ANTHRAX Guitarist Talks Anthems And Rob Caggiano's Departure - "He’s On A Mission To Do His Own Thing At This Point"
s long-awaited, eight-track EP that pays tribute to
the classic songs by some of Anthrax's favorite bands from the 1970s,
will be released in North America on March 19th (MRI/Megaforce), and on
March 22nd in Europe (Nuclear Blast). Guitarist Scott Ian recently spoke
with MTV Hive about the new EP. An excerpt from the interview is
How did you pick the six tracks on Anthems?Ian:
"We’ve been doing cover songs since 1985 on our Armed and
Dangerous EP. They’re songs we’ve been playing since we were kids. They
were all written before we were even a band. When it comes to doing
stuff like these covers, I’ll do ‘em all day long. For me, it’s just fun
to play these songs."Q:
What was the hardest song to play?Ian:
"For me, personally, it was the RUSH
song. I knew the song
going in, but I had never played 'Anthem' before literally tracking the
rhythm guitars on it. I listened to the Rush
live version a bunch, just
over and over again, and went in and basically just threw it down. I had
never actually played the JOURNEY
song ('Keep On Runnin') either, but
it’s an easier song riff-wise.Q:
This is the last release you recorded with guitarist Rob Caggiano. Was his departure a surprise?Ian:
"We didn’t know he was planning on leaving while we were
tracking this. He was literally finishing solos in Berlin on the last
days of the tour. It wasn’t until after the tour ended and we started
having conversations, and just to put it in a nutshell, he just needs to
do his own thing at this point in time. We knew he had a record that he
was going to be doing possibly. We had already told him, if you need to
take a hiatus, that’s fine. The best thing I can say is that he’s on a
mission to do his own thing at this point. And I’m certainly not going
to stand in his way."
Go to this location for the complete interview.
Anthems's tracklisting features RUSH'
, THIN LIZZY's
by AC/DC, BOSTON'
s 'Smokin'', 'Big Eyes'
's 'Keep On Runnin',
as well as the album version and a
special remix of Anthrax's 'Crawl', from the band's critically-acclaimed
2011 album, Worship Music. Listen to the cover of Rush's 'Anthem' now
at this location.
Said the band's vocalist Joey Belladonna,
"These are all bands I
grew up with and have listened to forever. It's just great music. I had
fun singing these songs and I was happy recording together with Anthrax,
doing classic rock songs. Fun stuff!"
On Boston's 'Smokin'', Anthrax brought in a special guest to play
keyboards - Fred Mandel, who has played with ALICE COOPER, QUEEN, ELTON
JOHN, Cheap Trick, SUPERTRAMP
and on PINK FLOYD
's The Wall.
About the track, drummer Charlie Benante said, "If ever there were a
perfect first album, it's Boston's first album. The harmony leads they
did would later be heard by IRON MAIDEN
, which of course would lead to
The EP will be available on CD as well as digitally via iTunes and
other online retailers. In addition to Anthems' cover art (above),
Benante and artist Stephen Thompson have subtly redesigned each track's
original album cover art to "Anthrax" it. The Anthems EP will first be
housed in one of the "re-imagined" digipak covers, and then inserted
inside the main CD cover sleeve. The main cover sleeve has been designed
in such a way so fans will be able to see which one of the six
"re-imagined" covers is inside.
Anthems was produced by Anthrax,
Jay Ruston and Rob Caggiano, and
recorded for the most part throughout 2012 literally all over the world:
at Benante's home studio, in Ruston's New York studio, on the band's
tour bus while on last summer's Mayhem Tour, in hotel rooms, and
backstage at their Berlin show last December.
The Grammy-nominated Anthrax - Belladonna, Benate/drums, Scott
Ian/guitar and Frank Bello/bass - will hit the road in support Anthems
on February 16th with dates in India and Australia, and then return to
North America to headline the Metal Alliance Tour that kicks off March
22nd. For all of these dates, Anthrax will be joined by SHADOWS FALL
guitarist Jon Donais.