Brand new video clip from Anthrax, shot during the recording of their upcoming album due out later this year. Anthrax – Charlie Benante/drums, Frank Bello/bass, Scott Ian/rhythm guitar, Joey Belladonna/vocals, and guitarist Jon Donais – have been working in Los Angeles with producer Jay Ruston. Check it out:
What better way for the members of Anthrax to celebrate their sixth Grammy nomination than to toast it with a glass of their own brand of bourbon, “Indians.”
Anthrax has aligned with Jefferson’s Bourbon, the Kentucky-based company that produces special, limited edition “small batch” whiskeys by blending a variety of aged bourbons and rye whiskeys. Anthrax’s “Indians,” a single barrel bourbon, was personally chosen by the band and will taste like no other due to its particular blend and the barrel it was aged in.
“We’ve been wanting to come up with a special item like this, something that was unusual, one-of-a-kind, not a t-shirt or hoodie or poster,” said the band’s Frank Bello “and ‘Indians’ was perfect.”
Anthrax’s “Indians” bourbon is now available exclusively through Atlantic City Bottle Company – http://acbottlecompany.com/ . “Indians” will be priced at $75 per bottle (in-store pick up) and $100 (shipped to an address) and will come with a signed piece of the stave of the barrel that the bourbon was aged in.
Anthrax – Bello, Charlie Benante, Scott Ian, and Joey Belladonna – lifted their “Indians”-filled shot glasses last Friday when they found out that “Neon Knights,” the band’s cover of the Black Sabbath song (from Sabbath’s 1980 release, “Heaven and Hell”) recorded for the “Ronnie James Dio – This is Your Life” tribute album got the nod in the Grammy Awards Best Metal Performance category.
“It’s been an honor everytime we’ve been nominated,” said Anthrax’s Benante, “but this one is particularly special. To have been asked to contribute ‘Neon Knights’ to Ronnie’s tribute album was an honor on its own; to have it nominated for a Grammy is just beyond the best.”
Anthrax has just gone into the studio to begin recording their next album, the follow up to 2011’s critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated Worship Music.
Anthrax’s Grammy nominations include:
1991 – “Persistence of Time”
1992 – “Attack of the Killer Bs”
1995 – “Bring the Noise” (live, Anthrax and Public Enemy)
2012 – “I’m Alive”
2014 – “T.N.T.”
2015 – “Neon Knights”
Before you get down to moshing in the privacy of your own home, do some serious partying in either Los Angeles or New York when Anthrax’s “Chile On Hell” live DVD is premieres on Monday, September 15, the day before its general release. And, not only will attendees be among the first to see the thrash-masters performing an extended set that features all the fan-favorites in front of a sold-out, rabid crowd in Santiago, Chile, but each event will feature a special Q&A – Scott Ian and “Chile On Hell’s” producer Jay Rustin at the L.A. screening, and Anthrax’s Frank Bello at New York’s.
The premiere is free to fans who pre-order the “Chile On Hell” Blu-ray or DVD from either Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ, Looney Tunes in West Babylon, NY, or Amoeba Records in Los Angeles, CA. Each pre-order comes with one wristband that entitles the holder to attend the premiere. Wristbands are limited, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.
“Chile On Hell” will be released on Tuesday, September 16 (Megaforce), and features Joey Belladonna/vocals, Scott Ian/guitar, Charlie Benante/drums, Frank Bello/bass and Jon Donais/lead guitar performing at the Teatro Caupolican in Santiago, Chile on May 10, 2013. The band performed an extended set that featured songs from Anthrax’s entire catalogue including “I Am The Law,” “Indians,” “Madhouse,” “Caught In A Mosh,” “The Devil You Know,” and “I’m Alive.” “Chile On Hell” was recorded in 5.1 Surround Sound, and will retail for $16.98.
“Santiago was the perfect place to film the show for this,” said Anthrax’s Charlie Benante. “When we’d played there in the past, we’d finish our set, play our encore and go back to the dressing room. But every time, the fans would continue to scream and cheer and clap. I mean, they went on and on, they wouldn’t stop. One time Scott and I walked out to the side of the stage just to watch what was going on in the audience, it was intense. Why wouldn’t we want to film a DVD in front of an audience like that?”
