Anthrax feared for their future
Anthrax guitarist and producer Rob Caggiano has confirmed they feared for their own future during the “really dark period” when they’d sacked singer Dan Nelson.
The thrash pioneers settled with their former frontman in court earlier this week, making a secret agreement thought to include giving him co-ownership of the songs on 2010 album Worship Music.
Bassist Frank Bello said as he left the Manhattan hearing: “I’ve got to put a band-aid on my tongue from biting it so much.”
But it marks an end to a turbulent seven years for Anthrax. In 2005 they brought back classic-era singer Joey Belladonna for a reunion tour which alienated then frontman John Bush. When Belladonna left again they recruited Nelson. But soon after completing work on Worship Music they suddenly parted ways with him. Bush returned in a stand-in position but no longer wanted to commit. It wasn’t until Belladonna finally returned full-time, and re-recorded vocals for the album, that the band had a firm lineup once more.
Caggiano tells Guitar International: “We went through a really dark period. At one point we were uncertain about the future of the band and whether the record was ever going to get done.
“There was stuff that went down and confused the fans with the lineup changes. Nobody really knew what to think.
“We started tracking the record in 2007 and when we got to the mixing stage we had to put it on the shelf because we had no singer.”
As a result, Caggiano accepts, “the band needed to prove to the metal community what we are all about.” But he says: “I think we did it with the record.”
Earlier this week drummer Charlie Benante revealed the band were planning to produce an EP of cover versions, set to include tracks by AC/DC, Boston, Journey and Rush.
Caggiano says: “There has been some talk. We recorded Neon Nights for the Ronnie James Dio tribute CD and it came out pretty smokin’. There are a bunch of tunes in various states of completion so I really don’t know what will end up on the EP. Steve Perry and Ronnie James Dio are two of Joey’s favourite singers, so it totally makes sense on that level. I always loved Journey.”
But guitarist Scott Ian has clarified there are no plans for a full album, telling VH1: “It’s not at all what we’re doing. We always record cover songs and eventually they end up getting released in some way, shape or form as B-sides. But we’re definitely not working on a covers album.”
Anthrax’s cover of Queen track It’s Late appears on the CD accompanying the current edition of Classic Rock. The interactive edition is available on iPad and iPhone for the UK and for the US.