Jody Macgregor of Australia’s Faster Louder recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX singer Joey Belladonna. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Faster Louder: We had the news recently that [guitarist] Rob Caggiano left the band quite suddenly. Can you tell me why he left and why he chose now to leave?
Joey: I just think he wanted to produce and try some stuff of his own. I don’t think there’s any hard feelings, in fact we’re all in touch and everything. He was thinking about it for a while and just finally made the decision to move on.
Faster Louder: How did you go about selecting his replacement?
Joey: Oh, God, it was pretty quick. We know so many people now and when people get wind of stuff or a press release comes out, somebody puts something up on the internet, it just leaks out and next thing you get 50 calls from people you know, or bands, or people who are guitar players who want to reach out. But John [Donais], he’s toured with us with SHADOWS FALL and he’s known us, we’ve known him, and I just think that the situation was right for him to come in and do it. Whether it will be a full thing we don’t know. We’re just taking it in [our] stride right now. He’s already enrolled for the tour and we’re all looking forward to playing together. It should be interesting.
Faster Louder: When you were brought in to work on “Worship Music” some of it was already written. What’s that like, when you come in and the album’s already partway finished?
Joey: Well, it wasn’t so much different than [past albums]. I walked into the studio and they were ready for vocals for “Spreading the Disease” and at that time I’d never heard of them, never heard of that music, never sang the music, so just to walk in and start hammering away was kind of the blueprint of what we’ve done on every record. I walked in on this one and the only difference now was noone was in the room but me and the producer, Jay Ruston, and we had a very focused and structured time together. It really doesn’t bother me, I take anything that’s in front of me. Sometimes things are a little bit more lined up and ready for you, but other things are a little bit more challenging. Overall, I’ll try anything. It’s a little different when I’m writing on my own, I guide the key, lyrics, everything — melody, the riffs, so it’s interesting. I don’t think what we do is for everybody.
Faster Louder: What do you think is that thing about Anthrax that makes you different from everybody else?
Joey: I don’t know — we have our own style, the structure of the songs. Everybody’s got a different style of actually playing instruments. There’s so many things about the way we approach it. I just try to stand on my own. Everybody has a cool style and that’s what’s cool, you put it all together and you got this thing that’s intricate, strong and fast. It’s just something about it; I don’t know. I guess it’s in the ear when you finally hear it. Everyone’s got their own interpretation of the band. As a performer, it’s just really unique. It’s tight and well done. That helps, it’s not something that comes easy to us too.
Faster Louder: How long do you think ANTHRAX will keep going for?
Joey: We’re fresh and ready to roll as long as we can. It’s all about focus and camaraderie and being on the same page and really working together. That’s what it’s all about. The love of being in the band, of playing this music and not having any distractions. As far as carrying on, that’ll keep us going
Read the entire interview from Faster Louder.