Legendary heavy metal musician, author, and television personality SCOTT IAN had a lot to say on the European and United States legs of his groundbreaking Speaking “Swearing Words” Tour. After decades-worth of international touring with Anthrax, bumping elbows with illustrious (and sometimes ridiculous) characters all over the media spectrum, and undergoing general “you won’t believe this” experiences— SCOTT IAN certainly had some hilarious and surprisingly personal stories to share.
“Swearing Words” is an honest look at the insane life that Scott has led for the last 31 years, the people he’s met, and the events that coincide. Now, you can experience Scott’s “Swearing Words” Tour by way of Swearing Words in Glasgow, available via Megaforce Records on November 13, 2014.
The Swearing Words in Glasgow DVD is a full performance recording, filmed towards the end of the tour run in Glasgow, Scotland, and is being funded by a wildly popular PledgeMusic campaign, which surpassed its goal with the help of gracious and dedicated fans!
TUSKA OPEN AIR 2014
Suvilahti, Helsinki, Finland June 27-29, 2014
Review by Arto Lehtinen, Marko Syrjala
Pics by Arto Lehtinen, Marko Syrjala
The Tuska Open Air Festival is definitely a real metal festival institution amongst all other metal festivals in Europe. This Sivulahti area almost located in the heart of Helsinki, only a few kilometers away from the downtown of Helsinki, is a perfect place for the metallic onslaught during the weekend. The line-up of 2014 looked once again amazing. Anthrax and of course the legion of the Norwegian (former) black metal artists such as Satyricon, both Emperor and Dimmu Borgir as headliners. Of course a few cult metal bands like Metal Church, Stone could be witnessed. The festival was an utter success although the event wasn’t sold out. All in all 24000 people visited Tuska during three days.
Metal-Rules.com was present to check out a lot of bands and enjoy the sun and rain.
In 1986, Anthrax unleashed the thrash metal monster “I Am The Law” on New York City. In this episode of beat:repeat NYC, Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante meets with Ninja Tune producer Lee Bannon to transform the track from its core: The beat. Using his AKAI MPC Renaissance, Bannon shows what a drum machine can do with Benante’s ferocious live drumming.
5th April, 2014
Metal All Stars show @Arena Riga, Latvia
Interview by Anna Dumpe
Interview photos by Aiga Leitholde
Few hours before Metal All Stars show kicks off in Riga, Latvia on Saturday 5th of April, 2014, Metal-Rules.UK team had a chance to sit down with the ultimate thrash metal legend Joey Belladonna and talk about all things Anthrax, being on the road with Metal All Stars and music in general.
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY MARKO SYRJALA AND ARTO LEHTINEN
The Metal All Stars touring circus landed at Finland in April. The whole tour had been advertised to have all the legendary heavy metal stars altogether such as Rob Halford, Vince Neil, Cronos, Tom Araya, Phil Anselmo and the former Megadeth guys Nick Menza and Martin Friedman. However the tour turned out to be one hell of a bluff when these legends vanished from the poster or announced no taking part in the Metal All Stars thing at all. Obviously the organization behind the curtains hasn’t pleased the bands and musicians that much either. When Metal All Star finally arrived after wild rumours and gossips, the 12000 seat Hartwall Arena was literally empty when only 2000 had crawled to witness the Metal All Stars. Well the Metal-Rules.Com was at present, witnessing this eccentric spectacle. Read the rest of this entry »
The time has come to reveal the 2014 lineup of Heavy Montréal presented by Molson Canadian, the can’t-miss rendezvous of heavy music lovers, back for its sixth edition this year. As announced previously, in order to reach a maximum number of fans, the festival will continue to widen its horizons by presenting a larger variety of bands, making it possible for the rock and metal family to expand and to attract festival-goers from all around the world.
Among those who will shake up Parc Jean-Drapeau on August 9 and 10, we find the ultimate heavy metal band, METALLICA, who will perform their only show in North America this summer at Heavy Montréal. Every ticket holder will be able to send their request to the band with code provided to them following their purchase. Furthermore, it will be an all-request show, with a setlist picked by the fans! Other confirmed acts include SLAYER, ANTHRAX, LAMB OF GOD, APOCALYPTICA, EXODUS, SYMPHONY X, OVERKILL and many more!
A fourth stage will be added this year in order to showcase more artists, including many local bands, and to maximize the festival experience for the fans. And, after a ton of success last year, the Heavy Maniawrestlers will return to Heavy Montréal this summer. More details will be announced about this in the next few months.
