Derek Scancarelli of Under The Gun Review recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Under The Gun Review: You're 50 years old and ANTHRAX has been a band for over 30 years. How does it feel to still not only be relevant but a staple in this genre? Has the allure of metal and the road changed for you at all?
Scott: No, because for me, it's work. It's what I do. Look, I'm lucky in the fact that I get to do what I want for a living, it's all I ever wanted to do. And it's what I've been doing for a really long time. At the same time, it's a shit-ton of work. It's not just sitting around on my ass, watching ESPN when I'm off tour and waiting for the next tour to start. People don't get it, and I'm not saying that my job is harder than most people's jobs on this planet because it certainly isn't, I'm just lucky that I get to do this and I worked really hard to be able to get to do it. And I work really hard all the time to still be able to get to do it. It shows me that the work I do all the time and the time I have to spend away from my family, sometimes that in the end it's all gonna be worth it because people still care and I still have fun doing it. If I didn't have fun playing shows, I wouldn't tour anymore. I'm not looking for reasons to leave home, but it's still really fun for me to be in a band and go play shows. And these talking shows are really fun. Believe me, I'm not getting rich off these talking shows. The experience of doing it is such a cool thing and it's so new to me and it's such a cool learning experience for me trying to after all these years learn a new trick. It's been really exciting.
Under The Gun Review: Has being a father made your career any more difficult to manage?
Scott: Oh, absolutely. Profoundly. Completely different, because before having a child, my wife and I could come and go as we please, whenever, wherever. No pets, no kids. It was complete freedom, now it's the exact opposite of that. It makes things much harder, not only just that aspect with the ablity for us to have freedom, even now, it's not just like my wife and my son can come out on tour with me. We're not the type of band that has four tour buses and I don't have the money to have my own tour bus on a tour, so it just makes things difficult and the sacrifice of not seeing your family is fucking huge. I didn't really understand it before, you know? Charlie [Benante, drums] and Frankie [Bello, bass] in the band, they both have children, and I would see what they would go through. But you can't really understand until you have a child. Then you realize, "Oh, fuck this, I don't want to do anything." I assume, if you're a halfway decent parent, that's how you would feel. I know plenty of dudes with kids who can't wait to get the fuck out of the house, but I'm not one of them.
Under The Gun Review: ANTHRAX is recording a new studio album, what can you tell me about it? How different is the recording and writing process now compared to "Fistful Of Metal" back in 1984?
Scott: If I could really remember writing "Fistful Of Metal", I'd be able to answer that question. I don't even know if I have… They're not memories, more, if anything, my memories of that time are from photographs. Sometimes it's hard to actually remember 1981, 1982, 1983. A lot of that time in the band we just spent as much time as we could at The Music Building in Queens trying to write songs and trying to get a lineup that would stay together and be as committed as Danny Lilker [bass] and I were. When we got the lineup together with Neil Turbin [vocals] and Charlie and Danny Spitz [guitar], that's kinda when we knew we had a band and that this was gonna be ANTHRAX. We didn't have a process then at all, it was just riffs. Danny Lilker would have ideas or I would have ideas and we would somehow just write songs, we'd put them together. Now it's the same in the sense that every song starts from a riff with us. Charlie has riffs, I have riffs, Frank has riffs, everyone has ideas. The three of us just get in a room and just start playing. I guess in that way it's exactly the same although we're not together seven nights a week like we were when we were 18 years old doing it.
Read the entire interview at Under The Gun Review.