ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian has issued the following statement via the band's official fan club site, CDC:
"Finally, we're going back to work. We're going to Chicago to work our asses off and write a record. It's time. We're ready. One problem... no singer.
"We were offered a direct support slot on a major tour this spring and Joey [Belladonna, vocals] decided he did not want to move forward. The reunion is over. We tried to make it work but I guess that's the problem, you can't 'make' something work. It's gotta be natural and at least becoming a band again and playing live was.
"Over the course of around 140 shows we became a better band than we ever were before from 1984 - 92. The shows we played from April 2005 through October 2006 were incredible and some of the best gigs we've ever played. Doing Donington again was mind-blowing, Graspop was insane, the insanity in Finland, Chicago, Milwaukee, three times in L.A.!!!, three times across Western Canada!!, Glasgow!!!!!, London!!!, the Nokia show in NY, the Starland show in NJ, JUDAS PRIEST!, ROB ZOMBIE!, Gigantour!!, Australia!!!, Japan!!!!!!, really, there's not a bummer in 19 months.
"Thank you from the very depths of my soul for being the best fans in the world. We got to relive something that I never thought we could and it turned out better than I ever thought it would. We didn't have to force it, it just happened and it was great.
"My curiosity was piqued by the idea of what ANTHRAX would sound like now with Joey singing. Over the last few months we've discussed this endlessly to no avail. The problems that were there could not be fixed no matter how hard we tried and in the end Joey made the decision.
"I know a lot of you out there are disappointed by this and that's the last thing we ever want. None of us want to disappoint. If we were meant to make a reunion record we would've. Some things look easy on paper but the reality is that they are impossible and what works for one band doesn't work for others. Maybe we could've forced something and cashed in on a new record but that's not the way we operate. My reality is I feel we have some unfinished business with the 'We've Come for You All' lineup and I will do my best to finish it.
"I hope you can find it in your hearts to support all of us in whatever happens going forward.
"Charlie [Benante, drums], Frankie [Bello] and I are excited about creating new music and for now we will focus on that and write another killer ANTHRAX record."
ANTHRAX's most recent studio album, "We've Come for You All" (featuring John Bush on lead vocals), was released in May 2003 through Sanctuary Records in the U.S. and Nuclear Blast in Europe. The CD shifted just under 10,000 copies in the U.S. during its first week of release to debut at No. 122 on The Billboard 200 chart.
The 2005 reunion of the "classic" ANTHRAX lineup of singer Joey Belladonna, guitarists Scott Ian and Dan Spitz, bassist Frank Bello and drummer Charlie Benante was followed by the release of the band's most comprehensive "best of" collection ever issued, the two-CD retrospective "Anthrology: No Hit Wonders (1985-1991)", which shifted just over 2,700 copies in its first week of release back in September 2005. Meanwhile, the group's first video compilation, the DVD "Anthrology: No Hit Wonders (1985-1991) The Videos" (both on Island/UMe), sold less than 950 units in its initial week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Similarly, the band's live CD and DVD packages, "Alive 2 (2005)" (on Sanctuary Records), which document the group's summer 2005 reunion tour, opened with less than 1,100 and 1,700 copies, respectively.