In a new interview with Metal Pilgrim, ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello discussed the progress of the writing sessions for the follow-up to 2016's "For All Kings" album. Speaking about the long time it has taken for him and his bandmates to work on the material for the new record, Frank said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "COVID hit and stopped everything. You've gotta realize, we can't get on a plane — during COVID, during the whole thing, we couldn't get on a plane and just travel to go jam. Usually what happens with an ANTHRAX record, Charlie [Benante, drums], Scott [Ian, guitar] and myself would all congregate in one spot. Either I would fly out to L.A. or Chicago or they would fly to New York or we go to L.A., Scott's house, we would all get together and jam and create. That wasn't happening. I don't know if you've done Zoom, but jamming on Zoom doesn't really work. It doesn't work — there's always a latency there; there's always a timing thing. It doesn't work the way we want it to work. So now that we're moving on, I know next month we have a writing session, which is great. We're all gonna get together in New York and we're gonna get together and jam. I think we have a six-, seven-song thing right now that we're working and finagling around. So we're on a good path. There will be another record in '22. Hopefully everything works — everybody stays healthy and things are open. We'll see what happens."
Bello also talked about the ANTHRAX songwriting process, saying: "We just write together. Charlie writes a lot of the music riffs. But we all come in with riffs and stuff. Whatever works best. Honestly, it's open. You bring your digital things in now — I bring my phone in; I send e-mails to everybody beforehand and we get the ideas together. And you start working on 'em, constructing them together, what works with each other. You try to blend 'em and see, 'How about that part for this part? How about this for that?' And you start building. You bake the cake. And every piece keeps coming. The important thing is to digest it — to listen to it, go home, to live with it. That's the important part — to live with it and see if it works, see if you're still excited about it as you were in that moment. That's how you know it has longevity. That's why it takes a little bit longer for us to write. You have to live with it because you can't just throw out something. You've gotta live with it and say, 'Ah, that feels as good as the day we did that.' And that's what really matters."
ANTHRAX is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2021 with a number of special activities and events. Formed by 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".
"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".