ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante was interviewed by Mark Strigl for the latest episode of the "Talking Metal" podcast (web site). You can now listen to the chat using the Spreaker widget below.
Speaking about the absence of ANTHRAX's latest album, "For All Kings", from Spotify and other streaming music services shortly after the record's release, Benante said: "The decision was to keep it off most of the streaming sites at first, and then they would appear a month or so after the actual album came out. Because we really wanted everyone to have that experience of going and getting the hard copy — the cover, the packaging. We really wanted them to have that experience other than just downloading it and then you just have a little picture of the album that you can barely make out. You know what I mean? I don't want our fans to have this experience. I want them to have that old-school type of experience of opening the record and absorbing the whole thing. So it was a decision not to put it up on these sites."
Asked if he think the decision to keep "For All Kings" off Spotify and similar sites contributed to the fact that it sold 34,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 9 on The Billboard 200 chart, Benante said: "I can't say yes or no, because now it's on Spotify, and I watch it very closely on Spotify and I see what's happening on Spotify, and I can no longer deny that people are streaming music, more so now than ever, and I see a complete rise in our streams. So it's something that I really have to pay attention to now."
Prior to the release of "For All Kings", ANTHRAX was last in the top 10 back in 1993 with "Sound Of White Noise", which debuted and peaked at No. 7. "For All Kings" also gave ANTHRAX its largest sales week for an album since "Sound Of White Noise"'s second week on sale (40,000; it debuted with 62,000).
"For All Kings" was ANTHRAX's first studio album since 2011's "Worship Music" (No. 12 peak with 28,000 sold in its first week) and it followed the band's 2013 covers set, "Anthems" (No. 52; 8,000 sold in its debut frame).
"For All Kings" also topped the Hard Rock Albums chart in both the U.S. and Canada, and landed at No. 5 and No. 7, respectively, on the U.S. and Canada's Top Current Albums charts. Additionally, "For All Kings" debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart, No. 2 on the Independent Albums chart, No. 4 Physical Albums, and No. 5 Vinyl Albums chart.
ANTHRAX's U.S. tour with LAMB OF GOD came to a close on February 12 in Los Angeles, California.