ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian says that he "can't wait" to see JUDAS PRIEST performing live with Rob Halford again but insists that Halford's replacement in PRIEST, Tim "Ripper" Owens, "was and is his own man and he made those songs his when he sang them."
In a posting to ANTHRAX's official web site, Ian writes, "From the 'I've seen this coming for twelve years file,' Halford is back in PRIEST. Here are my thoughts on this: WOO HOO!!!!!! And, damn. WOO HOO!!!!! because I want to see them live again with Rob. Who doesn't? The Metal God is back!!! It's what every PRIEST fan has wanted since he left. I can't wait to see it. This is even bigger than Bruce back in MAIDEN for me. If we could get that tour, holy crap!!!!!! I'd get to see it every night!!!!!! Please do 'Sinner'. Damn, because Tim Owens is a great guy and a great singer and he's out of a gig. He stepped into some of the biggest shoes you could ever have to fill and he did more than just fill them. He made it his own. We toured with PRIEST last year and I watched every night. He wasn't just a Halford clone. Tim was and is his own man and he made those songs his when he sang them. I wish him all the best and I hope he gets a gig because his voice needs to be heard. I think if you asked Tim, he'd be excited about seeing Rob back in the band too. So here's to Tim and Rob, you both fucking rule! Now they just need to bring back Les Binks! On that note, I'm going to crank 'Stained Class'."
With regards to ANTHRAX's upcoming headlining tour of the U.S., Scott writes, "I'm excited about the upcoming tour in the States. I feel like we've been away for so long. Having LAMB OF GOD with us is going to be great. Their record rips. It's like a current version of SLAYER from 1986 if that makes any sense. It's brutal. I think that our tour, with LAMB, LACUNA [COIL] and E.TOWN is the only truly metal tour of the summer. Ozzfest has some good stuff going on the second stage like SHADOWS FALL and VOIVOD and CRADLE [OF FILTH]. The heaviest thing on the bill is [OZZY OSBOURNE guitarist] Zakk [Wylde]. He's the definition of brutal. Except, [BLACK LABEL SOCIETY] isn't playing. The Summer Sanitarium has METALLICA. They ripped when I saw them in Germany. I like the DEFTONES but I'd much rather see them headlining in a smaller venue, same for MUDVAYNE. Lollapalooza? They don't allow metal. The thing is, if we were on that show, we'd go over great. They just won't give metal a chance. So, our 'Taking The Music Back' tour is the metal show of the summer. We're doing it ourselves because we have to. The same as it's always been. I expect these shows to be crazy. I hope they can match up to the shows in Europe. I know places like Chicago and Milwaukee can. I want that everywhere. San Diego, Ventura, Anaheim should all be nuts. Detroit, Cincy, Columbus too. We're playing places we haven't been in years like Grand Rapids, Peoria, Madison and Rochester. The dates that are up are only the first leg. If you don't see your city yet, it's probably in the second leg. We're coming south. We're going northwest. Don't worry. It's going to be fun. Come out and rage."
ANTHRAX will launch their "Taking the Music Back 2003" U.S. tour on July 29 in San Diego. Support at the dates will come from LAMB OF GOD and E.TOWN CONCRETE on the first leg (July 29 - August 13) and LACUNA COIL and E.TOWN CONCRETE on the second leg (Aug. 14 – Aug. 29).