ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian recently spoke to Denmark's Antenna webzine about dealing with the media and the group's reasons for re-recording their classic songs for their latest CD, "The Greater of Two Evils". A couple of excerpts from the interview follow:
Antenna: I've heard from so many musicians in the past years that the very reason causing them to become musicians was the possibility of getting more sex because of that fact that bands get female fans, and you obviously did that as well?
Scott Ian: "No, I wouldn't say that. I became a musician because I wanted to grab a guitar and play on it. I wanted to play music above anything else. Sex was never the issue."
Antenna: If it wasn't for the sex, I suspect your motive for becoming a musician was really the chance of getting exposed in the media and becoming a famous person?
Scott Ian: "I wish I were able to just do the music and let the music speak for itself rather than having to answer questions about my music. I absolutely hate being in the media. Someone like Gene Simmons [KISS] is constantly quoted about anything, but nobody would care about what I have to say."
Antenna: What you're saying is that you actually hate doing interviews, like this one?
Scott Ian: "I don't hate doing interviews, because it's part of the business, part of what I do. But if I wanted to talk about my music, I'd talk with friends or my manager, but I have to discuss my music with the press. That's part of my job. If I was a very famous musician such as Prince or whoever, I would probably be able to avoid doing interviews, but I'm not."
Antenna: You have been much quoted in the media in recent years: There's been a war of words between you and former members of the band. There's been the unfortunate incident with the semantic meaning of the word "anthrax," and its association with the biological weapon. Elaborate on that, please.
Scott Ian: "You're referring to the Internet, and the news coverage on the internet. Don't get me wrong. I think the Internet has a lot of good to offer the metal scene, but it has its disadvantages. I don't consider it as a part of a huge conspiracy, at least not yet, but some people say that the Internet was produced by the government as a means to keep people indoor, staying passive and content with their lives, instead of making revolts."
Antenna: You've been quoted with saying that ANTHRAX don't sell well anymore and that the metal scene in the U.S. is stone dead.
Scott Ian: "Again you're referring to fragments of a conversation on the Internet, and none of it is true. ANTHRAX have never had better prospect than today, at least in Europe, but the metal scene in the U.S. could preferably be much better. We're earning more money now than when we were signed to major labels, and it's always been a struggle. Every day is a struggle."
The entire interview can be found in Antenna magazine #3, which is available for free download at this location.