Anthrax Summer Scandinavian Invasion 2003
With Scott Ian
Luxi Lahtinen & Marko Syrjälä
Live pics by:
Luxi Lahtinen & Marko Syrjälä
Transcription and Intro by:
One of the longest running metal bands, Anthrax, the New York based
band, have released WE'VE COME FOR YOU ALL. This is the their 9th album in
their long-lasting career. The album has been received amazingly well by
their fans all over the world.
The band stopped by here in Helsinki as a part of their "Taking
the Music Back" tour 2003 and your loyal Finnish staff of
Metal-Rules.com sat down comfortably around a small round table with none
other than Scott īNOTī Ian and he talked.
He talked what?! Read to interview and find out yourself...
You just came back from the Sweden Rock festival and had the biggest
crowd on the day you performed onstage...?
Cool... that was great. I have to say that was a nice show so far.
This is your first gig in Finland for 8 years...?
I guess itīs about 7 years ago when we visited here last time, right?
I think we were here in 1996 last time.
Do you have any sort of memories left any of your previous gigs when
you have been in Finland with Anthrax?
I donīt remember the last time at all, not at all. I remember being
here with Iron Maiden. Then I remember playing in Oulu at Kuusrock
festival back in 1987 as well as again with Suicidal Tendencies in 1989
(at "Giants of Rock" festival) I think, maybe? Because I
remember being here in Helsinki at the same hotel with Suicidal Tendencies
- guys getting really drunk. And Rocky George (the guitarist of Suicidal
Tendencies) was really excited about being here at that time īcoz Esa
Tikkanen, the famous Finnish hockey player, was in the bar in the hotel
with us and as he was kind of famous hockey player at that time, Rocky was
naturally very excited about that.
And do you even remember that lilī ugly accident during the
Suicidalīs set when some brainless motherfucker from the audience hit a
bottle straight to Rockyīs head?
Yes, I do remember that clearly. And Mike Muir and a security guy from
Suicidal actually found the guy and beat the shit out of him. It was
pretty damn crazy...
Also a Finnish TV-channel showed a short clip about the whole thing
what really happened there after they found the guy who threw that
Why did it take so long time to record this album? Itīs been 5
years since you put out your previous album, "VOLUME 8 - THE THREAT
Actually it was not so much time īcoz we started writing like in May
or June 2001 and then we were in the studio by November 2001. Then we did
a tour with Judas Priest in January/February 2002, so we had to leave the
studio because of the tour. We came back to the studio in March and worked
the next few months with our new album and finished it. So the whole thing
took like, writing and recording the album, a year, I guess. Something
What was the most challenging thing for the band to get this album
done from your own point of view? To find the right time to do the songs
or...? You also changed a record company a while ago; did it have any
affect on writing of your new album at all?
To be honest with you, I donīt care about that at all. That has
nothing to do making a record. Yīknow, business is business and the
creative side is the creative side. Creatively, there was no big
challenge; we just wanted nothing other than to try to make the best
record we can make which is the same every time. So in that sense, that
was the same. We just wanted to make the songs as well as we could make
them. And then make them transferred from our heads onto a record the way
we were hoping it would be and hoping itīs gonna sound....kind of
translated the songs onto a record because sometimes your ideas can get
lost in translation. I guess if anything thatīs always the challenge with
every record. You have an idea what you want the record to sound like.
This is so much more into songs we have done and recorded and mixed the
record. And you have an idea how you want the sounds; sometimes you just
donīt get it, yīknow. Itīs just the mix happens and it always seems
like the rough mix sounded better than the final mix. But that didnīt
happen this time. It didnīt happen last time either. VOLUME 8 and this
one I could say the way both of the albums were done, mixed and finished,
I was totally happy with them both.
Did you have any leftover material out of the recording sessions for
this new album? Any plans to release some of those songs sometimes?
Everything that is on the record plus one other song called
"Ghost" which is coming out on a B-side for the next single,
"Taking the Music Back single, it'll be on there.
Have you any plans to put out any DVD-stuff in the near future?
