ANTHRAX - THE SCOTT IAN INTERVIEW

By: Jane Cain


This interview took place at the Hyatt Regency in Houston several hours before ANTHRAX'S show with special guest WHITE ZOMBIE and QUICKSAND. It was a sultry day when the 'Sound of White Noise' tour rolled into the Lone Star Amphitheater but I was there with Vincent, our former Houston rep. It was a hectic day that I made the most of. And in spite of what Andy would say, I think the interview went rather well. I'd like to say "hello" to J. (Zombie)--Yes, "life retains it's incredible weirdness"--who I met backstage after the show. And last, but definitely not least, I'd like to dedicate this interview to Bonnie and Jerry Vela whom I met when leaving the venue at 2 a.m. And the sign read -- 'This is not an exit,' But, so what! No one was around anyway.

Jane (ROC): What do you think about censorship? (laughs) The general question.

SCOTT IAN (SI): I think it's bad. I'm gonna give a general answer!! (Laughs)

Jane (ROC): So you just think it's bad? That's it?

SI: I think it's wrong.

Jane (ROC): What do you think about record stickering?

SI: Umm...I think if, umm...it doesn't matter to me if they put a sticker on the record, if people can still buy it. If stickering the record affects someone's opportunity to buy that record, then I have a problem with it. You know, I know there's stores where...stickered records you have to be a certain age maybe to buy it. You know, I totally disagree with that. I mean, if someone wants to sticker a record for whatever reason, that's fine. But once it affects someone's opportunity to, you know, get that record, then I have a problem with it.

Jane (ROC): The ACLU wants to ban record stickering because they say it violates First Amendment rights. Do you feel like your First Amendment rights have been violated?

SI: Well, yeah, if it's keeping somebody from getting our record, yeah, I do. I mean, yeah, granted, if they can't buy it at one store, they could go somewhere else and buy it. But still, you know... I think it's wrong that anyone can't go into any store and buy any record that they want to. I know people would argue and say, "Well, if you go to a video store, you know, you have to be a certain age to rent a rated X movie or a rated R or..." You know what I mean, so...I mean, there's a million arguments for both sides, but my own personal feelings are that, you know, I think people should be able to go out and get a record that they wanna get, no matter what.

Jane (ROC): Have you heard about the "Erotic Music" bill in Washington state?

SI: No.

Jane (ROC): They said that if they found something to be erotic that they would ban it. It didn't matter if it was violent or racist or whatever. How do you feel about that?

SI: I didn't hear about it myself, but um...

Jane (ROC): Do you think your music is erotic? (laughter from both)

SI: Umm...

Jane (ROC): Well, I mean, you know, if they're saying, "Okay, we're gonna ban this because it's erotic,"...

SI: Yeah.

Jane (ROC): ...Then what is erotic?

SI: Well, we haven't...I don't ...

Jane (ROC): I guess it's subjective.

SI: I don't think any of our lyrics have ever been erotic in a sexual term, because I haven't really written, touched on, that subject too often. But, uh ... I mean, I suppose they could point the finger at us for violence maybe in certain songs or just maybe...I don't know. Just things maybe they figure would be too intense for kids, I mean, I don't know, I really don't know. But, I just think the problem comes down to communication between the audience and their parents. If you're 13 or 14 years old, you know, I think if you had proper communication with your family or your parents, it'd be no problem to listen to any record because you'd know the way things are in fucking reality.

Jane (ROC): Exactly.

SI: You know, so...I think that's really what it comes down to. You know, it has nothing to do with the people who wanna ban these things, it has nothing to do with the artist, it just has to do with kids growing up and having a good relationship in their household and being able to have communication and parents being able to say. "Okay, you got this record. This is what this means, and this is what this means," you know. And you have to just know how to take things the right way. But since 90% of the families in this country are dysfunctional it becomes a problem.

Jane (ROC): Yeah, I come from one myself. Your new record's out, but it didn't get stickers. But it's got things that deal with murder and sadomasochism and just, you know, different things. You even say the "F" word here and there.

SI: Yeah, we said "FUCK" twice on the album.

Jane (ROC): And they didn't... Do you think just of a new label or ...

SI: I don't...Well , I know that it's up to individual labels. They have their own standards and practices departments that will listen and decide whether or not they're gonna sticker the record. You know, I don't know why 'Killer Bees' gets stickered or 'Persistence Of Time' gets stickered and this one doesn't. I say "Fuck You" twice on this-well, we don't say "Fuck You"-we say "fuck" twice.

Jane (ROC): Yeah, I counted it!

SI: You know, and yeah, some of the subject matter is pretty intense on this record, so...I guess they felt that they didn't have to do it or whatever. I don't know. Maybe now with, when you have records out like an Ice-T record where he says "fuck" a hundred times, what's two "fucks" you know?! So....

Jane (ROC): Yeah.

SI: Who knows? I don't know how they go about these things, whether or not they should get stickered.

Jane (ROC): Well, I was thinking about, like, a little kid might listen to it and go, "Mom, what's sadomasochism? We don't understand." So you know, and a lot of people in society don't deal with that very well anyway. It's...

SI: Offending. It makes people think.

Jane (ROC): Yeah, it makes people think. I want to ask you about the title of your album. I know it's not prejudice or anything, but did you get it from the book WHITE NOISE by Don DeLillo?

SI: Nope. Charlie just came up with it one day. He came in and said,"Sound Of White Noise," and it really had no meaning at the time, you know, besides just...White Noise is a frequency that will take up every--it's a sound that will take up every frequency across the audio spectrum. And, the songwriting almost kind of took on the life of the title, I guess, in a way.

