ANTHRAX Bassist On ‘Worship Music’, Childhood Influences

Leslie Michele Derrough of recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. The first thing I want to ask you, Frank, is if you can believe you have been in ANTHRAX over twenty years? Actually it’s closer to thirty years, right?

Bello: Closer to thirty years, absolutely. We had this whole experience at Yankee Stadium (“Big Four” with METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH) and that’s where it came to this culmination of it all. It’s like, “Oh my God.” Not only was it an oh-my-God statement playing Yankee Stadium, which nobody usually does and nor did we did think we would, but it’s been a good run. We’ve had our ups and downs, obviously, like life takes you, but it’s been a good run for the most part and now there’s this whole big resurgence going on and ANTHRAX comes out with a record, “Worship Music”, and it debuted at No. 12, which we completely did not expect. There is a lot going on and I didn’t expect it to debut at No. 12. A lot of people are digging what we’re doing and I couldn’t be more psyched right now. I’ve been listening to the new CD and I am agreeing with what everyone is saying in that this could be your best CD ever. It’s just amazing.

Bello: Wow, thank you. You know what, hearing that couldn’t be a bigger thank-you from anybody, the reviewers, fans in general, musicians, Eddie Trunk, who is a good friend of ours from years ago, saying it’s the best album of our career. I can’t say thank you anymore than I have, ’cause it’s all the hard work and the pain. There’s been a lot of stuff going on with this band for the last year, as everybody knows. Eight years ago was the last record. This one, there was a lot of ups and downs where nobody knew what the hell was going to go on next and to come out and have the kind of reaction we’re getting from people is just the ultimate thank-you. We have to say that to people, thank you for understanding, and I think people are hearing all the songs and hearing what we went through in the songs, which is really important. Well, I think it is amazing and my favorite songs are “I’m Alive” and “The Constant”.

Bello: (laughs) You know what is amazing? And I thank you for that of course. Hearing different people’s takes on the record. And you picked two completely different songs that a lot of the people haven’t been picking, which is great; I love it. There are songs on the record that you can go to that are your songs and got to be your favorite songs that aren’t the average everybody’s. I think everybody’s got their pick which is a testament to, thank God, I think we did something right here. I’d like to know where you grew up and what kind of kid you were.

Bello: I grew up in the Bronx, New York, and really it was all about music and sports for me when I was growing up. That was it, that was my religion, my everyday thing. My thing was to get the new IRON MAIDEN record, JUDAS PRIEST record, and then go watch the Yankees game later on or maybe go to a game or go play ball outside. And that was truly my upbringing. I was very fortunate to have that kind of upbringing. I grew up without a dad. I grew up living in my grandmother’s house with my aunt. So it was just a perfect thing to have with my heroes being musicians and they turned out to be bass players. Did your family support your love of music?

Bello: Absolutely, still to this day. They all came to Yankee Stadium and it was like a big thank you for all the support. From day one they knew it was a love, that it was a passion, and they said, “Go for it,” and I love them for that. And I have learned through that having a five-year-old myself, so it’ll be all about music and whatever you want to do in life because I was lucky enough to have that freedom and I intend to do the same.

Read the entire interview from