Bryan Reesman of Attention Deficit Delirium sat down with ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante, DOWN/ex-PANTERA frontman Philip Anselmo and SLAYER guitarist Kerry King about two hours before they hit the stage at the September 7 “Metal Masters 4” clinic at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked for their thoughts on LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe‘s recent incarceration in the Czech Republic in connection with the death of a fan at a LOG concert more than two years ago, King said, “Realistically, it sounds like something that should have happened here. ‘Cause America does stupid shit like that; you can sue anybody for anything. It struck me funny as hell, because I expect Americans to say, ‘Oh, this guy touched me. I’m gonna sue him,’ because we’re sue-happy here.”
Added Anselmo: “The truth is, the kid that died — I’m sorry about that — but apparently, after multiple stage dives, if he jumps off… I mean, you get on the stage at a metal show, you, nine times out of ten, are pretty much gonna jump off the front of the stage. He hits his head on the ground… I’m no lawyer, I’m no cop, but there’s this thing called ‘free will,’ and when you do something like that, that, to me, is accidental death. So whatever happened with Randy is just super-unfrotunate, and I think it’s gonna, really, affect who goes to play Prague, honestly. Who’s gonna wanna play Prague that is in an extreme metal band where the kids are gonna go friggin’ nuts?”
Anselmo also recalled an incident that happened at a MOTÖRHEAD show more than 25 years ago that resulted in the band’s frontman, Lemmy, almost cutting the concert short due to the crowd’s rowdiness.
“In 1984 or 1985, I went and saw AGNOSTIC FRONT and MOTÖRHEAD in New Orleans, my hometown,” Anselmo said. “And MOTÖRHEAD got through about three songs and Lemmy had had his teeth smacked by his microphone, ’cause kids were absolutely friggin’ berserk, and I was one of them. And he got pissed off, grabbed the microphone and slammed it into this dude’s face, his whole eye swole up. The kids went outside, trashed the whole bus, broke the windshield.”
He continued, “Me and Lemmy have had this conversation before, and I’ll tell you what: he’s still pissed about it, he’s still fucking angry about that show. He just didn’t like it. He did not like the fucking fact that kids were getting up and bumping his microphone. He was, like, ‘Let us play songs.’ And he walked off the stage at one point, came back on…
“To me, I’m not Lemmy, I can’t think for anybody, but… Think about right there, in the early ’80s, when circle pits and stage diving became this phenomenon, I don’t know if MOTÖRHEAD was ready for it, I don’t know that they were going to be acceptable. Because, go back a couple of years, go look at the EXODUS / SLAYER / VENOM thing [‘Ultimate Revenge’ video filmed at Studio 54 in New York City in 1985], the kids are just standing there headbanging to the music — that’s all you see is headbangers. And then the crossover between hardcore and metal was prominent… It was gonna happen, it was gonna happen. And I think it was just an unfortunate situation with MOTÖRHEAD in New Orleans, because kids were coming to be in pits and it was one of the most insane things and most impressionable things in my life as a young guy. Me and Mike Williams, the singer for EYEHATEGOD, were at that show — we were both kids — and the circle pit was a swirling mass of awesomeness. And MOTÖRHEAD just did not get. So it was a real unfortunate thing.”