ANTHRAX Bassist: The Word ‘Panic’ Is Not Even In Our Vocabulary

Ruben Mosqueda of recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. I know the fans are chomping at the bit to hear new [ANTHRAX] music — myself included. You’re locked into this “Metal Alliance” tour, then I’m sure you’ve got some festival stuff in Europe. What’s the tentative play for writing sessions?

Frank: [laughs] You sound like my manager, you know that?! [laughs] We have a South American tour after “Metal Alliance” and the offers just keep coming in. Like you mentioned, we have a European festival run this summer, then we’ll get deep into full ANTHRAX writing mode in September. You can see that we’re getting the itch to write new music. Guys are starting get ideas recorded, which is how it all starts. I spoke with Rob Caggiano on a couple of occasions and the two times I spoke to the guy he seemed genuinely stoked about being in ANTHRAX, the “Worship Music” album and touring. Then a few months ago he up and quit the band. There was a recent quote from Rob where he said something to the effect that he wasn’t all that into the music. He certainly fooled me. I saw a couple ANTHRAX shows on this tour and he looked “into” it.

Frank: I love Rob. I’m at a point in my life where I just want people to be happy. If you’re not happy somewhere, then move on. I think people would assume that there would be some animosity, but there isn’t. I don’t feel that way. I feel very fortunate that we have Jon Donais from SHADOWS FALL stepping in on guitar. It’s all good. I love Rob; we’re still friends. If you’re not happy somewhere, then move on. I thought he had left to do more production, but then he joined VOLBEAT. That’s a great band. We’re all good. Like I said earlier, I just want people to be happy. From an outsider’s perspective, it didn’t appear like you guys hit the panic button when Rob decided to leave the band. If I recall, the dates were announced and the tour was booked. Did you guys freak?

Frank: Not at all. We had Jon available and we know him well — it was a no-brainer. At this point in our career, we don’t panic because we’ve been around the block a few times. We know things will be fine because we’ve been there before. I guess it’s our New York mentality. Panic? It’s not even in our vocabulary. Rob was with you guys for over a decade. Have you thought at all about a replacement at this point?

Frank: Yeah, he was in the band for 11-12 years. No, not at this point; Jon‘s playing with us and we’ll see how this goes. I don’t think anyone’s even thinking about that right now. We’re having a great fucking time, man. We’re getting along well with Jon. He’s a fantastic guitar player and we’ll just see how it goes when it comes to writing for the next record. We’ll approach the next record who we’ve done records in the past. Charlie [Benante, drums], Scott [Ian, guitar] and I will head into our rehearsal space and bang out some song ideas — that’s how it starts.

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