ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian says that he is not completely opposed to the idea of staging a special concert featuring most of the singers that have fronted the band over the course of its nearly four-decade existence.
ANTHRAX has had a number of vocalists — including Neil Turbin, Joey Belladonna, Dan Nelson and John Bush — over the last 39 years, with Ian and drummer Charlie Benante remaining the sole bandmembers who have appeared on every one of the group's studio albums.
Turbin sang on ANTHRAX's debut LP, 1984's "Fistful Of Metal", before getting booted and being replaced by Belladonna. Belladonna performed on four ANTHRAX albums, including the fan favorite "Among The Living" (1987) before he himself was fired over creative and stylistic differences. Bush fronted ANTHRAX between 1992 and 2005 but was sidelined when the band reunited with Belladonna for a 20th-anniversary tour. When that collapsed, and relationships disintegrated with next frontman Nelson, Bush returned for a time before Belladonna took the job back in 2010.
Asked in a new interview with "The Jasta Show" if ANTHRAX could ever embark on a special celebratory tour that would include Turbin, Belladonna and Bush performing a short set of songs from each singer's era of the band, Ian responded (see video below): "Could we? If everyone's alive, yes, the answer would be we could. But — and that's a huge 'but' with two Ts — do we want to? That's more the question to ask.
"I'll admit — that thought, in my lifetime, has crossed my mind, this idea of imagine doing a career retrospective kind of a thing," he continued. "And, of course, it's possible, but I don't know that's something — me, personally; speaking specifically for me, not anyone else in the band or any other singers that aren't in the band anymore — it's not something I would wanna do.
"Depending on the scenario and how we did it, where maybe — let's just say, could you imagine, so you start with 'Fistful' and you do a short set of that, and then maybe there's, not an intermission but there's a break with some kind of a set change. Maybe in the set change, there's some type of video montage showing what happened between 'Fistful' and 'Spreading The Disease', if that footage even exists; I'm just totally spitballing here. Then we come out and we do that era, and so on and so on. And, of course, it could be an unbelievable thing if it was produced properly and it all worked, and from a creative standpoint, it could be something amazing and I'm sure the fans that got to see it would be blown away. I don't necessarily see it as something that could be done as a tour. That sounds like something you set up in one spot and you do maybe multiple shows at a theater somewhere in New York, and then you move it to another city and do a few. But it's not something you can schlep around on a tour bus.
"I love the idea, but you know how it is in bands — it's not always the easiest thing to make things happen sometimes," Ian added. "It's a lot of logistics, a lot of people. And there's also the part of me that is, like, 'All right, why are we gonna do that?' It certainly isn't something that would happen in the next few years, because we're writing a new ANTHRAX album right now that originally we thought was coming out at the end of this year, but not even because of the pandemic, we just knew it's not gonna happen till next year, just at the pace we're working.
"Next year is the 40th anniversary of the band. We'll have a new record out, and that touring cycle is for sure gonna be two years, based on a new record and all of that. What happens after that, who knows? Maybe at the end of that touring cycle, we try and figure out something really special and really cool to do, whether it's something like we were just talking about or something different. I don't know.
"People ask all the time, 'Why don't you play songs from this?' 'Why don't you play songs from that?' It's, like, people think I don't wanna [play those songs]. I fucking love all the songs. I'm not saying every song we've done is great or anything like that, but there's a ton of material from 'Fistful' and certainly from the John Bush era that I love — I love a lot of those songs, and I sure would love to play them again, if that answers the question."
Benante recently revealed that ANTHRAX has written six or seven songs for its next studio album. The follow-up to 2016's "For All Kings" will be ANTHRAX's third full-length release since the return of Belladonna, who came back into the fold for the "Big Four" shows with METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH, in the process helping inspire a new wave of creativity.