According to a post on the official web site of ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian, drummer Charlie Benante, bassist Frank Bello and Ian are "working hard" on material for the next ANTHRAX album. Ian writes: "We've had a couple of writing sessions and things are moving along well — fast for us, actually. We've got seven songs arranged musically and we're getting together again in a week and a half."
He adds: "The new stuff is aggressive, fast, even riffier than the last record and some of it is difficult to play. Nothing like writing parts that are above my ability as a guitar player! When that happens, the drill sergeant in my brain yells, 'PRACTICE, YOU LAZY FUCK!' So I do. And I nail that shit.
"I'm just getting into lyrics, songtitles, nothing to talk about yet."
Benante recently spent time recovering from surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. He rejoined his bandmates for their September 13 performance at "The Battle Of San Bernardino" festival in San Bernardino, California alongside IRON MAIDEN, MEGADETH, TESTAMENT, OVERKILL and SABATON.
The first photo of the new ANTHRAX lineup — featuring the band's latest addition, guitarist Jon Donais (SHADOWS FALL) — can be seen below (photo by Stephanie Cabral).
Donais has been touring with ANTHRAX since Rob Caggiano's departure in January, and will continue to play with ANTHRAX for the foreseeable future.
Speaking to Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas for the "Metal Hammer" radio show on TeamRock Radio, Ian stated about the band's current second-guitarist situation: "Jon's been with us since February, and I think I can safely say he's passed the audition… [laughs]. I know we haven't said anything official yet, but in my mind, he's the guy. I'm sure some type of official announcement… because in this world, people apparently need that kind of information so they can sleep well at night. But as far as I'm concerned, Jon is the guitar player in ANTHRAX."
Donais previously stated about playing with ANTHRAX: "I grew up on ANTHRAX, they're the thrash scene, they're one of the 'Big Four,' I'd be crazy to not want to play with them. Initially, Rob called and told me he was leaving the band, and asked if I'd be interested in filling in. Then Scott called me and everything fell into place."
ANTHRAX's latest studio album, "Worship Music", has sold more than 100,000 copies in the United States since its September 2011 release.
Photo credit: Stephanie Cabral