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.
As has been the case for the past two years, in 2013 our booth will be stocked with brand new MetalSucks merch designs, free goodies from our friends at Nuclear Blast, and, oh yeah, some of metal’s heaviest hitters to sign your shit, take photos, and generally make you go all weak in the knees. This year’s guests will Monster Magnet guitarist/vocalist Dave Wyndorf on Friday, October 11 from 12-2 pm, and Anthrax bassist Frank Bello on Saturday, October 12 from 12-2 pm.
Imagine a weekend of nothing but pure heavy fucking metal.
Imagine being surrounded by the friendliest 15,000 people who share the same passion for heavy metal music and lifestyle. Imagine a place where it is respectable to have beer for breakfast and drinking until you drop in an accomplishment. Imagine a festival where you can see over 100 heavy metal bands and pretty much none of them suck.
Ladies and gents, this ain’t no heavy metal fairytale!
This is Bloodstock Open Air – the greatest heavy metal music festival of our times. It’s a place where metal heads run free, headbang until their heads roll off, shout ‘SLAYEEER!’ and avoid shower for 4 days straight.
It just does not get any better than this.
Our Metal-Rules.com UK team were privileged to attend Bloodstock Open Air 2013 and see things for themselves…here’s a ‘little’ insight of what went down.
SHADOWS FALL guitarist Jon Donais, who has been touring with ANTHRAX since Rob Caggiano’s departure in January, will continue to play with ANTHRAX for the foreseeable future.
Speaking to Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas for the “Metal Hammer” radio show on TeamRock Radio (hear audio below), ANTHRAX’s founding rhythm guitarist Scott Ian stated about the band’s current second-guitarist situation: “Jon’s been with us since February, and I think I can safely say he’s passed the audition… [laughs]. I know we haven’t said anything official yet, but in my mind, he’s the guy. I’m sure some type of official announcement… because in this world, people apparently need that kind of information so they can sleep well at night. But as far as I’m concerned, Jon is the guitar player in ANTHRAX.”
The fifth annual Revolver Golden Gods award show was held last night (Thursday, May 2nd) at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California.
During the ceremony, ANTHRAX were joined by ex-PANTERA members Phil Anselmoand Rex Brown for a rendition of the Pantera classic, ‘This Love’, dedicated to late SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman. Video of the performance can be seen below:
At 11 AM, PST on May 2nd, Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed away near his Southern California home; he was 49 years old. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed.
Ever since Anthrax first hinted at a potential covers disc last year, there’s been plenty of anticipation of what the metal icons might take on. Now we know the classics tracks that the group have recorded for the upcoming ‘Anthems’ EP, and Loudwire is proud to premiere Anthrax’s ripping performance of AC/DC‘s ‘T.N.T.’ in advance of the disc’s March 19 street date.
Drummer Charlie Benante tells LOUDWIRE: “Back in the day, when we would do encores we would play AC/DC’s ‘Whole Lotta Rosie.’ We never recorded it back then, but when we were in the studio making ‘Worship Music,’ we decided we wanted to. But [singer] Joey [Belladonna] really wanted to do ‘T.N.T.’ He felt it was more in his style, and he knew the song backwards and forwards, so we recorded that, and it’s great.”
Benante goes on to add, “We recorded the track in Chicago and in Los Angeles [and] the sessions were really easy, felt really good. The thing about ‘T.N.T.’ for me is that there’s not a lot of drumming on it. So the challenge for me was to not go crazy with fills, but to pay tribute to the original recording, and keep it AC/DC.”
Anthrax does exactly that, keeping it to the rocking core of the AC/DC classic, but even though Benante says there’s not much for him to do, at the end of the track there’s the all-out free-for-all for the entire group as the band raises the tempo for the song’s explosive finish.
Anthrax’s ‘Anthems’ also features the band’s covers of Rush‘s ‘Anthem,’ Thin Lizzy‘s ‘Jailbreak,’ Boston‘s ‘Smokin” and Journey‘s ‘Keep on Runnin” among others. In addition to ‘Anthems” cover art, Benante and artist Stephen Thompson have subtly redesigned each track’s original album cover art to “Anthrax” it. The ‘Anthems’ EP will first be housed in one of the “re-imagined” digipak covers, and then inserted inside the main CD cover sleeve. The main cover sleeve has been designed in such a way so fans will be able to see which one of the six “re-imagined” covers is inside.