Weekend passes for Heavy Montréal 2014 will go on sale on Friday, March 7th at noon via HeavyMontreal.com. New this year: Gold Weekend Pass holders will have access to the Heavy Montréal terrace, a multi-level platform offering a premium view of the two main stages, with access to private washrooms and exclusive food and beverage stands.
Weekend Passes – Early Bird prices (taxes and service fees included)
Weekend Passes – General Admission : $165
Weekend Passes – Gold: $400
Those prices are available for a limited quantity of passes! Weekend passes are valid for two days and are non-transferable.
Heavy Montréal will announce more bands, the August 8th lineup in the city and the daily lineup soon. 2014 will undoubtedly be an explosive year for Heavy Montréal!
As founding guitarist for one of thrash metal’s Big 4 bands as well as cult legends Stormtroopers of Death, television personality, occasional zombie, aspiring card sharp and son-in-law of rock legend Meatloaf, among many other things, Anthrax founder Scott Ian has seen and done enough during his long career in show business to fill a book, which, as it turns out, he is now writing. Ian signed on with De Capo Press last November for said memoir, called “I’m The Man” and written with the assistance of music scribe Jon Weiderhorn, in order to, as he says, “share all these killer stories” of everything he’s experienced over the past 30-plus years.
Ian’s actually been doing a lot story telling over the past couple years as it is. After being invited by a U.K. promoter to take part in a spoken-word series called “Rock Stars Say the Funniest Things” in London in 2012, Ian did several additional shows in Australia with wrestler/rocker Chris Jericho last year before launching his own “Speaking Words” tour in Europe. He kicked off a U.S. leg of the tour on Feb. 20 that will run through March 8. Just before heading out on the tour, Ian announced a crowd-funding campaign through Pledge Music to raise money for the release of a DVD of a “Speaking Words” performance in Glasgow, Scotland.
On the phone from his home in Los Angeles, Ian offered the following on his new sideline as spoken word performer, his appearance on “The Walking Dead,” late-Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman and what the future may or may not hold for additional Big 4 shows.
VH1 Classic’s centerpiece in original programming, “That Metal Show,” is the true destination for all things hard rock & heavy metal. This Saturday’s episode marks the television debut of Altitudes & Attitude, a new side project for Anthrax bassist, Frank Bello, and Megadeth bassist, David Ellefson. Frank and Dave sit down with hosts Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson, and Jim Florentine to discuss the new project as well as give updates on “their day jobs”, Anthrax and Megadeth. Episode 3 features the mobile dual-neck guitar virtuoso Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal of Guns N’ Roses as the musical guest, Lzzy Hale from Halestorm joins us from her recording studio on the Metal Modem, and the hosts pick the Top 5 Anthrax songs of all-time in the TMS Top 5. The TMS Book Club segment features a vivid excerpt from Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen, and the fan-favorite, Stump the Trunk, has one lucky fan stump Eddie to win an actual David Ellefson Hartke bass cabinet from the 2011 Big 4 tour with Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax. “That Metal Show” Episode 3 premieres this Saturday, February 1st at 11:00PM ET/PT.
“That Metal Show” brings the biggest names in hard rock and heavy metal, and this upcoming episodes will include original Kiss members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe and Chris Adler, and guitar heroes Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe, Ted Nugent, and the incomparable Joe Satriani. Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, comedian Jim Breuer, and pop musician Matt Nathanson will also join the show over the next few weeks.
Season 13 of “That Metal Show” continues the trend of having the best musicians in hard rock and metal perform each week, and this season features a mix of guitar and drumming masters. Playing guitar this season will be Yngwie Malmsteen, Gary Hoey, Chris Caffery, Lita Ford, and Tom Keifer of Cinderella. Pounding the skins will be Charred Walls of the Damned drummer Richard Christy, and the thrash metal drumming master from Anthrax, Charlie Benante.
Season 13 consists of 12 brand new episodes making it the longest season in the show’s history. Fans can catch the complete Season 12 and brand new exclusive bonus clips at ThatMetalShow.VH1.com and on the new VH1 app. New episodes of Season 13 will launch on the web and on the app every Sunday morning following the show’s Saturday on-air premiere.
