ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian has shared his thoughts on bands that heavily rely on pre-recorded tracks during their live performances
In recent years, there has been a noticeable trend where many artists, regardless of their level or genre, are increasingly using pre-recorded tracks, drum triggers, and other technological aids to enhance their concerts. While these tools can make performances more consistent and polished, they also contribute to a more synthetic experience. This trend is not limited to pop music alone, as many rock artists are also incorporating playback tracks to varying extents. Whether this reliance on pre-recorded elements is for better or worse is a topic of ongoing debate within the music industry.
In a talk with the Syncin’ Stanley YouTube channel, Scott Ian said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Obviously, I’m aware that this is something that’s going on these days now that the technology has made it possible to do these kind of things. And my opinion is I really don’t care. I don’t care what artists do or what bands do to make their show happen. My opinion is that it’s hard out there for bands and artists these days; it’s never been tougher. And whatever it takes to get a show on, I think. It’s all part of the show. This is just new technology that people aren’t accepting yet. That’s just my opinion.”
Ian continued: “Really, who cares? You know what I mean? If it’s something you don’t like, then you have the choice. You have the choice as a consumer to spend your money or not spend your money. And, really, that’s what it comes down to. So why there’s a big deal about it, honestly, I don’t care.
“I will say this. I did hear an AI version of Bon Scott singing on [AC/DC‘s] ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ yesterday online, and it gave me the chills — in a good way,” Scott Ian added. “So, whatever. I love that. I’m sure if there was other AI stuff I heard, I’d probably maybe have a different opinion on it. It all just comes down to what it is and how it moves you.”
You can check out the video clip below.
As for ANTHRAX, the band are currently working on their new studio album, their first since 2016.
While making an appearance on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” on August 2, Ian discussed the status of the band’s next record.
When asked how far long he and his bandmates have gotten in tracking the record, Scott said: “Not far. But we had a session here in L.A. Charlie [Benante, ANTHRAX drummer], Frankie [Bello, ANTHRAX bassist] and I tracked nine songs. I finished the guitars on those right before we went to New York, so I don’t know — sometime end of June; something like that.
“Frankie is currently in L.A. tracking bass on those nine songs. I’m going to the studio Friday… Since I’ve had time, like a month, to live with my guitar tracks, I’ve heard like lots of things that I think are very cool to kind of add. So I’m going in on Friday and spending a day doing some overdubs. [Jonathan] Donais [ANTHRAX guitarist] is already working on solos back east at his home studio. And I am working on lyrics. So I think we’re well into it, let’s put it that way. There’s gonna be another recording session October, maybe November.
“Charlie‘s got these two windows to get in, ’cause we have another four or five [songs] we want to track. We’re hoping, if things just stay on the very loose schedule we have, I’d like to think by Christmas, New Year’s, we’ll have most of this wrapped up. Maybe not mixed, but certainly all recorded by then.”
Scott continued: “My goal is to have three songs ready for [ANTHRAX singer Joey Belladonna] to start on next month. Joey, it doesn’t take him very long. Once he kind of wraps his head around it and kind of runs it through his filter, he’s a fast worker. So once he starts, it doesn’t take long. It’s more, I think, the onus on me of being happy with the lyrics I’m writing. ‘Cause I actually had, like, three or four songs written months ago, and then I revisited them like a month ago and I threw ’em all in the garbage; I was, like, ‘This is crap.’ But I’m in a much better place with that now.”
Touching on the musical direction of the new ANTHRAX material. Scott said: “Certainly of the nine [songs] we’ve tracked so far, and, of course, the rough kind of demos we have of some of the stuff we haven’t tracked with drums yet, from a riff point of view, it’s definitely — I mean it’s riffs with all capital letters. Like if you were going to write, you would write ‘riffs’ in all capitals with an exclamation point. The riffs are killer. It’s very riff-centric. There’s a lot of faster uptempo material, certainly.”
Ian added: “I will say there is a song — I won’t say any titles yet, ’cause it’s still probably a working title — there’s definitely one song, it’s the fastest thing we’ve ever done. There’s another song that we haven’t recorded yet that’s also in the vein, more of a ‘Gung-Ho’ or a ‘Caught In A Mosh’. Because Charlie and I talk all the time. I said, ‘We still need something that’s like a three-and-a-half-minute just ripper. You know, something like that.’ And then we come up with something like that and I’m, like, ‘Hey, I forgot I’m 60 now, and now I have to play this song for the next three years.’ Just make my life harder.”