Look for Anthrax’s ‘Anthems’ on March 19. You can currently pre-order the disc here. And check out Anthrax’s rendition of AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T.’ HERE.
Anthrax has just made available a taste of the band’s upcoming EP Anthems, due out March 19 (Megaforce). “Anthem,” the band’s cover of the classic Rush song, can be heard here.
In addition to the EP’s cover art, each of the cover songs will have its own special artwork, each one based on the tracks’ original album cover art, but subtly “reimagined” by Anthrax’s Charlie Benante and artist Stephen Thompson.
The eight-track Anthems EP pays tribute to the classic songs by some of Anthrax’s favorite bands from the 1970s. In addition to Rush’s “Anthem,” the track listing includes Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak,” “TNT” by AC/DC, Boston’s “Smokin’,” “Big Eyes” by Cheap Trick, Journey’s “Keep on Runnin,” as well as the album version and a special remix of Anthrax’s “Crawl” from the band’s critically-acclaimed 2011 album Worship Music.
Anthems was produced by Anthrax, Jay Ruston and Rob Caggiano, and recorded for the most part throughout 2012 literally all over the world: at Benante’s home studio, in Ruston’s New York studio, on the band’s tour bus while on last summer’s Mayhem Tour, in hotel rooms, and backstage at their Berlin show last December.
Anthems, Anthrax’s long-awaited, eight-track EP that pays tribute to the classic songs by some of Anthrax’s favorite bands from the 1970s, will be released in North America on March 19 (MRI/Megaforce), and on March 22 in Europe (Nuclear Blast). Anthems‘s track listing features Rush’s “Anthem,” Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak,” “TNT” by AC/DC, Boston’s “Smokin’,” “Big Eyes” by Cheap Trick, Journey’s “Keep on Runnin,” as well as the album version and a special remix of Anthrax’s “Crawl” from the band’s critically-acclaimed 2011 album Worship Music.
Said the band’s vocalist Joey Belladonna, “These are all bands I grew up with and have listened to forever. It’s just great music. I had fun singing these songs and I was happy recording together with Anthrax, doing classic rock songs. Fun stuff!”
On Boston’s “Smokin’,” Anthrax brought in a special guest to play keyboards – Fred Mandel, who has played with Alice Cooper, Queen, Elton John, Cheap Trick, Supertramp and on Pink Floyd’s The Wall. About the track, drummer Charlie Benante said, “If ever there were a perfect first album, it’s Boston’s first album. The harmony leads they did would later be heard by Iron Maiden, which of course would lead to thrash metal.”
The EP will be available on CD as well as digitally via iTunes and other online retailers. In addition to Anthems‘ cover art (attached), Benante and artist Stephen Thompson have subtly redesigned each track’s original album cover art to “Anthrax” it. The Anthems EP will first be housed in one of the “re-imagined” digipak covers, and then inserted inside the main CD cover sleeve. The main cover sleeve has been designed in such a way so fans will be able to see which one of the six “re-imagined” covers is inside.
Anthems was produced by Anthrax, Jay Ruston and Rob Caggiano, and recorded for the most part throughout 2012 literally all over the world: at Benante’s home studio, in Ruston’s New York studio, on the band’s tour bus while on last summer’s Mayhem Tour, in hotel rooms, and backstage at their Berlin show last December.
The Grammy-nominated Anthrax – Belladonna, Benate/drums, Scott Ian/guitar and Frank Bello/bass – will hit the road in support Anthems on February 16 with dates in India and Australia, and then return to North America to headline the Metal Alliance Tour that kicks off March 22. For all of these dates, Anthrax will be joined by Shadows Fall guitarist Jon Donais.
“Rob has been an integral part of Anthrax for so many years, as our lead guitarist, in a production capacity, but most of all, as our close friend. His contributions to the band have been enormous. While we are sad that he is leaving, we wish him nothing but great success going forward, and hope to share the stage with him again sometime down the road.
“With the Metal Alliance Tour on the horizon, we have been considering several lead guitarist options, and will be making an announcement on that shortly.”
ANTHRAX – Charlie Benante, Scott Ian, Frank Bello, Joey Belladonna
After a long and successful run as guitarist for the legendary thrash metal act ANTHRAX, Rob Caggiano has decided that it’s time to move on and focus on his other passion: producing records for the time being. Already an acclaimed rock and metal producer, Rob has amassed a long list of production credits working with acts such as CRADLE OF FILTH (on their Grammy-nominated classic Nymphetamine), THE DAMNED THINGS, and JESSE MALIN to name a few. Rob’s production work on the most recent Anthrax studio album Worship Music received high recognition, as the track ‘I’m Alive’ received a Grammy Nomination for Best Rock / Metal Performance.