“That Metal Show” premiered on VH1 Classic back in November 2008 and since has become the only place for all things hard rock & heavy metal on cable television. The show has been visited by some of the biggest names in rock including members of Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Kiss, Pearl Jam, Queensrÿche, and Heart.
“That Metal Show” is a production of VH1 Classic. Lee Rolontz, Jeff Baumgardner, and Keshia Williams serve as executive producers for VH1.
VH1 Classic brings you the best metal, rock, soul and pop from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. The channel features the gods of rock – from Black Sabbath, Metallica and Iron Maiden to Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam and Dire Straits – in marquee concerts and music specials, and of course, tons of classic music videos. Recent big events include National Metal Day (11.11) and Metal Evolution, an 11-part documentary series on the history of heavy metal. When it comes down to it – all music should go to 11.
At this point, it’s no surprise to anyone that legendary heavy metal musician, author, and television personality SCOTT IAN has a lot to say. After decades-worth of international touring with Anthrax, bumping elbows with illustrious (and sometimes ridiculous) characters all over the media spectrum, and undergoing general “you won’t believe this” experiences— SCOTT IAN certainly has some hilarious and surprisingly personal stories to share.
Following the resounding success of the UK leg of his “Speaking Words” tour, Scott is picking up the mic again for a 15-city North American leg, kicking off in Chicago, IL on February 20th.
An official “Speaking Words” tour teaser, featuring professional footage from his upcoming “Speaking Words: Live in Glasgow” DVD (pre-order coming soon), has been exclusively released via VICE Noisey today. Watch it here.
Don’t mistake this for your run-of-the-mill spoken word tour. In SCOTT IAN’s own words, “it ain’t no poetry reading” either. “Speaking Words” is an honest look at the insane life that Scott has led for the last 31 years, the people he’s met, and the events that coincide. During each show, Scott will take part in a special Q&A session with the audience.
SCOTT IAN adds, “England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Germany; I’ve been “Speaking Words” all over the world. My friends in the U.S. and Canada, you asked for it and now I finally get to bring it home! I’m looking forward to talking with ya, talking at ya and telling you some amazing tales of drunken debauchery and ridiculousness. No punches pulled, no swear word left unturned, and no question avoided in the Q&A. Let’s do this!”
A special opportunity to join a VIP meet & greet at each date is available now via SCOTT IAN’s webstore. This unique and limited event will allow you to spend time with Scott like never before. It’s a veritable post show hangout with a metal legend— one that’s sure to enrich your knowledge of not only all-things SCOTT IAN, but Anthrax and metal history in general. The VIP meet & greet also includes a special VIP laminate, banner, and other goodies. Learn more and get your passes here: http://bit.ly/1jXEPen
Currently Confirmed SCOTT IAN “Speaking Words” Dates:
2/20 – Chicago, IL @ Mayne Stage
2/21 – Westland, MI @ The Token Lounge
2/22 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theatre
2/24 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater
2/25 – Toronto, ON @ El Mocambo Club
2/26 – Kingston, ON @ The Mansion
2/27 – Ottowa, ON @ Ritual
3/01 – Baltimore, MD @ The Ramshead Live: Power Plant Live
3/02 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
3/04 – Boston, MA @ Hard Rock Cafe
3/05 – New York, NY @ BB Kings
3/06 – Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
3/07 – West Warwick, RI @ Manchester 65
3/08 – Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
With a career spanning three decades, Scott is heralded as metal elite. As the co-founding member of Anthrax, SCOTT IAN helped to create the thrash metal genre in the 1980’s. Anthrax have sold over 10 million records worldwide, have multiple Gold and Platinum awarded recordings, multiple Grammy nominations and have toured the world over on roughly 90+ tours since 1984. SCOTT IAN is recognized as a constant and unanimously recognizable figure in the worlds of music, poker, comics, movies and television. Currently, SCOTT IAN hosts Blood & Guts for the Nerdist Channel, and along with Anthrax, is writing songs for their presently untitled 11th studio album, due out in 2014.
John Dette is a recognizable name amongst the metal fans. For the first time his name popped up in the mid of the 90’s when he was playing in Slayer. Later on he has sat behind the battery for such bands as Testament, Anthrax, Heathen and now he is on tour with Iced Earth. It was about time to sit down with John Dette to talk about his works in various bands and his current jobs with Iced Earth and Animetal USA.
INTERVIEW BY MARKO SYRJALA AND ARTO LEHTINEN
Metal-Rules.com: First of all, welcome to Finland.
