SINATE’s Sam Sheppard recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian for Mammoth Metal TV. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On why he decided to write his autobiography, “I’m The Man: The Story Of That Guy From Anthrax”, after initially saying that he wouldn’t release one:
“I just really didn’t know if I had a story to tell, honestly. Having read other books by guys in bands, and a lot of them just seemed to have a very similar story arc of the rise to fame, the sex, drugs and rock and roll, the losing everything and then somehow redeeming, or coming back from it. I was, like, ‘I don’t have that story at all.’ ‘Cause MÖTLEY CRÜE did ‘The Dirt’, and if you can’t top that, if you can’t top Marilyn Manson’s book, what would be the point of even, like, ‘Yeah, I did drugs.’ Who cares? They did it better than you; their book’s better. So, instead of having that be the focus, ‘cause I don’t have that story, maybe my focus will be on just this fucking tenacious prick from Queens who just refuses to say ‘no’ and made it happen, made his band happen, and how I did that, and how somehow I was able to make that happen in my life. And it turned out there really was a story. So in a sense, the fact that I’m so bad at doing drugs becomes funny, because other bands’ crazy drug stories, looking back at them, especially if they survived the whole thing, they came out the other side… A guy like [MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s] Nikki Sixx, who survived and has come out better for it as a human, having experienced all that insanity… I never had any of that. I was really, really bad at it, so therefore it’s just inherently funny.”
On not starting to drink alcohol until he was in his mid-30s:
“If we didn’t tour with PANTERA in ’97 and ’98, I can safely say… I mean, maybe at some point I would have started, but it would have still been even more years; I would have started even later. I wouldn’t have just started drinking whiskey on my own, let’s put it that way. As a matter of fact, [late PANTERA guitarist ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott] was the only one who could get me to [drink], because any other times I was around… Since my late teens, I was around booze and drugs constantly — around it — [I] just never wanted to partake; I wasn’t good at it. And certainly even in my 30s, I was around it all the time; I’d go out to bars all the time, fancy clubs and all that kind of shit, but I just wasn’t… I wasn’t drinking. I had the opportunity; it’s just I was never interested. Dimebag made it look like Disney World. You wanna be involved from the time you’re 4 until you’re 80. He made drinking look like Disney World.”
On whether METALLICA’s Kirk Hammett was his first and only option to write the foreword to his autobiography:
“My first and only real option… If [American author] Stephen King would have done it, I certainly wouldn’t have complained about that, but, in reality, that wasn’t gonna happen. And it wouldn’t have made much sense; I don’t know Stephen King and he doesn’t know me, other than… Obviously, I’m a fan of his work and he’s been in print saying he’s a fan of ANTHRAX. But it just made sense, because Kirk is… I’ve known Kirk longer than I’ve even known some of the guys in ANTHRAX. We grew up together in this world, so who better to write a foreword for the book than someone who knows it and really understands what I’ve been through and the worlds that we’ve existed in since 1983.”
On why “State Of Euphoria” (1988) is his least favorite ANTHRAX album:
“I have no problem with half the record. It wasn’t finished. We should have written for another six months, because… We rushed ourselves, because we had a tour with IRON MAIDEN in the summer of 1988, and the record had to be done before we left for tour because of our schedule. So we rushed it. And I just listen to songs on that record and I know they’re not finished. I know they needed a little bit more time in the oven. They’re just not where they should be; they don’t sound like finished songs to me. We were just still in the process of working on them and we settled; we just said, ‘Okay, we’re done. We’re going in.’ And I just know… That’s why I have no problem with half the record; half of it I have a big problem with, ‘cause it just doesn’t sound finished to me.”
ANTHRAX’s new album, “For All Kings”, will be released on February 26, 2016 via Nuclear Blast in Europe and Megaforce in the U.S.