Original ANTHRAX Singer Says He 'Didn't Feel Any Warmth' From CHARLIE BENANTE

Maximum Metal recently conducted an interview with original ANTHRAX singer Neil Turbin. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow:

Maximum Metal: How would you describe your new album?

Neil Turbin: "It's a combination of different points in my career. It's something that represents what I am capable of doing. I think it's a good relief for me. I think that the next thing that I do as a release will be a much more focused album comprised of songs that I wrote specifically for that album. 'Threatcon Delta' is something that I put together. It was something that I needed to do, and I glad that I did. But the next step, I think, is to put out something that is representative of a band, not just different songs that are put together. It was cohesive, it had a direction to it, but I believe that my direction at this point is much more refined and focused. My writing is definitely progressive power metal, although the thrash element is definitely in there as well. I'm always gonna be Neil Turbin, it's always gonna sound like the guy who sang on 'Fistful of Metal'. But, you know, I'm just capable of so much more vocally and writing-wise. I wouldn't wanna be limited to that. I mean people may expect from me 'Fistful of Metal Part Two', but that would be impossible for me. If I were twenty years old, it might be something that I'd write at that point. But I'm not. I've evolved beyond that, and musically, in a very positive way. I mean, there wouldn't be bands around today that I love to listen to like your PRIMAL FEARs and SYMPHONY X and your NOCTURNAL RITES and your TAD MOROSEs. I like bands that have really strong singers. I mean, there are so many great bands out there in power metal. I love the newer generation of power metal, I think it's right where I wanna be, right where I feel comfortable. And I fit in very well with that. That's the direction that we are headed, without a doubt.

"It's nice to have a group of people that are cool and down to earth, that have respect, and have camaraderie and trust and that sort of thing and not just someone's agenda calling the shots. I just enjoy playing music. And I like having the best group of guys with me and guys that are sharpshooters on their instruments- top of the line players. Definitely the kind of players that you would see on like, a DREAM THEATER or G3 type of level. I'm not necessarily trying to play that type of music. I mean I love it, but I tend to just like bands that are more in it for the song rather than for the glory of the solo. And I think DREAM THEATER does both. They have both of those angles covered. I mean, those are the kind of guys that can play anything. They can take anything and make it sound good. I just like to have guys that have the right chops to play that kind of stuff. It's nice to be able to throw different elements into your music instead of just having a switch that goes fast and slow like on a blender! It's nice to have all the other little buttons that go in between. Different tempos, different feels… Having the ability to put classical piano pieces, horn sections and things like that in. I mean, I'm not limited to just having to play power chords and scream my ass off over the top."

Maximum Metal: Do you still keep in touch with your former [ANTHRAX] bandmates, and if asked, would you perform with them, sharing mic responsibilities?

Neil Turbin: "Well, I have to laugh at that question, because I haven't talked to those guys since I left the band. I can say that no one's reached out on either side. However, I did see Frank Bello and John Tempesta, who used to work with ANTHRAX, and of course is a great drummer. Last fall, we were hanging out and having a couple of drinks at the Rainbow on the Sunset Strip. They were real cool to me. It was fun to hang out with them, for a few minutes, anyway. We just happened to meet up because HELMET was in town, and those guys are playing with HELMET. Frank was a gentleman, he was real cool, real positive, and had a great attitude, and it was great to see him. And actually, I've seen him at previous NAMM shows, and he's always been the one to be outgoing and to communicate.

"I'm just a down-to-earth person. I'm not judgmental. If I've got nothing good to say, I'd rather not say it at all. What's the point? I'm not there to stir up shit. All I know is that Frank was totally cool with me and I was cool with him. And I appreciate it. I appreciate people that are for real. Frank is for real. He's not thriving off of his ego. He could be cool enough to come up to me and say, 'Hey, Neil, how you doing?' That's an example of someone who's in the music business who doesn't take it for granted, who tries to keep things cool with people and doesn't go walking around thinking he's a rock star.

"So I enjoyed seeing Frankie. The other guys…I've seen Charlie, that's about it. At NAMM, I was at the ESP party. It was just cool to be amongst friends. And I know Charlie was there, but he just walked right by me, so I didn't feel any warmth."

Read Neil Turbin's entire interview with Maximum Metal at this location.


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