Jon Dette: Thank you. Yes. I believe this is my first time to Finland.
Metal-Rules.com: It is.
Jon Dette: Yeah. I was just thinking of that, the other day I was like, I have been Oslo and Kristiansand, Norway, but never to Finland. I think. Yeah, this is definitely my first time.
WORKING WITH ICED EARTH
Metal-Rules.com: Let’s start with this most current thing, the Iced Earth tour. This was another last minute call tour for you, right?
Jon Dette: Definitely last call; it’s just kind of been the theme of my year it seems like. But it’s great, Iced Earth contacted me. I believe it was about two weeks before this run started and asked me if I could do this arena run with Volbeat. And I was introduced to them through our mutual friend Rob Caggiano who is now playing guitar for Volbeat. And so, that’s how that connection started. So, yeah. They contacted me. I spoke to Jon Schaffer and they gave me 12 songs to learn on a very short amount of time. So, it’s where you get into a room you start wood shedding and go, “Okay. Just take a song a day or two songs a day burn it into my brain.” It’s memory retention really. So, and it’s been going great. Everybody seems to be enjoying themselves having a great time, we are definitely drinking buddies. But I think for the fans that are watching Iced Earth on stage, the reaction I get is that and just from the reaction also from the crew and people that are also watching from the side of the stage that they seem to think that it feels like a unit and it seems very solid. So, the response that I’ve gotten has been really positive. So, I guess that means I’m doing my job.
Metal-Rules.com: So, how familiar you were with Iced Earth’s material before this gig?
Jon Dette: Honestly, I am not familiar with the older stuff. I’ve known about Iced Earth and I’ve heard a few songs over the years, but I’ve never heard an album that I could remember from its entirety.
Metal-Rules.com: Were there any songs you could name, you know?
Jon Dette: Honestly as I said, there were songs I knew. The one song that I actually really liked was the song called, “The Reckoning Day” and I believe that was when Ripper Owens came into the band, he was singing on it. And so, yeah. I’m somewhat familiar with that, but as far as the back catalog not so much. So, it was literally learning material from scratch. Where the thing about, Slayer and Anthrax is that I’ve been fans of those bands since I was 13 years old. And so I’ve not only, I knew all of the songs that I was playing for those bands before even played in those bands, just because that’s how I played when I was growing up as a teenager. So this is, with bands like Heathen and Iced Earth, it’s a different situation for me, because I haven’t had their back catalog. So, it’s a lot of stuff to learn in a short amount of time.
Metal-Rules.com: Actually I was about to ask, it must be one hell of a job for you to start learning the songs that you are not familiar with and you have to learn them very quickly before going out to tour?
Jon Dette: Yeah. Well, and again it just goes down to, you’ve got so many songs to learn and you have so many days to learn it. So, as opposed to going bombarding myself with all 12 songs or… Monday I’m going to do this song and this song. And I’m not even listening to anything else. So, I guess it’s almost calculating it out and figuring out the parts. I can hear everything that’s going on. So, it’s really again just a question of memory retention. It’s like cramming, studying for a test. So, where you just play the song over and over and over again until it gets burned into the brain. And I know when I have the song, well I’m happy with it because I can play the song completely from memory with where I’m not playing to tracks or I’m not playing to a guitar player. I can actually just sit in a room with the drum set and nothing else and I can play the songs. And I made a couple of videos for John as well; that I played from once I had them to memory played them. Just so, they could see. Okay, “Is he hitting the parts right?” I think they wanted to make sure as well. So, yeah. I did the song, “Pure Evil” which is a pretty intricate song. And then a couple of songs off the new record, which were actually much more straight forward and laid back. But I think they wanted to see how I could perform both the extreme side and then the more laid back side. So, I played with clique tracks, but that’s it. There was no guitar or anything in my head, but once I get it to that point then I move forward to the next one. So, yeah. And it was definitely a long days, so I will say. And yeah.
Metal-Rules.com: It wasn’t the first time?
Jon Dette: Yeah. It’s not the first time, but this is one of the few times where again I’m listening to something completely new and green for the first time. So, that presented its own challenge. The other bands that I have played for surely its challenging music, but the last thing that I needed to do was listen to the song for memory retention. So, if I had to listen to, I don’t know, an Anthrax song that I had never heard before or Slayer song I had never heard before and it was like for all of them it probably be a much different situation going to those bands.
