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Joey Belladonna on Anthrax: I’m Only Allowed So Much Friendship

Kathy Flynn,

During a recent interview, Anthrax singer Joey Belladonna opened up about his place within the inner workings of Anthrax. Along with sharing that he’s never quite found his place in Anthrax, Belladonna admits he may have never joined the band if he had known how personally closed off he’d feel from his current bandmates.

Since forming in 1981, Anthrax have gone through a total of 22 members throughout the iconic act’s career. Seven of those musicians have taken the role of vocalist. Joey Belladonna is currently on his third run with Anthrax, having left the group in 1992 after an eight-year stint and once again in 2007 after only two years. Belladonna returned once more in 2010, adding extra gunpowder to Anthrax’s ‘Worship Music’ album.

While speaking with Sweden Rock Magazine, Belladonna spoke about a sense of displacement he’s felt during his time with Anthrax. “You’re joining four guys that are friends from New York City,” the singer begins. “It’s like coming into a new neighborhood and trying to get new friends. I don’t think I’ve ever really found my place with this band. I mean, as much as we do what we do, it’s so corporate in its own way. But, yeah, it doesn’t get much better than it is now, but it could be a whole lot better, too, at the same time. [I’m] only allowed so much friendship.”

Belladonna continues, “I don’t even talk with [the other guys in the band] right now. I mean, there’ll be a few e-mails, but they’re so short. It’s not like I sit on the horn [telephone] and talk with Charlie [Benante, drums] all day. He don’t have time for me. I do, but they just don’t, you know?! It’s only out of necessity [that they keep in contact with me]. So even back then, I don’t think it was anything really that cool. Part of me might not have joined it because it wasn’t as open as when I jammed with friends at home and they’d always come over my house all day and play for hours. And we’d go out together and we’d hang out together. Anthrax wasn’t like that, you know?!”

Belladonna also states that he’s continued on with the band because of the quality of music from Anthrax, whom he calls an “extraordinary, really talented group.” [via Blabbermouth]

For the full interview with Joey Belladonna, grab the March 2014 issue of Sweden Rock Magazine.

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