Roxwel conducted an interview with ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante at the end of last year. The chat has now been posted on YouTube and can be seen below.
Asked about ANTHRAX‘s current lineup is holding up after the band went through so many singer changes between 2005 and 2010, Benante said, “Actually, for the first time in a long time, it feels nice; it’s settled. When we’re together, it’s a hell of a lot better than we are when we are apart.”
He added, “When we’re together, we’re always together — hanging, talking… It’s good. That’s all I can say. I’m sure other bands can relate to things that I say. When you’re five together, it’s like you’re five brothers, and sometimes, one day, one of those guys will come in, he’s having a bad day, it kind of affects the whole vibe. And by the end of the night, it’s done, it’s finished — you know, goodbye. And everything is OK.”
Benante also spoke about ANTHRAX‘s latest studio album, “Worship Music”, which saw the light of day in September 2011 — eight years after its predecessor, “We’ve Come For You All”. Singer Joey Belladonna‘s return to the band prompted some of the songs originally recorded with previous vocalist Dan Nelson to be re-crafted with fresh lyrics or tweaked to better suit his overall vibe and energy. Some of the songs were completely replaced with brand-new songs and all have Belladonna‘s inimitable vocal stamp on them.
“It’s hard to take these songs and not listen to it as a whole piece,” Charlie said. “Because there’s thrash elements on the record, there’s definitely newer-sounding songs on the record. But there is a reason for some of the thrashier songs, and that’s just what we were feeling — a lack of it. So those songs just naturally came out. Like ‘Earth On Hell’, I remember having this idea for that song in my head, and it was just this fast riff. And I was, like, ‘Woah, here we go. I’m glad it’s going back that way.’ But it wasn’t intentional; it just happened that way.”
On the topic of whether there were any leftover songs that didn’t make “Worship Music”, Benante said, “There was quite a bit of material [written for the album], but believe me, there was a lot more [that we could have recorded and released]. I really wanted to make it a double record, but we didn’t go that way. But I had enough material to make it that much. But, you know, we kind of said, ‘Let’s just concentrate on one and then not take so long to do another one.’ So that was fine; that was fine with me. And maybe a double album is too much to absorb right away, you know what I mean?! But I also felt, ‘Well, shit, it’s been a long time since our last record. Maybe we should give them as much as we possibly could.’”
He added, “Anyway, we got it down to, like, 13 songs that we felt really strong about. And that was it. And again, the record didn’t really start to take shape until [the fall of 2010].”