Metal-Rules.com: You said that you made a deal with the band to make this tour but do you have plans to carry on with the band in the future?
Jon Dette: Well, that’s being discussed right now. Right now the band is set up to; they’ve got a lot of touring ahead of them. Their record is going to be released in January; I think it’s going to the first or second week of January depending on what country you are in. So, the next step from here is actually Iced Earth is coming back to do their own tour in Europe, January and February. I believe that ends in Moscow, March and then they go to Australia, in New Zealand, then head down to South America and then straight to the States. I believe then it will be the festival runs in summer of 2014. So, we are discussing that right now and my point is open right now. So, as I said I’m getting along, great with the guys and we seem to be enjoying ourselves on stage. So, if it’s something that they want to move forward with, then I would definitely do it for them.
Iced Earth 2013
Metal-Rules.com: One of the bands you have been working in the past is Testament. What is your opinion about the fact that Gene Hoglan is now back in the band?
Jon Dette: Gene is a phenomenal drummer. I actually aside from when I was growing up as a kid listening to Anthrax and Slayer and Metalica and those were my main influences. Gene Hoglan, Dark Angel, DARKEST DESCENDS. I mean, “Perish in Flames” and “Burning of Sodom”. And it was just like those, he was going so fast… He was like, he was doing fast stuff back then and it was so precise and so amazing. And every time I see Gene I’m like, “Perish in Flames”. I’m like, “So fucking awesome.” He’s like, “Thanks.”
Metal-Rules.com: Dark Angel are doing shows together again with LEAVE SCARS line-up.
Jon Dette: I didn’t know, awesome. Yeah, Gene is an amazing drummer and he is a perfect fit for Testament. I think they sound great together musically, I think they click as people. Gene has been in and out of Testament. I remember Gene did an amazing record with Testament back in ’97 called DEMONIC, which I wind up doing a tour. Because Gene had just started that band, Strapping Young Lad, but as it turned out Strapping Young Lad was actually the support band on that Demonic -tour. So, was awesome to be able to watch Gene jam every night still. But I think it’s great that he’s in Testament and I wish nothing but the best for Gene and Testament.
Metal-Rules.com: Did you ever have a chance to make recordings with the band with exception of the LIVE AT FILLMORE album?
Jon Dette: We actually, we started… I started jamming with Eric at the end of the Demonic -tour, on songs that he was starting to come up with ideas for the next record. And there was a couple of songs that we had worked on. It was more ideas at that point that wound up on what sounds like the GATHERING record now. But I want to say, the last song on the GATHERING record, “Fall of Sipledome”, is that the name of the song? Yeah. I definitely remember working on parts of that song with Eric, but we never as far as recording stuff. The only stuff that we recorded was the live record and then the actual acoustic tracks that were a bonus to that record. Which is, “Return of Serenity”, “The Legacy” and “Trail Of Tears”. So, those I actually went into the studio and recorded with them. But I’ve never had a chance to record original material with Testament.
WORKING IN BUSINESS
Metal-Rules.com: Yeah, it is funny that it was Dave Lombardo who finished the GATHERING album. So it seems that there are always the same names popping up everywhere?
Jon Dette: Well, it’s like the little… I don’t know. I think because those bands have toured together for so long over the years that they know each other. They know each other skills; they know each other’s people. So, things happen in bands as they normally do. And they are looking for somebody. You have to feel comfortable with someone; it’s not just the skill. A lot of people, it’s really easy for the public to make that assumption. Like get this person to play for your band, this person. Because all they know is they skill, and they don’t realize like, you guys are traveling on a bus together. It’s not a 9:00 to 5:00 job; you don’t see this person for four hours in the morning and go to lunch, and then four hours later. And then everybody leaves for the weekend. You are with people constantly. It is like, it’s like a relationship. And so, and that said it’s a very important factor when bands are looking for people or artists are coming together to do this. So, it’s not. I always tell people, it’s about who is the best person for that particular thing and it’s like having a relationship with the girl. You could see the most physically beautiful woman with the biggest tits and the nicest ass. But somebody that’s married, could look at that woman and think if his wife as physically beautiful. But there is something more way beyond. What I’m getting there is a lot of things involved to make it work in a band rather, not just the skill set. Bad analogy, big tits and ass. “Laughs” Sorry.
