The work on the next ANTHRAX studio album continues with singer Joey Belladonna set to enter the studio to begin tracking vocals in November
In a new interview with “THAT Rocks!“, the weekly YouTube series hosted by Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian spoke about the progress of the songwriting and recording sessions for the band’s long-awaited follow-up to 2016’s “For All Kings” album.
When Florentine noted that ANTHRAX has been working on the new LP for three or four years now, Scott clarified (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “We’ve only really been working on it for a year-ish, I would say. I mean, we have demos. Charlie [Benante, drums] has demos that he sent pre-COVID. But then once lockdown and all that stuff happened, we just all walked away; nothing creative was happening at all with us through that whole period.
“And then, slowly but surely, when we started playing shows again in ’21 and going into ’22, that’s when we started working again, really. And then in the last year, we really started to put stuff together and Charlie and Frankie [Bello, bass] and I getting together and having writing sessions and arranging stuff, to the point where we finally went in the studio just recently and recorded nine songs that have drums, bass, and guitar done now. And [guitarist Jonathan] Donais‘s got a couple of lead breaks that are killer that he’s demoed and sent to us.
“He hasn’t actually officially recorded them yet, but I think he’s gonna get most of his stuff written and then he’ll go in and record all of it. And I’m pretty sure we’ve got dates on the books for Joey [Belladonna, vocals] to start working as well with [producer] Jay [Ruston] next month. So, yeah, everything’s officially moving along at a decent pace now.”
During an August 2 appearance on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”, Ian said about a possible timetable for the rest of the recording sessions for ANTHRAX‘s new LP: “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: “Joey, it doesn’t take him very long [to record his vocals]. 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.”
Regarding 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.”
ANTHRAX commemorated its 40th anniversary in 2021 with a series of special activities and events. Founded by Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker on July 18, 1981, in Queens, New York, ANTHRAX emerged as one of the pioneering thrash metal bands from the East Coast. The band quickly established itself as a prominent figure in the genre, standing alongside the likes of METALLICA, SLAYER, and MEGADETH.
Throughout its five-decade-long career, ANTHRAX has delivered 11 studio albums, earned numerous gold and platinum certifications, secured six Grammy nominations, and embarked on global tours since 1984, performing thousands of shows. These concerts include headline performances at iconic venues like Madison Square Garden and historic events such as sharing the stage with the “Big Four” at Yankee Stadium.
ANTHRAX‘s album “For All Kings” received high praise from critics, with some considering it the band’s strongest work to date. This record marked a significant milestone in ANTHRAX‘s journey, following a period of rejuvenation that began with their participation in the “Big Four” tour and culminated in the release of the comeback album “Worship Music.”