Joey Belladonna Rejoins Anthrax
In their 29 years as a band, Anthrax have always had a revolving door when it comes to singers, from Neil Turbin to Joey Belladonna, who was most associated with the gig, to John Bush, who had a long successful tenure, to Dan Nelson, who recorded an album, ‘Worship Music,’ which was shelved before release last year.
But Noisecreep is happy to report that Belladonna, long-considered the essential Anthrax vocalist, is back. The singer, who was seen with drummer Charlie Benante and bassist Frank Bello in New York last month, has officially rejoined these legendary thrashers. Belladonna will make his first live appearance with the band this summer on the ‘Big Four’ tour featuring Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. That tour was already shaping up to be a monster, but with Anthrax’s definitive vocalist rejoining the fold, that tour’s awesomeness just increased tenfold. Belladonna will also play a spate of headlining shows.
“I am super excited about this,” said guitarist Scott Ian in a statement. “Joey and the rest of the band came to see me play at a club in New York, I hadn’t seen Joey for years, since the end of the reunion tour. Joey taps me on the shoulder, instant big hug, it felt like no time had gone by. The band dynamic is an interesting one – in Anthrax, Joey and I spent so many years of our lives together, we grew up together, we know each other so well, so it was like no time was lost.”
Belladonna sang for Anthrax from 1985 to 1992 on modern classics like ‘Spreading the Disease,’ ‘Among the Living’ and ‘Persistence of Time.’ He returned to the fold and rejoined all the original members of Anthrax for the 2005 – 2007 “Among the Living Tour.” This reunion is a bit different, though, and everyone is in a positive headspace.
Belladonna himself said, “I had been in touch with Charlie and Frank, then I got a call from their manager who said that everyone wanted me back in the band. I thought, ‘Are you guys for real? You want me up there, fronting the band like it was before?’ I was thrilled. We’ve already started to reconnect with the old ways of having conversations. Everything is easy going and feels really good.”
“We’re going to do these summer shows and gel as a band,” said Benante, as well. “Get comfortable playing with each other again, and the energy from that should go right into making new music.” Back in October, Benante intimated that the band was in discussions with Bush. Never a dull moment when it comes to singin’ for Anthrax.
“John was a real stand up guy about the situation,” said Ian, about John Bush, who filled the vocalist post from ’92 – ’05. “He knew we wanted to move forward at full speed, that we needed a total commitment to Anthrax, and he knew that wasn’t what he wanted. We certainly wish John well. We’ve had so many great times with him, and we appreciate his stepping in last summer at the last minute, and performing with us since then. He will always be an integral part of the Anthrax family.”
Immediately following the final Sonisphere festival in early August, the band will fly back to the U.S. and begin writing and rehearsing for a new album that’s expected in early 2011.
“We’ve got an unusual luxury of hindsight,” added Ian in the statement. “We finished an album a year ago, we’ve lived with those 12 songs since then, and we can look back on them and see what we really love and what we can make even better, especially with Joey back in the fold.”
Added Benante, “There are five or six songs from a year ago that we don’t want to change, we love them the way they are, other than having Joey making them his own with his vocals. Then there’s another five or six that we may want to rework, and then there are a bunch of other tunes that are still in the early stages, that we want to finish.
“The band has been on an emotional roller coaster since last summer,” Benante continued, “but I think everything that we’ve had to deal with during that time was pushing us toward this, to Joey being back in Anthrax, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect or appropriate. To have Joey with us playing these shows with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth is the way it should be — as Anthrax’s vocalist from ’85 to ’92, he was part of ‘The Big Four.’”
Welcome back, Mr. Belladonna. This news just made our week. Just one question, though, guys: Where’s guitarist Dan Spitz? We kid, we kid.
Anthrax tour dates
6/16 — Sonisphere Festival, Warsaw, Poland
6/18 — Sonisphere Festival, Wil, Switzerland
6/19 — Sonisphere Festival, Prague, Czech Republic
6/20 — Arena Wien, Vienna, Austria
6/22 — Sonisphere Festival, Sofia, Bulgaria
6/24 — Sonisphere Festival, Athens, Greece
6/26 — Sonisphere Festival, Bucharest, Romania
6/27 — Sonisphere Festival, Istanbul, Turkey
7/31 — Sonisphere Festival, Knebworth, UK
8/1 — Lokerse Feesten Festival, Lokerse, Belgium
8/3 — Metropol, Hengelo, Netherlands
8/5 — B1, Moscow, Russia
8/7 — Sonisphere Festival, Stockholm, Sweden
8/8 — Sonisphere Festival, Pori, Finland