Eventually yeah, we just have to film it first, he-he!! We filmed two
shows on the US-tour we just did and we filmed both nights from the
Chicago gigs. So we have all that. But we didnīt record the audio
actually; we wanted to record, but we didnīt do like a real recording. We
might film the show at the Full Force festival here and then just keep
filming stuff over the next 6 months and see if we can put together
something. Maybe not necessarily one just whole concert, but maybe
different songs from different places. I donīt know, we havenīt really
thought about it yet, but sometime next year Iīm sure weīll do
You didnīt shoot any live footage from Sweden Rock festival
No, I wish we did. Believe me, if we would have known how good itīs
gonna be, we surely had filmed it.
A guy named Alex Ross made the album cover for your new album. How
did you decide tom use his artistic skills for the cover of WEīVE COME
FOR YOU ALL?
Alex is our webmaster, the contact. I was once asked: "What do I
think of Alex Ross"? I was like...: "Heīs my favorite artist in
comics; heīs the best." And he just took on his own to contact him
and get touch with him and ask him if he would be interested in doing one
and he was. That was killer.
How many sketches did he actually do for the cover? Seems like you
have picked up one of the best alternative for the cover anyway...?
Yeah, Iīm very satisfied with it all in all. The concept for it came
together really quick. Actually if you look at it, and if you have a
limited edition that Nuclear Blast did of the record, the actual box with
all the photos on the fold-out, if you look behind it, you can actually
see some other sketches for it; raw catches for it. They are in there. You
can look at it and you can see stuff. But anyway, the concept for it came
together really quick, I think. And then he (Alex) did the painting and it
was basically... done.
You also shot a video for your song off this new album called
"Safe Home" some time ago, featuring no one less than the Matrix
film star Keanu Reeves? Whose idea was it to use him in that video, kind
of īas a special guestī? Would you say heīs a die-hard Anthrax -fan?
He is now...!! (*laughs*) He saw us in Los Angeles... and I mean, I
have been a friend of his for a long time, but he actually has never seen
us playing. He finally got a chance to see us finally in Los Angeles a
week and a half or two weeks ago or something and he was... very happy,
he-he!! He loved the show and... he went crazy!!
So you guys basically went to him and asked from him directly:
"Would you like to take a part of our next video...?" And he was
like: "Why not... ?!".
Yeah, he actually did the video before he saw us playing in Los
Angeles. He did the video just based on..., yīknow, being friends with me
and him just being: "Yeah, ok... Iīd love to do it!!". I just
had no idea what he thought of our band; whatīs it like or was gonna be
like. I mean he obviously knew we were a Heavy Metal band and he loved the
song "Safe Home". But after he saw the show, he said: "I
cannot believe this was the first time Iīve ever seen you. I feel like
such an asshole!! I could have come to your shows like 20 years ago
already and, yīknow, I cannot wait to see you guys again...".
Sorry for asking this, but Iīm curious to know whatīs your
relationship with S.O.D. and Billy Milano nowadays? I have read what Billy
has said and I have read from Blabbermouth īthingsī between two of you.
Whatīs your point what really happened between you and Billy and is
Thereīs NOTHING to say!!! S.O.D. is S.O.D.; the way I see S.O.D. is
different from the way Billy sees S.O.D. For me S.O.D. is something that
was never supposed to īa real bandī, making records every two years and
going on tour every year. S.O.D. is what it is; you have seen the history
of S.O.D. We have made one record in 1985, then a live album in ī92 and
then another record in ī99. You just donīt work the same way like other
bands do. And thatīs the way it has always been for me and... thatīs it!
Itīs just as simple as that.
Is your next album with S.O.D. coming out in 2010...?
No... no. I donīt know... I donīt know. Maybe never... maybe there
will be. Thereīs, yīknow, thereīs no schedule, thereīs no time-table.
S.O.D., no matter what anyone says, Billy can go do whatever he wants, he
can say whatever he wants, but, yīknow, I think the fans understand S.O.D.
Also, this is your first time to play in Scandinavia after 7 or 8
years - and you are going to play in Russia for the very first time in
your life as well?
Yeah, and I think some Russian band is going to support us there, but I
still donīt know who...
Are there any countries you still would like to play with Anthrax at
least once in your life?
Oh, there are a lot of places weīd like to play. Like Iīd like to go
to..., well, I donīt know if we are ever going to get a chance for that
because all the roads there are so fucked-up, yīknow, some places may be
not that safe to go any more and it sucks. I mean, we were supposed to go
to Indonesia; you cannot go any more like Jakarta and places like that.
