NEIL TURBIN: 'If It Was Up To Me, I Wouldn't Even Play Songs That I Wrote In The Past'

"The Classic Metal Show" recently conducted an interview with DEATHRIDERS/ex-ANTHRAX vocalist Neil Turbin. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

The Classic Metal Show: The big news in the DEATHRIDERS camp right now is that you guys are going to be playing Rocklahoma. Clearly, you guys and ARMORED SAINT are the oddballs on that show. I don't think you've ever been called part of a "hair band".

Turbin: Well, I've been called everything, so don't kid yourself. I don't give a shit. We bring what we've got, you know. We run what we brung. That's what they say at the drag strip, and that's it. We'll definitely be, if not the heaviest act there, one of the heaviest. I'll tell you that. I think that's good because we're going to go out there and thrash those fuckin' glam bastards! We're going there to thrash the bastards. We're going there to make their eyeliner melt.

The Classic Metal Show: Obviously, we haven't heard the new DEATHRIDERS stuff yet. How does it compare to "Threatcon Delta" or any of your past work?

Turbin: It doesn't compare. All the people on [the Internet] will just say that it sucks, so why don't you just say that right now, right? No, I don't care what they say. I do what I do for the love of metal. We've got to step up to the plate. We've got a high standard we've got to answer to. To really level the situation here, we're really got to step up to the plate. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty, people talk a big game, especially in this business. These people want a lot of attention. They want to get on your show and they want to talk about how wonderful their band is and how wonderful they are. I'm just not that kind of person. I'm not going to come on here and bullshit you. You know what? Come see us and find out. If you don't like us, then don't come see us again. I don't give a shit. "Threatcon Delta" and anything I've done in my past it's easy for me to say how great I am, but I'm not going to bullshit you. There's going to be a person out there that says "this doesn't sound like the Cookie Monster, so I can't like you." That's not how I sing. Every song could be in the midrange like NICKELBACK. They could stay in one key. I mean, I love bands that do that like the RAMONES, but there's bands that I don't like that write in the same key. They just aren't very articulate with their songwriting and it's not very creative to me. It's very one-dimensional. For DEATHRIDERS, we're very multi-dimensional. I'm going off on a tangent, but fuck it. We write in different tunings. We write in different keys. We do it on purpose. We don't do it by accident. On "Threatcon Delta" or in other bands that I've been in, things happened by accident. They definitely didn't happen on purpose. In this band, the guys need to take three different guitars with them because there's three different tunings live. It's a pain in the ass, but you get out what you put into it.

The Classic Metal Show: In the world of metal news, I always see listings like "Al Atkins, the original vocalist of JUDAS PRIEST," or "Paul Di'Anno, the original vocalist of IRON MAIDEN," or "Dave Evans, the original vocalist of AC/DC." For you, I don't see you listed as "Neil Turbin, the original vocalist of ANTHRAX." You're not living off your past glories.

Turbin I personally don't want to be associated with any band of the past, personally. I actually don't care to be associated because it was a bad experience for me. It was not pleasant. The people that I worked with...it was horrible. The people that I dealt with are horrible. They'll put on a pretty smiling face for you. They'll brush their teeth and comb their hair in the morning for you, but you know what? Once you pull back the sheets, it's pretty fuckin' ugly under there. There's nothing else to say about it. We can talk about the past, or we can talk about what's going on today. I can tell you that what I've accomplished with DEATHRIDERS... we've already played more continents and bigger places than I ever did in my past. I can't say that we're out there selling gold records on Billboard or we're charting or all of that, but we're doing what we love to do. We're doing it for the love of metal. Obviously you guys are talking to me, and somebody's listening. If you don't like it, shut the fuck up and turn off the radio or the Internet. If you want to hear what I've got to say, then keep on listening.

The Classic Metal Show: Given that you are "the original lead singer of ANTHRAX," and there's been two other singers that followed you, John Bush and Joey Belladonna. We were thinking that maybe you could team up with Joey Belladonna and John Bush, get a really good ANTHRAX tribute band to back you up, and go out as "After 'THRAX."

Turbin: Well, that's kind of amusing, but I don't think there's enough room for me in the room. Let's put it that way. Let them all fight over John vs. Joey. They can all have each other, because I'm out of that loop. If it was up to me, I wouldn't even play songs that I wrote in the past. I'd play songs that I write now because it reflects what I'm about.

To download the entire interview as an Mp3 file, click here.

DEATHRIDERS live in Japan, February 2008:

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