Reno J. Romero of The Nervous Breakdown recently conducted an interview with ARMORED SAINT/ex-ANTHRAX singer John Bush. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Nervous Breakdown: Looking back on the last 30 years, is there one moment or one event that stands out as particularly special to you?
Bush: You know, I don’t know if there’s one particular thing, in all honesty. Which is a good thing because I don’t want to say my career is based on one event. There’s many things that have happened through the course of me making music in ARMORED SAINT that I think were cool. Making our first full-length record, “March Of The Saint”, which obviously was a big thing that we were able to accomplish in life. Making multiple records was an accomplishment. Some bands don’t get the chance to do that. Maybe one record and they’re done. Obviously, the relationship that we had with [late ARMORED SAINT guitarist] Dave Prichard — who’s no longer with us — is something that I treasure. And the fact that we went on after Dave died was quite an accomplishment as well. And to record “Symbol Of Salvation” — which was a record that almost didn’t happen. There were so many things. Multiple shows, tours. Our first tour with METALLICA and W.A.S.P. — which sort of stands out as one of the classic heavy metal tours of the early ’80s. I can name numerous things that I’m proud of. The fact that we were able to make “La Raza” after all this time. I can’t narrow it down to one thing and that’s a good thing.
The Nervous Breakdown: A lot of fans found you when you were with ANTHRAX. Where does that band fit into your overall legacy?
Bush: It fits importantly. I was in ANTHRAX for a long time. From ’92 to 2005. Basically, thirteen years. We made four records of original material. I did a lot of touring. And I think we made some really cool albums and some cool music. It was a change in the way things were going. The face of rock and roll was changing, and I think ANTHRAX embraced that and I’m proud of that. For a long time it seemed like we were a band that tried to convince people that we were the same band. But in a weird way, I think we did morph a little bit in the ’90s and grew and went with the times, and in retrospect, I think it was the right decision. You know, “Sound Of White Noise” was a record that sounded advanced. It sounded like an ANTHRAX record in the future, and I think it was a cool thing to do, and I think it was the right thing to do, for the band at the time. I’m proud of everything I did with the band. I think we made some great music. It was hard because ANTHRAX was such an important band in the ’80s and made their mark in the ’80s and it was kind of difficult to compete with yourself in a weird way. I think it was hard for the other guys — let alone myself — to try and overcome what the band did in the ’80s and say that this music was equally important. But I think it is and I think in time people will give it a more objective viewpoint. But, yeah, I’m really proud of all my time in ANTHRAX. I think we did some great stuff.
The Nervous Breakdown: You’re quite a prolific songwriter. Why haven’t you recorded a solo record?
Bush: [laughs] I’m not the best musician when it comes to writing music. I’m more of a lyricist and singer. So maybe that’s a reason. Sometimes I have ideas I’d like to do that wouldn’t be connected with either one of the bands. I was lucky enough to do something with this group called LONG DISTANCE CALLING — which is a German rock band that’s an instrumental band. They put out a record last year. All their records are instrumental except for one song where they get a vocalist and I was able to do their album last year and that was really fun and exciting because they were different people to work with. It was really cool. I just recently did some stuff for a video game. I don’t know when it’s coming out, but I sing a couple of songs. And that was really fun and an unusual project, too. So I have some endeavors in my mind that I would like to accomplish as far as songwriting. Will it happen? I don’t know. I don’t know if I would want it to be my solo record, but I think it would be fun to work with different people because I think working with different people brings out different things in you. I think it would probably embellish me as a singer and as a writer. But I don’t have any plans at the moment to do that.
Read the entire interview from The Nervous Breakdown.