They donīt take bands īcoz they cannot guarantee your safety if you go
there. Itīs so lame!! Thereīs fans from all over the world that love
this type of music and they never get to see shows now because bands
cannot go; because religions and politics. I think that sucks. Iīd like
to go play in Israel, Iīd like to go play in Egypt, Iīd like to go play
anywhere where kids want to see Heavy Metal. A lot of these places
probably we will never get a chance to go any more because even just today
fuckinī another bus is getting blown up because of... whatever! People
just cannot get along because their God is more important than the other
God. Whatever their reasons are... I just wanna go play music; and we
So, can you tell us what are some of your favorite songs out of this
new album to play live?
Well, eventually weīll play the whole album; not in one show, but the
idea with this record is definitely to get to play everything. Right now
all the ones we have played, are "What Doesnīt Die",
"Black Dahlia", "Superhero", "Nobody Knows
Anything" and "Safe Home". We have played those 5 songs so
far and definitely will add songs as "Cadillac Rock Box" soon, I
think. Actually I think that "Cadillac Rock Box" might get into
the set relatively soon on this tour. I think weīll probably play
everything on the record.
How much do your change songs from your set; I mean take some songs
off your set and add some new songs into the set that you havenīt played
for a while?
Sets will be changing... constantly since we started at the beginning
of March in Europe. Especially some of the places weīll be playing, next
week in Germany and then weīll go back to England at the end of the
month, we have already played in March, so we have to do, yīknow, almost
a whole different show possible. So we may actually bring back a lot of
different old songs to like "Be All, End All" from our STATE OF
EUPHORIA album. I even donīt remember when was the last time when we
played that song.
After the successful Sweden Rock festival, did you change some of your
songs from the set that you didnīt play in Sweden at all, but are gonna
play here in Helsinki tonight instead?
Eh, did we do "Iīm the Man" in Sweden...?!
No, you didnīt play that song there...
Weīll play that song here in Helsinki today; we also did that song in
Oslo a couple of days ago. So we took that soon into our set, so thatīs a
īnew songī obviously in our set, but you meant īdifferentī songs,
Hmm... we did that one and we might have done another different song...
sorry, I donīt remember any more. It was kind of cool actually because in
Sweden Rock we actually played more songs than we thought we are gonna
because we truthfully thought it was gonna be terrible, heh! Because we
didnīt understand what all these bands were playing, whatīs the crowd
gonna be like and obviously you saw we were really, really happy. And just
like in Oslo the other night, it was a small place like this, but the
crowd was just so great. We just kept playing and adding more songs into
our set. We had a setlist and we just kept going, he-he!!
You have been playing with many big bands lately like Iron Maiden and
Metallica. Did you manage to see any other bands in Sweden Rock festival?
I didnīt get to see anybody because as soon as our show was done, I
went back to the hotel to shower. The whole hotel was probably 45 miles
away where we were staying in, so I went back to shower and came back and
by the time I got back it was like Twisted Sister was like: "Good
night...", so... he-he!! And Iīd have liked to see them, tho.
Iīm curious to know - have you possibly heard the new Metallica
I havenīt heard the album... yet. I have heard their single obviously
and saw the video and I watched them on DVD; three songs after that, so I
really cannot comment on them īcoz Iīve not listened to the record yet.
I guess you may gonna be kind of īsurprisedī when you get an
opportunity to hear the album from start to finish.
Iīm looking forward to hear that. I probably wonīt listen to it
before I get back home so I can hear it on my stereo at home. I even
donīt have it. Kirk gave me one when we saw in Germany last weekend and
said could you just hold it in your bag and I forgot to take it from
there. He said he sent me another one to my house, so I have one waiting
for me at my home, so I probably wanna hear it when Iīll go home.
You have been touring in Europe many times during the
last year. How is it in the States with this new album? I mean, you
released it about a month ago over there and it has been selling much
better than a couple of your previously released albums. What has
Itīs already a way ahead selling-wise everywhere in the world. Itīs
ahead of VOLUME 8 and STOMP 442; itīs doing better than... everywhere!
Moreso here in Europe because at least some VOLUME 8 in the States
when it first came out, the first five-six months or so, when the label
was still in business, the single INSIDE OUT was doing really well in the
States and the radio was actually getting played and we were doing really
good on the radio. And then the label went out of business and weīre
fucked. So at least in the States that record was doing good at first and
then it just stopped because they had like 120.000 of them that were
shipped and thatīs all ever made. So the ones that have been sold, you
cannot buy that album any more in the States unless you donīt find a
Japanese import or be lucky and get it via eBay. But this one already is,
especially in Europe, so far ahead. Like in Germany we were charted at
number 21 which is the highest we have ever charted of any album. So
Nuclear Blast did really good job for us over here. In the States itīs
doing good īcoz we are selling very consistently with no video even yet.
