By HOT METAL
ALL five members of US band Anthrax say if they weren’t on stage playing to a thronging mass, they’d be right down there among the people slam dancing.
The hardcore thrash merchants say they are “the real thing”.
With the release of their new album State of Euphoria, the band are set to join Metallica and Megadeth in the BIG THRASH THREE.
“We don’t go on stage and pose for the girls”, says Anthrax lead singer Joey Belladonna. “We won’t ever wear make-up, chains or spandex pants. We are a real band.”
Anthrax were formed in July 1981 by five musicians drawn together by their mutual love for hardcore and heavy metal music. For two years, the band slashed and smashed around with little direction but, in May 1983, they got serious about the band. It was at that time Anthrax cornered the President of Megaforce Records, Joey Zee. Impressed with what he heard, Zee signed Anthrax for a tour where they opened for Manowar and later, Metallica.
Anthrax so impressed Manowar and Metallica, that Manowar’s leader Ross The Boss offered to produce the band’s new demo tape (continued below)
The result was electric, and the sessions later led to Anthrax’s first single, “Soldiers Of Metal”.
Demand for the record proved so great that Anthrax were soon back in the studio recording their debut album, Fistful of Metal. Shortly before it was released, original bass guitarist Dan Lilker called quits, leaving the band’s roadie Frank Bello to fill in. Bello is now a permanent member of Anthrax.
Anthrax toured the US with Raven – a series of concerts which culminated in a riotous, sold-out show at New York’s Roseland Ballroom. After the tour, Anthrax parted ways with lead singer Neil Turbin. For a while, they found it hard to find a replacement, until producer Carl Canedy introduced Anthrax to former Bible Black vocalist Joey Belladonna.
Together they have recorded Spreading The Disease and the newie State of Euphoria, which catapulted Anthrax from opening act to a respected voice of thrash-hardcore-speed metal.
Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante explains their appeal: “We’re all aggression and dynamcis. It’s street-level rock. When we get on stage with this music, we’re like a steam roller coming down the street at a thousand-miles-an-hour. In 50 minutes we hit the audience so hard their heads will never be the same.”