: I was wondering considering Charlie Benante's remarks on the ANTHRAX site concerning the terrible incident with Dimebag he said that this changes everything. How now are things gonna change in the ANTHRAX camp regarding playing live etc.

Joey Vera: "I can't really speak for everyone but I know that we are all going to be a little more conscious about people coming up onstage. That's for sure. But I also know that we will continue our lives as we did before, enjoying every minute."

Q: Is it true that you were in fact rumored to join METALLICA with John Bush after the Cliff Burton tragedy and if so how far did things get?

Joey Vera: "This is two different stories. First, back in 1983 just before METALLICA were to record 'Kill 'Em All', they asked John to sing for them as James wasn't completely comfortable with being the front man (can you believe it?) but John declined (thank God) and the rest is history.

"After Cliff was killed in the tragic accident, they began auditioning people and after a few weeks of doing that they were understandably exhausted. At that point they wanted to jam with some guys they knew personally which led to Lars calling me. It was really an invitation to jam only, and to see what happens. But I had to decide whether or not I wanted to quit my band at the time (ARMORED SAINT) if I were to pursue this thing. SAINT was in the middle of recording our third record for Chrysalis and I had to realize I was not ready to give up the band I had been in for five years. I then declined."

Q: What are your thoughts on the new album sales. Considering you made this album of greatest hits due to "public demand" and yet the sales now seem poor so far. Would you blame this on the record company in the poor promotion of it thus far or blame it on something else such as the internet shareware systems or even the public themselves?

Joey Vera: "I'm not so sure about how "poor" the sales really are but I have to admit that I have not seen much in the way of promotion for this record. And for that I blame the record company. Maybe file sharing hurts a little, sure. But in the end most people will buy a record from a store if they really want it."

Q: And are the rumors true regarding ANTHRAX being lined up for a spot on the Ozzfest? It also rumored that this will be the mark 2 line up in some fashion. Although doubtful could you give us the word on this?

Joey Vera: "You're correct in assuming doubt in getting an answer from me on this. At this time I really don't know."

To read the entire interview, sign up for membership at the Dio Message Board.

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