Anthony Morgan of Metal Forces conducted an interview with ANTHRAX vocalist Joey Belladonna during the band’s current European tour with SLAYER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On ANTHRAX’s forthcoming album, “For All Kings”:
“I think the band overall is sounding like it really wants to be. It’s definitely heavier. For me, vocally, there’s a little bit more room than usual. It’s really, from the start, like the old days. We have finally had a chance to be a band; we haven’t had any people in from the side, like this guy or that guy, and all that horse shit we used to go through [laughs], or they have been going through… I think it really just sounds like a new thing that we’re doing. It’s a bit of the old, a bit of the new, and it’s kind of a darker album, too. It’s got some really interesting moments. I just think we’re really, really on top of our game, doing what we need to do.”
On the Paris terrorist attacks:
“We had played Paris about a week to two weeks before that. Someone asked me about that, too, like what I think about the area and what’s going on — even though that hadn’t happened yet. I said ‘You know what? It sucks.’ What do you do? Does anybody really have any answers for that kind of stuff? The more and more I listen and the more and more people talk about it, it’s a very complicated situation. It’s deeper than it looks.”
On whether such attacks cause fear among bands and fans alike:
“Yeah, and that’s the thing. Every day goes on and every show that happens, you can’t help but think about stuff like that. We’re very sad to hear of any of that stuff go down, because we knew some of those people. There were caterers there that we knew, some lighting people that were there. You know what? Who would’ve even thought that with Dimebag [Darrell Abbott, late PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist who was shot while performing onstage on December 8, 2004]? That somebody would come into a club and do shit like that? Any of that stuff, it’s horrible. I wish I had an answer for it, and I wish I had… Who wants to stop? I don’t wanna stop, and I don’t want people to not come out. We don’t wanna go home, and all that stuff. We’re just carrying on right now. Everybody’s taking as much measures as they can.”
On how he rates 1985’s “Spreading The Disease” among ANTHRAX’s catalogue:
“Maybe three? I think it’s ‘Among The Living’ , ‘Persistence Of Time’ , then ‘Spreading The Disease’. I don’t know. It’s hard to rank them, but it’s definitely in my top three just because it’s a special record. Of all things, on that one, I had a little bit more room to sing a little bit straight ahead in some ways. It was my first record, and I had a lot of fun doing it. It was just one of those records where I wasn’t stricken as much. As times went on, things started to change. It got faster. People were trying to make sure you didn’t get too far away from what you were doing, like ‘Let’s try to do this.’ People holing you into a style. Not to even bring it up, but look how they changed when they went and fucking got someone else… really, for whatever reasons. Just to make a change. I had nothing to do with that. How did I even know that my style was correct? At this time, you didn’t even know what these guys were digging as a vocalist. Me and you could both listen to the same music, and go ‘Fuck, I don’t like that, because I like this.’ ‘Why do you like that?’ ‘Well, because I like his style and I don’t like his.’ You can have that in a band, too. Do you realize that each guy in each band has a certain likeness of how certain players are? How they perform, and what they like? Maybe they like a different style of drummer, you know? It’s funny how people in your own band can judge you and rate you, and put you in a spot, so it’s tough. I don’t know. I just do what I do, and I try to be as good as I can. I didn’t chase the ’90s — I don’t chase anything. I just do my own thing. I have my own style, and I do what I do.”
On the possibility of an autobiography:
“A book from me? I’ve got a lot of things to say. [Laughs] People ask me about that. I don’t know if I’m that anxious to do one. I’m not sure it’ll take me more time than I want to, and I’m not even sure how to speak about things that I don’t know if I really wanna say to people. I’m conflicted with that kind of thing, because I probably have a deeper story than a lot of people know. I could talk about a lot of stuff that might not be very friendly, just from the overall ins and outs of doing it from day one to now. There’s certain things that maybe make you unhappy, and it could be small things. Do you really need to talk about it? I’m pretty quiet for the most part. For me to go out there, and start spilling shit? I don’t know. I could talk. I mean, it doesn’t really have to be that way either. It could be about how I grew up, what got me into music, what I did when I got out of high school, and all that kind of stuff. Is anybody interested? I don’t even know. It would be cool if it didn’t take me forever, but then again, I could go forever about it because I’ve got so much I could say.”
Read the entire interview at Metal Forces.