In a brand new interview with Talk Radio Europe's Giles Brown, ANTHRAX singer Joey Belladonna spoke about what it was like to tour the world with legendary heavy metal acts like DIO, OZZY OSBOURNE and IRON MAIDEN.
"[Ronnie James Dio is] from a town] an hour and a half from me here in Ithaca [upstate New York], which actually is where I ended up with ANTHRAX and where I actually was in a band before ANTHRAX, which was BIBLE BLACK, which really never got off the ground for me. [Ronnie was in a band called] ELF… Ronnie, he's a special person. He's just a unique singer. We toured together. We had good times together just doing things. In fact, I just did a livestream for Ronnie Dio's cancer fund — I did five songs, and that was in July. That was awesome.
"Touring with any of those bands, especially DIO, OZZY [OSBOURNE], for sure. IRON MAIDEN, we did so much together — it was so great," he continued. "Even South America, being on their plane, there was nothing like it, to be able to do that type of stuff; it was amazing. Not to mention other bands. Anybody we were out with that we had some good times with was really cherishable, to be able to tour together.
"I remember being in breakfast quite a few mornings, if not most of the mornings, and [MAIDEN singer] Bruce Dickinson] would be all dressed and ready to go. And just to chat for two hours, it was something — you kind of chuckle, to be able to do that. I'll never forget, in Rio, it was just me and him around lunchtime, 'cause we didn't go down till late. And just the discussion. And we were talking about singing, and he'd be singing something to me about something. And I'd look around and [think], 'There's nobody here to hear this.' It was just so great. To be that cool to be able to not shrug me off or something because we're the opening act or something — they never did that with us. They were always friendly to us. I remember going to [IRON MAIDEN bassist] Steve Harris's house. He asked me at Donington. And I'd never even met him before. So to think that he was so polite to invite me to his home, I'll never forget that."
Formed by guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker in Queens, New York on July 18, 1981, ANTHRAX was one of the first thrash metal bands to emerge from the East Coast and quickly became regarded as a leader in the genre alongside METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH.
Active over the past five decades, ANTHRAX has released 11 studio albums, been awarded multiple gold and platinum certifications, received six Grammy nominations, toured the world since 1984 playing thousands of shows, including headlining Madison Square Garden and playing Yankee Stadium with the "Big Four".
ANTHRAX's latest album, "For All Kings", was called by some critics ANTHRAX's strongest album to date. Its arrival followed a five-year period during which the group experienced a rebirth of sorts, beginning with ANTHRAX's inclusion on the "Big Four" tour, and continuing with the 2011 release of comeback LP "Worship Music".