John Bush battled for Anthrax identity
Former Anthrax singer John Bush has recalled the band’s battle to come out from the shadow of their 1980s legacy.
He joined the thrash giants in 1992 following the departure of classic-era frontman Joey Belladonna, taking their sound in a new direction with Sound Of White Noise in 1993.
Bush says he’s proud of what he achieved in his 13 years with the band – and he reveals he doesn’t tour often any more because his trademark ferocious delivery is difficult to keep up.
The singer tells The Nervous Breakdown: “We made four records or original material, I did a lot of touring, and I think we made some really cool music.
“The face of rock’n'roll was changing and I think Anthrax embraced that, and I’m proud of that.
“It was hard because Anthrax was such an important band in the 80s. It was difficult to compete with yourself. It was hard for the other guys, let alone myself, to try and overcome what the band did in the 80s, and say, ‘This music is equally important.’
“But I think it is. Sound Of White Noise was a record that sounded like Anthrax in the future. It was the right thing to do for the band at that time. I’m proud of all my time in Anthrax – we did some great stuff.”
The band reunited with Belladonna following a tumultuous split with previous incumbent Dan Nelson. In 2009 and 2010 Bush stood in, but didn’t want to rejoin full time. He returned to work with previous outfit Armored Saint – but he believes his days of constant touring are over.
“In my mind I’m a better singer than I ever was – certainly better than when I was 22 years old,” he reflects. “Sometimes it’s difficult to sing the way I do. People say, ‘Dude, you don’t have to push so much.’ But this is the only way I know how to do it, man. It becomes stressful because it’s not easy to do at my age.
“That’s probably one of the reasons I don’t like touring too much. I wouldn’t be able to do it at the high quality I’d like to, so I’d rather not.”
Despite his concerns, Bush has no plans to retire. He explains: “I love to sing and I’d be really sad if I wasn’t making music. I’ll do that until they lower me into the ground.”