your disease and Antichrist tendencies here, baby!
Both Judas Priest and
Anthrax have proved the ability of bands to break apart, live their own
lives and still come home again.
Those old enough can
recall the major impact Judas Priest had on heavy metal in the ’70s and
’80s, and the impact and innovation Anthrax brought to the world of
metal, and rap, in the ’80s.
For those not old
enough to remember all that, the freshest memory of Judas Priest might
be when frontman Rob Halford came out of the closet a few years back or
that the band was the inspiration behind the Mark Wahlberg movie Rock
Star. Rock Star is so similar to real-life Judas Priest lore that it
goes beyond the gay frontman scenario. Halford’s replacement in Judas
Priest, Tim “Ripper” Owens, was playing in a Judas Priest tribute band
before hitting the big time with the real band. Your freshest memory of
Anthrax might be the pesky, powdery white stuff that had folks across
the country on edge shortly after Sept. 11, 2001.
But there’s so much
OK, youngsters, did you
ever watch Beavis and Butthead when Beavis ranted “Breaking the law,
breaking the law.” That, my friends, is a little Judas Priest flavor for
you from the song “Breaking the Law.”
And back when
heavy-hitting rap artists Public Enemy owned the hip-hop world — before
it was even hip-hop — speed-metal enthusiasts Anthrax decided to team up
with the rap group for a break-them-barriers-down experience, with the
song “Bring the Noise.”
Since leaving Judas
Priest in 1990, Halford has kept busy forming various bands, including
Fight and Two, as well as Halford, a side project on Trent Reznor’s
Nothing Records. In 2003, Halford rejoined the band to put together
Metalogy, a box set which encompasses the band’s entire career. This
meeting of the minds brought Halford back to Judas Priest, even though
he had publicly stated he would not return to the band. That year, Owens
left, allowing Halford to pick up as if he never left. The band recently
released its latest album, Angel of Retribution.
As far as Anthrax is
concerned, different members left at different times. The only original
member to remain firmly planted in Anthrax is guitarist Scott Ian. But,
after putting some space between them all, the original Anthrax is back
together touring. Bassist Frank Bello, who left the band a year ago and
joined Helmet temporarily, took time out from touring to talk to us
about finishing the job, Rolex watches and the ideal rap-metal
collaboration that will never come true.
You’ve mentioned that Anthrax has something to finish as a band. What do
Well we need to finish
together. When we ended it with Joey [Belladonna] and Danny [Spitz], it
just wasn’t on the right note. I don’t want to say it was a sour note
but it was left unset. It just went somewhere it shouldn’t have.
How much truth is there to Danny completely leaving music behind 10
years ago and mastering the skill of watchmaking? He’s not really a
watchmaker, is he?
Danny? Yeah, he is. He
went to Switzerland and did the whole thing. He dropped music for a
while. He can tell you everything he knows about a Rolex … and he has.
Well how can he juggle making watches and music at the same time?
Right now it’s all
about Anthrax. He’ll go back to [watchmaking] sometime.
Are there any rap artists out there you’d like to collaborate with as
you did with Public Enemy?
I would have loved to
have done something with Biggie [Notorious B.I.G.]. He was doing some
innovative stuff. Right now I don’t see anybody that’s saying something
that’s getting me really crazy.
Soon after 9/11, you guys considered changing the band name. Did you
really consider changing it to Basket Full of Puppies?
No, it was just
something I said to someone at CNN, talking to him the way I’m talking
with you. But still, at that time it was pretty much out of control. The
name wasn’t ours anymore. Then we did this New York Steel Show for
policemen and firemen, and I’ll tell you, the outcry of ‘don’t change
your name,’ from all these cops and firemen. They were saying ‘don’t
change your name, don’t let them win.’ That showed us so much integrity.
there an album in the future, now that the band is back together?
Right now all we want
to do is concentrate on the shows and take it day to day. When all the
touring is done, then we’ll talk about it.