ANTHRAX Frontman Joey Belladonna - "I’m Done Proving Anything; I’m Just Gonna Do What I Do, And It Comes Off Naturally"

September 11, 2011, 8 years ago

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Steve Rosen at recently caught up with ANTHRAX frontman Joey Belladonna to discuss the band's new album, Worship Music. An excerpt from the interview is available below:

UG: What did it feel like being with Anthrax again?

Belladonna: "The way they asked me to come in was if something didn’t work out on their end, they’d call you at the last minute to see if you wanted to do it. So right off the bat I’m thinkin’, 'OK, I’m the second thought in mind.' I had to think that way."

UG: Did you really?

Belladonna: "Yeah, well that was the fact. They even stated that they asked somebody that nobody knew [Dan Nelson] and they knew full well it wasn’t going to work out. And then you get John [Bush] in there, you try to get him, and he don’t wanna do it so who do you call? Me [laughs]. Fine, I’ll come in, but you have your thoughts of like, 'OK, here we go. Now I’m gonna go and do a record and they’re gonna kinda push me around and try to build around something that sort of has somewhat of a foundation.' I mean, granted, the songs were all torn up and we did all kinds of cool stuff to it in the end. But you walk in and you’re thinking, 'OK, I’m gonna get pushed around and I’m gonna have to mop up the rest what someone else didn’t accomplish' and all this kinda stuff. And everything is on me ‘cause all there’s left is a vocal they think. But there’s a lot more to it and hopefully they’ll let me do it and they let me roll."

UG: How did you go about recording your vocals?

Belladonna: "I was in alone with the producer, Jay Rusdon, and we did everything alone; we spent time together and we were real quick and we were doing a song a day. Things were real smooth and nobody was there to lean on any mishaps, and there was very few of those. But if you’re sitting there and people are reviewing every word, every minute, every second, you’re like, 'Ahh, c’mon, let me roll here. Just give me some time.' But none of that happened so that was cool. But I definitely was hesitant and thought, 'Are you sincere about this? Do you really, really want me here? Are you gonna accept this? Or is it gonna go because there’s a missing thing and you need to complete that—you need to put somebody in that position.'"

UG: Were you thinking on some level that you had to prove yourself all over again?

Belladonna: "I’m always thinking, 'I’ve got to prove myself' but now I’m done proving anything. I’m just gonna do what I do and it comes off naturally. I don’t have to sit around and be like, 'Are we OK? You sure?'"

UG: Scott Ian did say he gave you free reign to do your thing with the vocals.

Belladonna: "Yeah, I mean I had a lot of room. I mean, I wouldn’t say I have room like if someone’s to write a song. Today if me and you were sitting in a room and you’ve got a riff and I start singing over something and I go, 'OK, but wait a minute. Why don’t we change that chord and that chord and we’ll stretch it out and I’ll sing a little bit more and then you change the next chord.' There was not a lot of that; it was a lot of other things. I was good at doing it early on where I walked in with Spreading The Disease and everything was finished except for the vocals and I did a whole lot with that. So it’s not hard to do it that way and it works great and no one has to worry about me chiming in and going, 'OK, what about this riff to go over that? It sounds better. What key are we in?' and all that kinda stuff. There’s a lot of things to consider but I walked in and we did a lot of stuff, a lot of vocals, a lot of harmonies, a lot of melody and a lot of pronunciation; a lot of things and a lot of arrangements and stuff with new guitars, bass and drums. It was a lot of stuff but at the same time, I don’t have a problem doing it one way or the other. I’m just glad that they were open to what I was doing."

Click here for the complete interview.

On September 14th, METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH, and ANTHRAX, collectively known as The Big 4 of thrash, will perform for a legion of headbangers at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Following that monumental show, thrash titans ANTHRAX and TESTAMENT, who haven't toured together in more than a decade, are set to co-headline a US tour beginning Friday, October 14th in Grand Rapids, MI (itinerary below). Anthrax will close all shows, and DEATH ANGEL will be main support for the entire tour. The coast-to-coast trek will figure to decimate more than two dozen cities over a five-week period, with both Anthrax and Death Angel debuting brand new material from their new albums, both set for summer/fall release; Testament's new album is set to be released in 2012.

Dates are subject to change and more will be announced - the itinerary for the Anthrax/Testament/Death Angel Fall 2011 tour is as follows:


14 - Orbit Room - Grand Rapids, MI
15 - Congress Theatre - Chicago, IL
16 - First Avenue - Minneapolis, MN
18 - The Cotillion - Wichita, KS
19 - Summit Music Hall - Denver, CO
22 - Nokia LA Live - Los Angeles, CA
23 - Warfield Theatre - San Francisco, CA
24 - House of Blues - San Diego, CA
26 - Sunshine Theatre - Albuquerque, NM
28 - South Side Music Hall - Dallas, TX
29 - Emo's East - Austin, TX
30 - Warehouse Live - Houston, TX


1 - House of Blues - Orlando, FL
2 - Revolution, Ft. Lauderdale - FL
4 - House of Blues - Myrtle Beach, SC
5 - Fillmore Charlotte - Charlotte, NC
6 - The Fillmore - Silver Spring, MD
8 - Northern Lights - Clifton Park, NY
10 - Electric Factory - Philadelphia, PA
11 - Palladium - Worcester, MA
15 - Town Ballroom - Buffalo, NY
17 - Stage AE - Pittsburgh, PA
19 - Rave - Milwaukee, WI

Anthrax will release Worship Music, on September 13th in North America via Megaforce Records and September 14th in Europe via Nuclear Blast Records. Worship Music will also be released in Japan on September 14th via Victor Records. This edition will include a remix of the album track 'Crawl' as a bonus track.

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