Metal-Rules.com: Right, many guys who we have interviewed have said that being in band is like a marriage.
Jon Dette: Absolutely, and it can be the littlest things. You could have four guys in a band that are chain smokers, and one guy who has the most amazing skill set in the world, but he hates cigarettes. Or vice versa, you’ve got four guys that don’t smoke or don’t drink and then you got one guy that just loves to party his ass off. Who is right and who is wrong? There is no right and there is no wrong, it’s only what’s right for that situation. But if you have people that have habits that are conflicting each other, social habits, whatever it is. It’s not going to work out in the long term.
Testament: Live at Fillmore
Animetal USA: W
Metal-Rules.com: About Slayer, a little bit more about that… I remember when I saw this video, “I Hate You’ where you were playing on. I remember thinking; “Hold on that not Bostaph, who’s that guy?” But how did you get the job with Slayer, replacing Paul Bostaph in ’95?
Jon Dette: That was in November. I started talking to Slayer, September ’95, is when they originally contacted me. And I was actually contacted by a mutual friend of the band. And they had mentioned that Paul was going to be leaving the band, and they were going to start auditions. And that I should audition for the band, which of course I would love to. So, as it turned out, my attorney was also Slayer’s attorney at the time. So, my attorney handles contracts and all that stuff for bands, entertainment Attorney. And so, I called him, I said, “Hey! So, I heard Paul is leaving the band and I’d like to audition.” And he said, “Well, you know I can’t talk about my other clients, Jon.” So, I said, “Okay. Well, I’m sending down an audition tape. If they are looking for somebody, consider myself available.” And I got a call the next day from their management, and that’s how I went down to audition. And actually they had heard my name from a couple of different sources, and I think they wanted to try everyone else out and then try me out last, or second to last. Actually Gene Hoglan was the last person they tried out after me. And they sent me a list of songs, and they said learn side one of DECADE OF AGGRESSION, which I already knew all those songs because I’ve been playing them my entire since I have been drumming basically. And then they said learn DIVINE INTERVENTION, and I was like, “Oh man.” Because I hadn’t really listened to DIVINE INTERVENTION too much. And Bostaph is just like psychotic on that record. And at the time when we were talking, I was going to be auditioning with them in two weeks. So, I’m like, “Okay. One song a day. Let me just dissect this thing.” And that’s what I did, I started with “Killing Fields”, “Sex Murder Art”, “Fictional Reality”. I just boom, boom. I was just going through all the songs. Two weeks came, “Well they are not going to be ready quite yet. It’s probably going to be another two weeks.” “Okay, great.” Now I get another two weeks to polish this up even more. And so, when it finally turned out for me to audition, and the management called me the day before and they said, “So, you learned the song “Divine Intervention”. Right?” And I said, “The song?” I’m like, “No, I learned the album, DIVINE INTERVENTION.” “No, no. You don’t need to learn the album, just that one song.” That information would have been helpful. But as it turned out that was one of the great things about the audition, because when I set up and I was warming up. I warmed up to the entire DIVINE INTERVENTION record, and they were in the room next door listening to me while I was warming up. And after I went through I think the fourth song, my drum tech told me later on because he was in the front, Jeff Hanneman. They are playing with their guitars and playing along with me and they said, “We don’t need to try this guy. Already knows all the songs, let’s just go to the bar now.” But they did come in and jam and again it felt great, we jammed for two days and Kerry took me to the bar at the end… We went to a bar after the second night, and he said absolutely nothing about joining the band. It was all just small talk and then, the bar is getting ready to close and I said, “Well, I guess I’ll just wait to hear from you guys.” And he said, “No. We already decided you are the guy. You will get a call next week and will go roll the details, see you later.”
Metal-Rules.com: And that was it?
Jon Dette: Yeah, literary two sentences and that was it. So, that’s how that went down. And then my first show with them was actually, we did a small club in Miami for American Records. But my first show with them was actually Dynamo in ’96. I think so.
THE FUTURE AND ANIMETAL USA
Metal-Rules.com: The year has been really hectic for you; first you toured with Anthrax, then Slayer, then Heathen and now Iced Earth. But you also have your own things, music and bands, going on at the same time I believe so?
