ANTHRAX Guitarist: We Are A ‘Better Band Than We Were Even In 1987 Or 1988’

Bruce Fessier of The Desert Sun recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On this weekend’s “Big Four” show — featuring METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX — the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California:

SLAYER, MEGADETH and METALLICA all formed in Southern California. There was a lot of uproar over the fact that there was this one ‘Big Four’ show, so far, and it’s taking place in Southern California. People are like, ‘Well, where’s my show?’ I think it makes absolute sense that this first ‘Big Four’ explosion on American soil would happen in Southern California because it was the genesis of those other three bands.”

On thrash metal bands being a tight-knit community:

“Not just the bands, but certainly the fans, everything. I think the community between the bands is obvious because we’re doing this Big Four show. The amount of people who are going to come to the Big Four show in Indio and the amount of people who showed up to the Big Four shows in Europe last summer pretty much answers the question about the sense of community between the audience as well.”

On the return of singer Joey Belladonna:

“I thought after a couple weeks of doing that we really became a great band again. I felt we were a better band than we were even in 1987 or 1988 because we’re all better at what we do. I think the mistake we made on that [first reunion] tour [in 2005] was just jumping into it too quick. We hadn’t seen each other forever and it seemed like a week later we were out playing shows. I look at that reunion tour as, that broke the ice and enabled us to get to know each other again. That’s why this can work now in 2010 and 2011 and we’re not just going out and singing a greatest-hits set. Joey‘s singing on our new record and we’re moving forward with Joey.”

On the rumors of a “Big Four” U.S. tour:

“Everybody asks, ‘Is there going to be more?’ The best answer I can give to that is, there are 17 guys in these four bands and all 17 want to continue doing this. If it’s driven by the artists’ compassion for wanting something to happen, then it’s going to continue happening.”

Read the entire interview from The Desert Sun.