Being a member of the mighty Anthrax for the better part of the last 12 years is something that Caggiano is of course very proud of. This was not an easy decision to make.
“I’m extremely proud of my time in Anthrax. Actually, that’s an understatement! We accomplished so many great things together over the years and I shared some of the best times of my life with these guys. As a band, we also weathered quite a few storms along the way. It’s been a wild ride (to say the least) from Day One and I wouldn’t change one single thing about the last 12 years. This is an extremely difficult and emotional decision for me to make but my heart is just steering me in a different direction right now. I’ve always been one to follow my heart in everything that I do and while this might be one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, it feels like the right one for me at this time. Scott, Charlie, Joey, Frankie (and John Bush) will always be part of my family and this decision doesn’t change the way I feel about that in the slightest. I would also like to say thanks to all the amazing fans I’ve met and hung out with worldwide over the years. You guys always were and always will be the reason why I make music! In this day and age, being a musician isn’t always easy -also an understatement- but the fans truly make it worthwhile for me. I hope to see each and every one of you again really soon. The fact that Anthrax is at the top of their game right now and totally ‘out for blood’ after all these years is a testament to this band’s longevity and conviction! I’m truly honored to have been a part of their brilliant legacy.”
With this new direction, Caggiano very much looks forward to getting back to producing/recording/writing again in the immediate future.
“I can’t wait to get back in the recording studio again! Over the years, I’ve been blessed with the privilege of working with a wide range of great bands/artists from Anthrax and Cradle Of Filth all the way to BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, and I look forward to a hopeful continuation of that side of my career while I figure out my next move as an artist. BTW in case anyone was wondering after reading all of this, I do FULLY intend to get back out there on the road very soon in some way shape or form… it’s in my blood! Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @RobCaggiano for any and all updates on what I am up to.”
The Metal Alliance Tour is back for their third ferocious year of wrecking heads have booked and is now announcing this year’s round of dates. The Metal Alliance has become the genre’s biggest spring tour and this year is no different. Festival organizers Dan Rozenblum and Steve Seabury of High River Entertainment are proud to announce and welcome ANTHRAX, the undisputed titans of metal, as their 2013 headliner. The band will be performing their fan favorite 1987 classic Among The Living in its entirety. The album was produced by Eddie Kramer and includes the tracks “Caught In A Mosh”, “Indians” and “I am The Law”.
Ryan Waste reveals his excitement for the tour. “I grew up listening to ANTHRAX and EXODUS and they inspired me to start playing speed metal from the beginning. I’m thrilled to hit the road and rip it up along-side some the most influential ‘bangers of our time!”
“We hope to see all you die hard metalheads at these shows doing the Toxic Waltz. This is such a bad ass tour and will be one for the ages.” Adds co-organizer Seabury.
General Admission Tickets will be available on January 11th but fans can now order their VIP Tickets. There are only 50 VIP Tickets per market and will quickly sell out. Each VIP Ticket will include the following items:
General Admission Ticket
Meet & Greet 30 Minutes Before Doors
Limited Edition VIP Laminate
Limited Edition 11 x 17 Tour Poster
Metal Alliance Beer Koozie
Bottle of High River Sauce’s Hellacious Hot Sauce (The Official Hot Sauce of The Metal Alliance Tour)
Issue of Revolver Magazine
Sharing the stage each night and crushing heads on the Metal Alliance Tour will be San Francisco thrash legends EXODUS, MUNICIPAL WASTE, HOLY GRAIL and a couple of additional bands will be announce at a later date.
