ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian was interviewed on the latest installment of HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta’s official podcast, “The Jasta Show”. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the controversy surrounding this year’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival:
“We offered to be on [this year’s] Mayhem. We turned them down, ‘cause the money was too low. We were, like, ‘No. That’s ridiculous.’ ‘Well, there’s no money.’ ‘Well, then, that’s not our problem.’ Why are we gonna go out and get paid less than we’re worth. That’s insane.”
On the difficulty festival promoters face in booking headline-worthy metal and hard rock acts:
“To get a proper headliner, it also comes down to… Every band knows they can make more money on their own than if they’re on a bill with a bunch of other bands or a festival, ‘cause anyone who’s in that position that you’d want to headline, they could just go do it themselves. That’s the problem all festivals are having now. Especially even in Europe, the cash that headliners are getting paid now to headline these festivals has doubled in the last couple of years — crazy, crazy money the A-list metal and hard rock bands are getting now. It’s insane money. Because otherwise there’s no festival without them. I know. John Jackson is our agent. [He’s] one of the partners in Sonisphere. A couple of years ago, they had to cancel that Sonisphere that was on sale because they felt it just wasn’t doing well. So they canceled it, and then they decided, ‘We would rather not put it on.’ It doesn’t mean it’s never coming back — ‘cause it came back a year later — but their attitude is, ‘If we can’t get the headliner, we just won’t do it that year in the U.K., or whatever. We have to have a product, and it has to be great.’ And they tried; they tried to get AC/DC, and it didn’t happen. So it’s just hard. If you don’t have that A-list. And I get it. Like, if you’re talking about trying to do, let’s say, five to seven thousand kids in parking lots and things like a Warped Tour thing, of course, something like that is way more doable. Once you’re talking about sheds, that’s a different story. If you’re only doing six thousand in a shed, no one’s making money.”
“There’s so much competition for that real estate. That’s another reason we skipped festivals besides we need to finish our record. There really were no… SLIPKNOT was out headlining shows, festivals… but it wasn’t like that festival season where you had [IRON] MAIDEN and METALLICA and whole bunch of real, real big, big things. It just seemed like there’s too many festivals and not enough bands to go around in 2015. That’s what it looked like to us over there. And we had been there seven years straight, or something like that. Our agent was, like, ‘Stay home and finish you record, because when you come back in ’16, you’ve been away and you’re on a cycle and it just makes sense.’ So that was the plan, and I think it was definitely the right thing to do.”
On whether ANTHRAX’s early material is available on streaming music services like Spotify and Pandora:
“I don’t have Spotify. I don’t stream. I don’t do any of that. So I’m ignorant to that. That’s a good question that I’ll ask my manager. Like, all our old Island catalog, is ‘Among The Living’ on Spotify? I have no idea. If it is, I’m sure we’re not making any off it. Even if we had the best deal in the world, we still wouldn’t be seeing any money from Spotify. That’s why when I hear musicians use Spotify, I’m, like, ‘Really? You’re supporting a company that’s ripping you off.’ That’s amazing. ‘Yeah, but it’s so easy to just have your music.’ I’m, like, ‘It’s really easy to have my music without Spotify.’ I just never got that. You know this company is fucking you, yet you are still okay with using it. That’s weird to me.”
“The thing is, I get it, I get it. It’s how a lot of people on the planet get their music now, and I’m not against that. I wouldn’t say, ‘Don’t put our records on there,’ because I understand it now. It’s, like, great, that’s how you’re getting our music, and then maybe you’re gonna go buy a ticket next time we come through. So I get that; I totally get it. On the other side of that, I’m still the guy who… I came from the era where you could actually have a platinum album. How many records went platinum in America last year? That’s a fucking joke. So take your streaming and shove it up your ass, is really how I truly feel about it. But that doesn’t mean I’m gonna be a caveman and say, ‘We’re not streaming.’ I want our music to get out there. I want as many people to get exposed to it as possible.”
ANTHRAX recently completed work on the follow-up to 2011’s “Worship Music” for an early 2016 release.