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ANTHRAX - JOEY BELLADONNA: I Would Hate To Tackle JOHN BUSH
Dr. Mality of Wormwood Chronicles recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX
frontman Joey Belladonna. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Wormwood Chronicles: One of the last things John Bush did with ANTHRAX was
an album where he sang some of the songs from your era of the band. Will
you be returning the favor at some point?
Joey Belladonna: "Personally, I'd rather not, because I don't want to sit
there and try to battle people's perceptions of that music. I think at some
time the other guys would have tried it, but you have to remember, I think
those songs from my era were that strong that they had to do it. I'd hate
to have to tackle John's songs because it was almost be like cover songs
instead of the real thing. He came in after me, so it wasn't as difficult
for him to do my stuff as it would be for me to do his. I can't say that
the other guys wouldn't try to throw a few tracks from those albums at me
live but I'm not sure how it would turn out."
Wormwood Chronicles: I'm reminded a bit of KISS. When they got back to their
original formation with the make-up, they passed over a huge chunk of their
history without the make-up that actually contained some pretty good music.
Your situation is not the same, but ANTHRAX does have a really deep history
Joey Belladonna: "Yeah, that's the thing. If we ever do continue, it's always
going to be in the background. Will the other guys be cool with it and let
it roll or will they feel like they have to revisit those songs? It puts
you in a bind. I knew John had a great attitude and he had no choice but
to do the old shit live when he started. He probably wanted to avoid it
but had no choice but to keep going and doing the old stuff."
Wormwood Chronicles: In your long history of live performance, what would
you say is ANTHRAX's "Spinal Tap" moment?
Joey Belladonna: "We were going to Slovenia. We got on the plane and three
of the crew guys couldn't make it. We had only a ten minute change-over
and we had forty pieces of gear for the tour. Usually you get off the plane
and you go from gate to gate. At one gate, there is a full security check...passport,
border, you name it. Our three crew guys didn't get through.We get on the
plane ourselves and we just barely made it. We looked and said, 'Man, they
didn't even get all our stuff on!' The personnel there just took the rest
of our gear and wheeled it away. We were like 'Wait, wait, wait, we gotta
have that stuff!' We manage to get it back, but when we load it on the plane,
we actually didn't have enough room so we bought some pieces into the passenger
area and buckled them into the seats! I couldn't believe it. They actually
held the plane a half hour for us."
Wormwood Chronicles: A lot of answers to the "Spinal Tap" question seem
to involve Eastern Europe (laughter).
Joey Belladonna: "You wouldn't get that sort of thing in the States. We
got out of Hungary pretty easily when we were over there, but some of the
stuff we saw was ugly. All along the road, there were these girls just living
in shacks, throwing themselves around like something out of 'Deliverance'.
My God! Or we'd see a donkey go by in the back of a truck. (laughter) Our
whole gig over there...it rained like hell. We pulled our truck up 20 feet
from the stage and it just sunk to the axle in mud. We had to get a bulldozer
to pull us out. Shit like that, that's definitely 'Spinal Tap'!"
Read the entire interview at WormwoodChronicles.com.