Date Venue City/State
3/23 House of Blues Las Vegas, NV
3/24 Marquee Theatre Tempe, AZ
3/25 House of Blues San Diego, CA
3/27 House of Blues West Hollywood, CA
3/28 Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA
3/29 The Crystal Ballroom Portland, OR
3/30 Commodore Ballroom Vancouver, BC
3/31 Showbox SoDo Seattle, WA
4/2 Summit Music Hall Denver, CO
4/4 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
4/5 House of Blues Chicago, IL
4/6 The Fillmore Detroit Detroit, MI
4/7 Bogarts Cincinnati, OH
4/9 House of Blues Dallas, TX
4/10 House of Blues Houston, TX
4/12 House of Blues Lake Buena Vista, FL
4/13 Tremont Music Hall Charlotte, NC
4/14 The Fillmore Silver Spring, MD
4/16 House of Blues Cleveland, OH
4/18 Theatre of the Living Arts Philadelphia, PA
4/20 Irving Plaza New York, NY
One of the most anticipated tours of the year rolled into town as Anthrax and Motorhead make an appearance to O2 Academy Brixton to play a sold-out show. There have been talks previous to tonight about how ‘No Rock, Metal music fan can miss tonight’s performance’! Have been circulating since April and created a mass-excitement in the world heavy metal.
So we were sure not to miss tonight and to experience the loudest Rock’n’Roll show of the year and damage our hearing without a care in the world! Read the rest of this entry »
LOS ANGELES, CA – The surprise isn’t that Anthrax’s “I’m Alive” received a Grammy nomination last night for Best Rock/Metal Performance; the surprise is that it comes more than a year after the track’s September 13, 2011 release on the band’s critical smash, Worship Music, which was named was of the best metal albums of 2011 by numerous media outlets, and provided the band with the rock’n’roll comeback story of the year. This is the fourth Grammy nomination for Anthrax – Charlie Benante/drums, Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano/guitars, Frank Bello/bass, Joey Belladonna/vocals.
L-R: Ian, Benante, Bello, Belladonna, Caggiano
“I was watching The Dave Matthews Band perform when I received a text saying ‘Congrats on the Grammy nomination!’,” said Benante. “Huh? I had lost all hope of ever being nominated for another Grammy, but I guess I was wrong. We put so much hard work into ‘Worship Music,’ and I am so honored to be nominated with a group of bands that have also sustained the Test of Time like the legendary Maiden and Megadeth. Heavy Metal is a Force, it has fans that range from six to 66, and I’m so proud to be a part of this Force…it’s in all of us.”
Anthrax fans waited eight long years for Worship Music,the band’s first studio album since 2003’s We’ve Come For You All,that features the return of “classic era” vocalist Belladonna making his first Anthrax album in twenty years. Since its September 13 release and subsequent debut at #12 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart, Worship Musichas received glowing praise from numerous critics and music tastemakers, including That Metal Show’s Eddie Trunk and Alexander Milas, editor of the UK’s Metal Hammer. Loudwire named it the #1 Metal Album of the Year.
The return of Belladonna and Anthrax’s remarkable renewal began in 2009 in a Cleveland hotel bar. Anthrax’s Benante and Ian, and Metallica’s Lars Ulrich were in town for the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame when Lars first brought up the idea of The Big Four – Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, the four bands that served as the original architects for the “thrash/speed-metal” scene,” yet had never shared the same stage before. The first of (so far) fourteen Big Four events took place on June 16, 2010, culminating in what was Anthrax’s New York homecoming concert – The Big Four at Yankee Stadium on September 14, the day after Worship Music hit stores. “We came into The Big Four as the underdog,” said Benante. “We were the band that had the most to prove, and we’ve worked really, really hard to do that.”
Anthrax continues touring in support of Worship Music having just completed a European tour with Motorhead, and will be announcing North American plans for 2013 shortly.
Old school thrash metallers rejoice – this is a fucking great time to be a metalhead! ‘80s thrash metal is having a bit of a second renaissance now, with Big 4, the return of Joey Belladonna, Alex Skolnick, and David Ellefson to Anthrax, Testament, and Megadeth respectively, and new albums from each of these bands. This time last year, Anthrax announced they would be touring with Testament and Death Angel to support their new album, WORSHIP MUSIC. Back in 1987, Anthrax took Testament on their first European tour, so this 2011 – 2012 US tour was flashback to that classic time period. The Anthrax / Testament / Death Angel tour was so successful they added a second leg and a third leg. Tonight’s show in Atlantic City, NJ is the final show of the third leg. This is the last time to catch these thrash legends on the same bill. Read the rest of this entry »
On September 21, 2012 a great triple bill of thrash veterans had fans’ anticipation high and tickets selling so well, that the gig was moved to a larger venue. On a hot Friday night in Calgary, Alta., Anthrax, Testament and Death Angel took over MacEwan Hall. The venue usually hosts all-ages shows but this time the show remained an 18+ event and the milling crowd appreciated still being able to have their beers and enjoy the concert. Read the rest of this entry »