To be honest, out of all the bands around ANTHRAX has to be my favorite. Their attitude and music leaves nothing to be desired. Whether it's rapping with Public Enemy or bashing the world's many censorship organizations, they manage to do it in a way that is uniquely their own.
My introduction to ANTHRAX (live) was at the Clash Of The Titans tour with MEGADETH, SLAYER, and ALICE IN CHAINS. The most exciting thing about it was when Joey Belladonna (for some reason) decided to pull me onstage from the crowd and have me carry him around the stage on my back, plus he let me sing a couple of lines to "I Am The Law" (my favorite Thrax tune). It was an experience I'll never forget.
So now I'm going down to Detroit to see 'Thrax again with PUBLIC ENEMY, PRIMUS, and YOUNG BLACK TEENAGERS.
Upon arriving at the theatre, I walked to the backstage door where I found Danny Spitz (Guitar), Frank Bello (Bass), and many others (mostly crew) engaged in a heated game of hacky-sak. Later Scott Ian (Guitar) and Charlie Benante (Drums) emerged from somewhere backstage followed by Joey Belladonna (Vocals). Charlie granted me a short interview, here's what he had to say:
CW: Has ANTHRAX had any recent trouble with censorship?
CB: Just with the song "Startin' Up A Posse," people threatened that "certain words" had to be changed in order for them to carry it in their stores.
CW: How does this tour differ from other tours you have done in the past?
CB: Well, first of all you have PUBLIC ENEMY. We've never toured with a 'rap' band before and so far the crowd's seem to love it. Also the audience is different, there's a lot more college kids.
CW: Originally the bill for this show was ANTHRAX, P.E. and PRIMUS. How did the YOUNG BLACK TEENAGERS get added?
CB: Chuck-D (P.E. Vocalist) has known them for a while and he really wanted to bring them along to give them more exposure. So he asked us if it would be okay if P.E. gave up 10 to 15 minutes of their set to add the YOUNG BLACK TEENAGERS. We had no problem with that.
After that, I went in to watch the show. First of all YOUNG BLACK TEENAGERS went over well with the crowd, they are truly a very underrated band. Next up, PRIMUS. PRIMUS had the crowd going insane, stage diving, moshing and dancing to their heart's content. Then onstage walked P.E. They kicked ass, plain and simple. After which, ANTHRAX took the stage.
The highlights of ANTHRAX's set were "I'm The Man," where in the middle Scott takes the time to lead the audience in a chant of "Suck my mutha' fuckin' dick," "Keep It In The Family" and last but defiantly not the least, "Bring The Noise."
Now to most people this song would have been enough by itself, but Joey (in his supreme coolness) took me upon the stage once again and let me sit there during "Bring The Noise." What a rush!
After the show ANTHRAX quickly went outside and signed autographs for all of the fans waiting. Joey said, "You've just gotta be cool and respect your fans, because if you don't they'll lose all respect for you."
Earlier when I talked with Charlie I asked him how he would like ANTHRAX to go down in history. He replied, "I guess we would like to be remembered as being normal, down to earth."
As for me, I'll always remember ANTHRAX as a socially conscious band that did it's best for it's fans, the less fortunate, and trying to stop all the schism that exists in people's minds.