Chad Bowar of About.com recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
About.com: Congrats on the new baby! How has the adjustment to parenthood been so far?
Scott Ian: You just do it! For years we said “we’re not ready, we’re not ready,” but you could say that for your whole life. When are you really ready? There’s no way to be truly ready for kids, which I guess is something you can’t really know until you have a kid. You can make all the plans in the world, then the baby comes home with you, then it’s throw all the plans out the window, here we go! I think it came very natural for both my wife and I. We just wanted it so much, and it has been the greatest. Any of the hard work and change of life schedules doesn’t matter, because he’s the payoff.
About.com: You’ve always been involved with multiple projects. Do you see yourself slowing down any now that you have a child?
Scott Ian: With ANTHRAX coming out, this would be the only thing I would be doing for the next year or so anyway. There’s just no time to do anything else. Anything else I’ve ever done is just because I was afforded that time because there were windows in the ANTHRAX schedule, and there aren’t going to be any windows in the ANTHRAX schedule anytime soon. That’s all I would be doing, anyway.
About.com: It’s an exciting time with the release of [the new ANTHRAX album] “Worship Music”, but is it also a relief that fans will finally get to hear it after so many years?
Scott Ian: Not so much relief as satisfaction. I never questioned that it was going to come out. I never had any fear that this record wouldn’t eventually see the light of day. I just knew whatever hurdles we had to face over the past few years, we would make it. We would get through it and find out way out of this maze that we got stuck in for a little bit. It’s a sense of satisfaction, because I know how great this record is. When we first started writing it, it was special. The material felt great, and it’s obviously something we stuck with and kept working on to the point that we got this record out of it. It feels awesome that the rest of the world is finally going to get to hear it.
About.com: I guess it had been about 20 years since you’d last been in the studio with [singer] Joey Belladonna.
Scott Ian: Yes. “Persistence Of Time” was the last studio album we did together. I’ve been listening to “Worship Music” for the past couple of months since it has been done, and I don’t even feel like I’m listening to my own band. It has been so long hearing Joey sing with us that I feel like I’m sitting and listening to it as an outsider, as a fan. It feels amazing. It’s really exciting, and makes me excited to get out and start playing these songs.
About.com: It doesn’t seem like Joey has lost much range over the years. He’s still hitting the high notes on this album.
Scott Ian: He’s actually gotten better. It’s one of those rare cases where all these years later he’s singing better than he was. It’s incredible. His range on this record and the stuff he’s doing creatively to me blows away any other performance he’s ever had in ANTHRAX. I guess maybe some of it has to do with the fact that after not making a record with us for 20 years, then getting in that vocal booth and doing it, he had a lot to say. There’s a lot of emotion going into those tracks.
About.com: The album has been getting some great response so far. Do you pay any attention to reviews?
Scott Ian: From the start, I think we were all pretty good at taking the good and the bad the same. If you go too much one way or the other, it’s going to end up getting you in trouble. We’ve always been good at just listening to ourselves. That’s how it has been in this band since day one. If we had listened to people outside the band back in the early ’80s, during those formative years when we were writing our first album, we never would have made it to that record. We would have been pulled apart by too many different ideas. We just stayed focused on what we wanted to do as ANTHRAX, which at the time nobody cared about or wanted to hear or have anything to do with. That’s where I think we developed a thick skin. You don’t like what we’re doing? That’s fine, you don’t have to like it. We like it. You love what we’re doing? That’s awesome. We’re glad you hear it the same way we do. That’s great, but we don’t let it affect anything we do.
Read the entire interview from About.com.