ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian has posted the following message on the band's official web site (as part of his regular online column, dubbed "Alpha Mail"):
"Comrades, the emails have been pouring in and I'd like to thank you all very much for your words of support. Seriously, thank you so much. I read all the emails I get and your kindness does not go unnoticed. Hopefully I'll get to answer you back personally. As you can imagine, I've been swamped. I'll get to you, I promise.
"You might not think what you have to say means anything but it does. I never take your thoughts for granted. I'm a fan as well. I'm a fan of a lot of bands that have changed members. Some for better, some for worse. Even though my point of view as a band member on the inside may be totally different to your point of view on the outside, it's always traumatizing. Next to someone dying, changing members is the worst thing you have to deal with in a band. It sucks. It sucks. It sucks. I wish I had some fancy metaphor to explain how it feels but I don't. It sucks. Even 20 years ago when we decided to go on without Neil Turbin, that sucked. What it always comes down to is the survival of the band. It's always the same question can we go on like this? It's a hard question to ask, and a hard question to answer and it takes a lot of time and thought to come to a decision. But when it comes to the survival of the band, that has to come first. The whole is greater than its individual parts. When a situation becomes absolutely impossible and every avenue of resolution has been tried, you have to come to a decision that will allow the band to carry on. To me, nothing is worth losing the band, even if it was without me.
"We've dealt with this before. Granted, Frank [Bello, ex-bassist] was there for 19 years. Not to belittle anyone else, but that makes it much tougher. I truly wish him well and hope for the best for all of us.
"Having a full slate right now certainly helps. There's been no time for anything but moving forward. The DVD is just about done, the 'What Doesn't Die' video is done, and we've got lots of touring right around the corner. I feel lucky to be able to have Joey Vera [ARMORED SAINT, FATES WARNING] step up and fill in. It makes it much easier to know that we've got a friend who we've known as long as John playing with us. I've got lots of other superficial crap (if you consider the Jesus movie or METALLICA playing 'Dyer's Eve' or a shirtless Brian Posehn moshing with Dave from SUM 41 superficial) to talk about. I'm gathering my stream of consciousness and I'll lay it on ya in a few days. I will tell you that we are confirmed on Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park in Germany with a whole load of dates in Europe in June and July including Greece for the first time. They will all be posted soon.
"The Australia dates are kicking ass. It would be amazing to be away for eight years and to have a sold out tour. Keep it up my friends you're kicking ass. We'll see you very soon."