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The Anthrax Interview — ”Creep Show’

A little over a week ago, thrash metal pioneers Anthrax announced that vocalist Joey Belladonna, who played in the band between 1985 and 1992 and rejoined for a tour of their vintage material between 2005 and 2006, was back in the group and would sing on the band’s next record.

The news came as a shock, even to die-hard fans who watched Anthrax stumble from one confusing scenario to the next over the past two years. Here’s why: In 2005, Anthrax wanted both vocalist John Bush (Armored Saint) and Belladonna to join them for a tour of songs that would span their entire career. Bush said no thanks and left disgruntled, and Belladonna took the group up on its offer. Their old guitarist Dan Spitz rejoined as well for the first time since 1992, and the shows were fierce and fiery, blazing with determination and old-school energy.

It would have made sense for Anthrax to continue their forward momentum and record a new album with Belladonna and Spitz, but that didn’t happen. The band did, indeed, start writing material for a new album, but before a full lineup could be solidified, Belladonna disappeared from the picture and the band hired unknown vocalist Dan Nelson.

“I don’t know what the hell was going on, to tell you the truth,” Belladonna said from a conference line that also featured drummer and songwriter Charlie Benante.

“We never had a chance to regroup and bond as friends again,” Benante added. “It was kind of like we met and we were thrown on tour. And it was like, ‘OK, repair your relationships out there, guys. See you later.’ There was a honeymoon stage and then some weirdness started to happen again, and before you know it, it was done.”

To find out what kind of “weirdness” started to happen, how Anthrax almost broke up, how Nelson came into the picture, why he left, why John Bush didn’t want to rejoin, how the band made nice with Belladonna again and when we can expect the next Anthrax album — which may or may not be called ‘Worship Music’ — stop reading and check out the podcast.

Interviewing Anthrax on the show were Noisecreep editor Seth Werkheiser, Revolver senior writer and Noisecreep regular Jon Wiederhorn and former Rip editor and ‘Nights With Alice Cooper’ syndicated radio show producer Katherine Turman.

After our revealing interview, Belladonna and Benante joined us for discussion of the week’s metal events. Topics included a status report on Poison frontman Bret Michaels and news about Danzig‘s upcoming tour with Gorgeous Frankenstein and Seventh Void. We also talked about a professional quality fan-created Nine Inch Nails DVD of the band’s final show and Avenged Sevenfold‘s announcement that their next album will be called ‘Nightmare’ and that the title track will be released as a single on May 17. In addition, we marveled at a riot that broke out at a worker’s rights protest in Zurich, Switzerland during a D.O.A. show and lamented Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French’s announcement that the band is done touring and will only play one-offs from now on. As Slayer chanted in the backwards masking on the album ‘Hell Awaits,’ join us, join us.

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