The "Safe Home" video just went to MTV rotation this week. Itīs
also cool that they brought Headbangerīs Ball back in the States now. And
of course thereīs also other Rock - and Metal shows on this station
called Fuse which is a really big video channel now, too, back home. So,
even if they donīt really play on a regular rotation, thereīs like 6
different metal shows now where we will be played at the time. Even if
itīs 1 million people, which is for a TV-show a very small audience,
thatīs a big audience for selling records obviously, so... Thatīs all we
really care about. I mean, it would be great if they played us as much as
they fuckinī played Janet Jackson or something, but I know that that
wonīt happen EVEN with Keanu Reeves on the video, so... yīknow.
Is it true that when your label started to circulate promos of your new
album for some radio stations, thereīs no mention anywhere on these
promos about the name of the band or anything? I heard about this through
some internet webmagazine...
Yeah, thatīs what Nuclear Blast did. Nuclear Blast actually sent the
promo-CDs of "Safe Home" to radio stations in Germany without
the bandīs name on them, yeah, but they said people were calling up and
said: "This is Anthrax...". They knew who it was and they really
liked the song, so it was cool.
What is going to be the next single off the album then? Do you have
any ideas for that yet?
"Taking the Music Back".
Then as for my īever-burningī curiosity, what do you think of some of
these Speed/Thrash Metal īlegendsī that split up sometime in the end of
the ī80s, and have now done reunions? Do you assume that they are still
doing it because of their never-ending love for that kind of music or are
they just trying sort of īcash inī a little bit because Speed/Thrash
Metal has become very popular again amongst metalheads? With this question
Iīm mostly referring to such bands as Death Angel, Exodus, Agent Steel,
Destruction and so forth...
Yīknow, itīs great. Some of these bands I never understood really why
they went away in the first place? I mean, I understand the whole scene
changes, everything changes, but I have two different ways to look at it:
You can be doing something for a reason just to get back together and go
out and play all your own songs. Or you can try to go forward and make new
records. Iīd assume that would be the point to get back together because
you feel creatively inspired and we just saw the Death Angel guys as they
just opened three shows for us in America, the last three shows of our
tour. And they were just fuckinī great!! Granted, they were playing all
their old songs, but they seemed to be excited and happy and they were
writing a new record and were pumped up about the new material, so I hope
itīs great. Yīknow, Iīd love it because... why not? I think
itīs a great idea. Any band that can get back together and if they are
feeling......things got so shitty for Heavy Metal in the ī90s, so
maybe itīs a better time now for lots of these bands to come back and a
make record and be accepted again. I hope, I really hope so...
Have you been personally amazed by any new bands that you have heard
lately and think they are great?
Hmm... Iīd say probably the best metal record, the best few metal
records Iīve heard in the last, letīs say, 10 years, would be TOXICCITY
from System of a Down (ed. note: they are not a heavy metal band ARGH!!!)
and the last Dimmu Borgir record, PURITANICAL
EUPHORIC MISANTHROPIA whatever the fuck that title was?! That one anyway,
heh!! Those two probably by far the best metal albums that Iīve heard if
you consider them īnewī any more?! But in the last 10 years because I
hear those records, I think those records totally would have been amazing
records in ī85 as well they are amazing records in 2000-whatever, 2003. I
just think they are great bands and especially great metal bands. I mean,
I love a lot of stuff; I love Queens of the Stone Age and I love all kinds
of shit. I love Deftones and only old Kiss.
Have you ever gotten a chance to hear any metal bands from Finland...
even by accident?
The only stuff that Iīm really familiar with is H.I.M. Of course I
know Hanoi Rocks, but they are no metal band. And what else...?!
Does Children of Bodom or Nightwish sound any familiar at all...?!
Children of Bodom I know of, but I have never heard their records. They
played with us at Budapest, but I missed them in that festival. I have
never seen them either.
Well, our time is up, so thank you Scott for this cool chat with you.
Thanks a lot...
Thank you guys!!
Anthrax website: www.anthrax.com