In a new interview with Ireland's Overdrive, ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante spoke about how his covers album, "Silver Linings", influenced the creative process for the band's upcoming follow-up to 2016's "For All Kings". He said: "This gave me the freedom to explore and I guess… A few years ago I would have had some limitations. But now, I no longer have any limitations with my creativity, because people are open to more things these days.
"I find new music, in general, to be quite boring," he continued. "A couple of years back, I believe music, as in 'the sound' of music, took a backseat, with people becoming more interested in the way people look and the overall image of the artists, which is just sad.
"When we're doing an ANTHRAX record, you wouldn't believe how much I fucking nitpick at the ideas, and that's even before I bring those ideas to the rest of the band. It goes through so many compartments in my head and I'm, like, 'Okay, let me store that idea for a while and bring it out when I feel that it's right.'
"Doing 'Silver Linings' gave me a different perspective on the way I do things," he added. "I'm now more, like, 'Fuck it. Let's just try this idea. So what if it's a kind of jazz-inspired part. How is that gonna sound when it's filtered through the band?' The way the other guys interpret things is really interesting and that's one of the things that keeps me so inspired. And because of that, in my opinion, the next ANTHRAX record is gonna be the best LP we've ever released."
Benante later elaborated on how making "Silver Linings" helped reshape his compositional process.
"Writing this new ANTHRAX record in light of this new fresh creative perspective has really opened my mind to approaching things differently," he said. "For example, learning how to create new sounds, how to mix, how to create a video that doesn't cost the band over a hundred thousand dollars, etc. I've figured out that with an understanding of certain advanced tech programs, I can do most of this stuff myself now. I just need certain key players, such as my musician friends, mixing engineer Andy Lagis, and my video editor, Dima Levanchuk."
"Silver Linings" will be released on May 14 via Megaforce Records. The 14-track effort features an all-star cast of "who's who" in the thrash, metal, and rock worlds, with all cuts culled from Benante's acclaimed "quarantine jam" video series.
"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".