Jon Dette: Well, as you said. This last year has been, this is my fourth time to Europe in one year. I was here this time last year with Anthrax. And then I was back here again with Heathen in May and June, then I was back here with Anthrax in July and August and now I’m here with Iced Earth. I really, honestly I haven’t had time to do anything else, it just been those bands have been keeping me pretty busy. And I actually started working with Slayer after we had gotten back from Australia. We started working for demo and music for their new record. And then obviously what happened with Jeff passing away, that changed some things. But it was definitely moving in that direction for me to be working with Slayer. But as I said there are just some things that changed with that once Jeff passed away, and I think ultimately they felt more comfortable with Paul Bostaph, just because Paul have been in the band for longer. I think it was not going to be as much of a shock to their fans, because first Dave is gone and now Jeff has gone the band it’s now down to two original members. And who have clearly dealt with a lot of it, closely over the last couple of years. So, if Paul makes them feel more comfortable and at home, then more respect to him and I wish them the best with that. But that’s the only other thing that I was potentially moving forward to working on, aside from the Animetal USA project which I have been involved with Chris Impelitteri, Rudy Sarzo and Mike Vescera. So, they’ve been talking about doing a record and they are wrapping up a deal now with Warner Brothers. So, if I’m available to do that then I’ll do it. But as I said, it’s if I’m doing the Iced Earth things then I’m going to commit to them. Then it’s just going to be keeping me busy for quite some time now.
Metal-Rules.com: The Animetal thing, it’s not too well known here in Europe. But it’s known it’s a huge thing in Japan.
Jon Dette: Well, the Animetal thing has really been specific towards Japan and the Asian market because it’s completely based on Japanese anime, the costumes that everybody wears. They are not necessarily based off of; they are not actual figures from an anime cartoon. But the songs are all anime cover songs, every one that they’ve just, they’ve heavy metalized into songs. The songs are actually legitimate, they are well structured songs. It’s challenging to play, but as far as the whole costume thing and all that, I think it’s something that maybe North America, maybe Europe aren’t ready for something like that. I don’t know. My thought is to keep it specific to Japan just because they get it, they understand that’s their music, they know the songs. I played with Animetal at Loud Park Festival in 2011, and Animetal was the opening band at the Saitama Arena that day. And the Arena was completely full, and everybody in the Arena was singing the songs like we were a headline band that had been around for years, because they are Japanese covers songs. Well, the songs are sung in English, there are certain parts that are still Japanese vocals.
Metal-Rules.com: Yes, because Mike can sing in Japanese.
Jon Dette: He can because he used to be in Loudness, right. So, it’s pretty crazy. There is some footage of it on online. You can just see the whole crowd singing with us. It was like; “This is the first show ever that this band had played at that point?”
Metal-Rules.com: The first Animetal album was released in The States as well. How well it was received in there?
Jon Dette: It came out later in the States, yeah. But I don’t know how it did in the States, how well received it was.
Metal-Rules.com: But again, it would be amazing to see you guys doing shows in Europe as well. I think that there would be a great demand for bands like Animetal USA?
Jon Dette: Yeah but as I said, if Europe is ready for it. I mean, there is just certain logistic things that need to happen with Animetal, because of the costumes and the make-up, there is more of a production that goes into that show. I don’t know, will just have to see. Either way, if it’s something that can happen if Europe wants it, if they are looking forward to something like that then it will happen. The other thing that was discussed was the possibility of Mike, Rudy, Chris and myself doing an all original band. Where, yes we are an Animetal but just us, as an original band. Just completely different band. But us, just an original band but that’s something that we’ve been discussing and it’s still in thought process right now at this point.
Metal-Rules.com: Yeah, you’re really busy guys. I know.
Jon Dette: Rudy has been really busy. He’s been doing the Queensryche thing and Dio Disciples and… I don’t know what Mike has been doing but I know that he is really busy producing. He actually does a lot of producing of records. So, and Chris is just, Chris is Chris. He’s like the Mr. Business mind always doing something business related, really intelligent guy and he’s always busy and something. But yeah, as I said if it’s something that will happen great. But my personal thought is it would be better served to be specific to Japan and the Asian market, just because even though it’s a little more boutique that way. It’s, I think just the way that it’s been marketed. That’s going to be the best outcome for Animetal USA. But that’s just my opinion.
Metal-Rules.com: Okay Jon, our time is up now. Al the best with tonight’s gig with Iced Earth and see you there.