ANTHRAX's SCOTT IAN: 'I'm A Caveman When It Comes To Guitar'

ANTHRAX's SCOTT IAN: 'I'm A Caveman When It Comes To Guitar'

Guitar Interactive magazine recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. You can now watch the chat in three parts below.

Asked what advice he would give to up-and-coming guitarists, some of whom believe that strong social-media skills are as important to success as the ability to play guitar and write songs, Ian said: "I wouldn't know. I don't know what to tell somebody these days, because so much of the stuff… The Internet didn't exist when I was coming up and when ANTHRAX started, and for years and years and years, so… We were a band for… Let's say, if you wanna say, around '97 or '98, when the Internet kind of started becoming a tool that a band could use in a myriad number of ways, we were a band for 17 years before that became even something anyone knew of. So I have no idea. I don't know anything about any of that stuff. The only thing I can say to anyone is just play what you love. Play what makes you happy. That's all I ever did, and that's all I know most of the people I know in bands ever did. Granted, we're from a different time. So, these days, I don't know. I don't know…"

He continued: "Do you need to know how to use social media to be a guitar player? I don't even understand what that means?

"My attitude is, play what makes you happy and practice songwriting. Write songs.

"I look at guitar probably in a completely different way than most people, and probably most of the people that read your magazines.

"I would rather listen to Malcolm Young [AC/DC] play an A chord than anything else on guitar — than anything, other than maybe Eddie Van Halen.

"I'm a caveman when it comes to guitar.

"Guitar, for me, has only ever been a tool to write songs. Guitar is a tool used to create music and to play with other people. That's what guitar is for me. That's what makes me happy as a guitar player.

"If you're a kid who wants to learn how to shred like… I don't even know who… whatever is the new-school…. I don't know who's the best lead guitar player out right now under 30 years old. There's these super-technical bands with eight strings. Like, I know a band… And I'm not being negative about them, but I know there's a band called PERIPHERY, and I've heard of them, and I've heard some of the stuff, and I get it. From a technical standpoint, it's amazing! But it's not something I personally am gonna go home and put on. I totally respect it and I appreciate it, and I understand why kids are getting into that."

Ian added: "So, basically, what I'm saying is… it's just what makes you happy. If that makes you happy, then do that. If Malcolm Young makes you happy, then do that. You know what I mean?! That's all I cared about when I was a kid. I played guitar for fun; that's all it was. And, truthfully, I didn't become a lead guitar player, and I didn't focus on that, because the work wasn't fun for me. I just wanted to get up there and rip big chords and just do what makes you happy. That's the best advice I can give."


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