ANTHRAX Guitarist Scott Ian - "Poker Players Are Way More Over The Top Than Most Rock Stars These Days"

July 11, 2009, 14 years ago

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ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian spoke with about playing in the Main Event of the World Series Of Poker. Here are a few excerpts from the chat: Anthrax is on tour right now, how in the world are you able to play the Main Event?

Ian: "I didn’t get to play the Main Event last year. I played a couple of smaller events and Ante Up for Africa but then had to leave and play shows. Which crushed me, because I was dying to play the Main Event. So I’ve been waiting for this for a year. Summer is peak time for touring rock and metal bands. Somehow it worked out where the first leg of our run was in Europe and I got here on Sunday, played Day 1d and survived. I played 2b and was at the airport at 4:30 in the morning heading to Tulsa. We headlined a festival called Rocklahoma last night to like 12,000 people. I was back at the airport in Tulsa at 4:30, had to go through Denver to get here and finally got back to my hotel at 9:30 a.m. I ate breakfast and came here. And let’s say I make the final nine - that’s November 15th and I would have to fly to Sweden on the 16th and play for two and a half weeks. It’s insane how it worked out down to the day that I could be here and play this. That never happens in my life." Does playing poker offer you a different type of release than playing guitar?

Ian: "Yeah, because I don’t have any stress at all when it comes to playing shows or making records. There’s no question like, “Is it gonna happen?” or “If I do this one way will is the song going to get done” When I’m on stage with the band I know exactly what I’m doing. I have all the information in the world. I know everything that’s going on. Whereas poker is the same amount of rush with a giant mountain of stress on it." What’s the more decadent lifestyle - poker player or rock star?

Ian: "If it was the '80s I would say rock star. But with my experience now, poker players are way more over the top than most rock stars these days. That crazy rock star lifestyle is seen few and far between these days. The old guys just don’t do it anymore and a lot of the younger bands aren’t like that. We don’t have any new rock stars. In the last three years I’ve hung out with pro poker players, the shit that goes on and the retarded amount of money that gets thrown around on stupid shit is more than I’ve ever seen rock stars ever do."

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