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Anthrax’s Charlie Benante on Slayer Retirement: ‘Maybe We’re All Coming to the End’

Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante isn’t surprised Slayer decided to call it a career, though the news still shook him once it was announced this week. In a new interview, Benante says he knew Slayer were considering retirement “for a while” and contemplates Anthrax’s own demise.

Along with Lamb of God, Behemoth and Testament, Anthrax will be a part of Slayer’s North American farewell dates. Each show will be a gigantic gathering of the best metal can offer, but it will be tinged with sadness much like Black Sabbath’s recent curtain call.

“I think I’ve known for a while now that some of the guys in the band maybe were feeling it a bit at this point, and I can totally understand that, because I feel it too,” Benante tells the Cobras & Fire podcast. “I guess when I saw it yesterday, it kind of hit home with me a bit. I actually got a feeling of putting a time stamp on things.”

The drummer adds, “Nowadays, it’s become really common for the people that I looked up to who are now passing on. So when Slayer put that thing out, it kind of hit me in a way that was, ‘Fuck, man! This ride is… Maybe we’re all coming to the end of our ride here a bit.’ And I think it probably startled a lot of people, both musicians, both the fans. Fans are just… I think they’re all worried now that, what’s gonna be left? These shitty bands that are coming up now?”

Benante is realistic about any band’s lifespan, however. “I think the fans want these bands to live on forever, and, of course, so do I, but there’s so many factors into this. Do you wanna go see your [favorite] band and do you wanna come out of it going, ‘Oh my God! That was terrible. They barely could play.’ Because I’ve witnessed that. And it’s, like, ‘Ooh, man.’ You feel bad.”

Slayer’s North American farewell dates will begin May 10 in San Diego, Calif. and finish up June 20 in Austin, Texas. Pre-sales have already begun for the shows and tickets will become available to the public tomorrow (Jan. 26) at 10AM local time.

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