John Parks of Legendary Rock Interviews recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Legendary Rock Interviews: You recently went to a big film festival for your movie, “Greetings From Tim Buckley”. How did it go over at the festival?
Frank Bello: It went great, man! They were nice enough to fly me out to it; it was the Toronto International Film Festival. The reviews were great. I mean, I have a smaller part in the movie, I’m a character actor in it and play Richard Hell, but I got a lot of nice compliments from people, which was really nice to hear. It was a totally positive experience.
Legendary Rock Interviews: Are they thinking it’s going to receive more of a theatrical run or is it going to make a DVD/Blu-ray run soon?
Frank: I’m really learning as I go as far as how this whole process works. As for the film festivals, I guess that’s how they sell the films and I guess the deals are made from there. I’m not sure if it’s going to any more film festivals or what the next step was. I did the Toronto thing on Sunday [September] 9th and came right out here on the road with ANTHRAX. [laughs]
Legendary Rock Interviews: Do you have any more acting gigs on the horizon or….?
Frank: I’d like to. I’m touring with ANTHRAX for the rest of this year, and what I’d like to do is maybe get in some more acting work next year while we’re all busy writing the next ANTHRAX record. We’re going to be doing more touring, but I’m definitely planning on doing some auditioning and working towards more film work. I enjoy it, I genuinely enjoy it. It’s very different from ANTHRAX, but it’s a lot of fun, a blast actually.
Legendary Rock Interviews: I would think these side things like your acting and other stuff would keep you fresh and focused in the band.
Frank: It’s one more creative thing. I’ve always been a big movie guy, growing up in New York, and I’ve always studied and worked on acting. It’s another outlet and I’ve done some theater and film stuff but for the most part I’ve been on the road all these years. When I actually get the time to do it, I always have fun.
Legendary Rock Interviews: It was September 13, 2011 when “Worship Music” came out and you are still out there kicking ass a year later. Compared to twenty years ago, does any of this touring or promoting seem any easier with all of your experience?
Frank: I don’t think anything is easier. [laughs] If anything, it’s harder in ANTHRAX, especially the touring. You have to realize, we’ve all got families and kids for the most part, and it’s really tough being away from them for so many days of the year. We try to keep it to three- or four-week runs at the most, but it can be trying. We just did the Mayhem festival here in the States which was five weeks. This new run of dates with TESTAMENT is three and a half weeks, and the MOTÖRHEAD thing will be another four and a half weeks. Being away from your family at this stage of the game, at this point in our lives, it’s hard, but we know this is what we do. This is how you operate in a band these days, this is how you promote your band and sell records and try to get to where you need to be. We got really great reviews and response from fans to “Worship Music”, but we still know we’re in a rebuilding process. We’ve gotten a really good start, but there’s still work to do, and we’re still excited about doing it.
Legendary Rock Interviews: Your album, TESTAMENT‘s album, METALLICA‘s album, they were all really strong return-to-form-type records. They received mostly positive reviews, but there’s always going to be some contingent of the population who has to talk shit or criticize. I listen to those albums from all you guys all these years later, and I’m just blown away by how thrashy and pure they are. Does it ever surprise you when you hear the naysayers or nitpickers?
Frank: I just think they’re entitled to their own opinion, and everyone can express that, but I don’t waste my time on focusing on all that negativity. I know, and you know, this band is working hard and I just try to stay focused and stay positive. In ANTHRAX, at this stage of the game, we are really working hard and I think a lot of people are really responding to this band and where we’re headed right now. It’s hard, in this day and age, people have really short attention spans and there’s no airplay or MTV for bands like us, so we just have to go out there and slug it out and connect with people and re-establish that relationship with them. We go out there and we bring it out on the road. In a sense, it’s nothing new. It’s what we’ve always had to do, so in a sense we’re accustomed to that. It’s hard to be in this business and you have to want it, and we do.
Read the entire interview from Legendary Rock Interviews.