Jane (ROC): How do you feel about the abortion issue? Because that's something where people get censored, and people are wanting to take away abortion rights.

SI: I feel very strongly that women should have their own choice in what they should do. It's really cut and dry with me. I don't think that anyone has a right to say what anyone can and can't do with their body. I don't consider it murder. It's something I feel really strongly about and especially with these abortion doctors getting shot. It really become something that's hard for me to deal with, you know, when I see people reacting on that sort of level, because it would be just as easy to just come back and react on that same level. And I guess you're not supposed to do that, but sometimes it's hard, you know. But, yeah, you know, I've always been a true believer that if men had babies, nobody would be trying to tell them what they can and can't do with their bodies.

Jane (ROC): Yeah, exactly. It'd be, like, a law where you had paternity leave and all this stuff.

SI: Men would be able to do whatever they wanted if they were the ones having kids, so...That's the way I look at it.

Jane (ROC): Yeah true!! Your song "This Is Not An Exit" came from a line in the book AMERICAN PSYCHO. Is it about the book or related to it in anyway?

SI: Nah, it's not about the book at all. Just the title was taken from the last line in the book. No, the lyrics are about immortality, about striving and wanting to live forever, but maybe if you actually were able to realize that dream it'd be something that you really wouldn't want. I mean, everybody wants to live forever, but it's just an idea.

Vince (ROC): I'm curious about one thing. What made you all decide to do a tour with Public Enemy?

SI: We're fans of them. We decided it would be a fun thing to do. That's it.

Jane (ROC): What do you think about most metal bands will sit there and rag on rap bands?

SI: I don't think about it. It has nothing to do with me. I don't give a shit what other people have to say or do. It doesn't mean anything to me. I just go about my own business. You know, I really don't worry about what people say or what they have to say or what they think--it just doesn't matter.

Jane (ROC): You have to live with yourself and not with what everyone else thinks.

SI: Exactly.

Jane (ROC): I like the variety on the new album. I mean, you all are always doing new and different things. Are you going to be putting out a B-side for some stuff that you have done?

SI: Some stuff's come out already, I guess. I'm not sure what's come out. There is an "Only" single, and I don't know what's on that, and there's a "Black Lodge" single now, and we're not sure what's an that, either.

Jane (ROC): For the "Only" single, the B-side was "Potters Field," and I was hoping you'd release that as a single.

SI: I think one of the KISS covers came out on this "Black Lodge" thing.

Vince (ROC): What's always been the main point with your music? I mean, is it for fun or are you trying to make a statement?

SI: The main point of our music is to write songs that we enjoy. To be able to go out and play, make records. That's really it. Like what I said before, we don't give a shit if people...I really could care less what people get out of it. I could be writing racist or fascist lyrics, and I'd feel the same way. If that was what I felt inside me, then that's what I'd be doing. And that's what would be important to me. It really has nothing to do with our audience or our record company - it just has to do with the five of us and what we get off on. I mean, I do this because this is what I love to do and no more. If I loved to, you know, cook, I'd be a chef - I mean, it's just what I had inside me since I was a kid, and that's what I've been doing. So, I really don't look outside any further than the actual five guys in this band. Like any type of criticism or anything, you know. The only people I'd actually listen to, that have anything to say to me, are the other four guys in this band, because what I do will directly affect them. You know, so if they have something to say, then I listen to it, but, outside of that...

Jane (ROC): So you don't feel responsibility ...

SI: No!

Jane (ROC): About what people do because they listen to your record and what they get out of it.

SI: If they agree with what we say, that's great, and if they disagree, that just as good.

Jane (ROC): Yeah. That's how I feel about my artwork. I do artwork and stuff, and people say, "Well, that's what I like to do."

SI: I can't understand someone who would be in a band or in some type of media spotlight who isn't doing things for his own reasons. If you're doing things to please the public, then, to me, that's really fake, you know. You can't.

Jane (ROC): Yeah. You can't do it for that reason at all.

SI: I mean, we're not out here to change the world. That's not my job!

Jane (ROC): (laughing) Oh, I can see it-the weight on your shoulders!!

Vince (ROC): What do you think whenever metal bands get blamed for crimes? For kids deaths?

Jane (ROC): He doesn't think he's responsible! (laughing).....I'm sorry.

SI: (sarcastically) I think they deserve it.

Jane (ROC): (still laughing)

SI: I think metal bands, metal and rap is to blame for every bad thing that's happened in this world since the holocaust.

Jane (ROC): (laughs)

Vince (ROC): People who say that...

SI: It's just ignorance. You know; that's all. All it is is ignorance. I mean, it's bad that it happens and that sometimes things could actually end up going to trial, but at the time, it's something that...it's just hard for me to take seriously. I guess maybe if it happens to us, I'll pay more attention to it, but...It hasn't yet.

Jane (ROC): Do you consider your band "heavy metal," "punk," "rap," everything, or just not categorized at all?

SI: We started as a heavy metal band, so I guess that is what we are.

Jane (ROC): In your bio thing, it says "heavy metal/punk," you know! (laughs) That you all hunted down John and Marsha at the IHOP!

SI: That's true. But we started out as a metal band; I don't think we've gone too far off course since we started.

Jane (ROC): Thanks for the interview.

SI: Thanks! Yeah--I hope you get to come to the show tonight.

Vince (ROC): Your music's great! I love it!

SI: Thanks.



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