In between fighting snowmen, Scott Ian has been making the interview rounds in support of Anthrax’s new covers EP Anthems. But of course, there’s one topic we knew the guitarist couldn’t avoid when talking to the press: Rob Caggiano leaving Anthrax. And in a recent interview with MTV Hive, Ian addresses it directly.
When asked whether Caggiano’s departure came as a surprise, Ian replied:
“We didn’t know he was planning on leaving while we were tracking this. He was literally finishing solos in Berlin on the last days of the tour. It wasn’t until after the tour ended and we started having conversations, and just to put it in a nutshell, he just needs to do his own thing at this point in time. We knew he had a record that he was going to be doing possibly. We had already told him, if you need to take a hiatus, that’s fine. The best thing I can say is that he’s on a mission to do his own thing at this point. And I’m certainly not going to stand in his way.”
Ian also commented on how Anthrax came to pick Shadows Fall guitarist Jon Donais as his temporary replacement, saying:
“It was actually Rob. He had already spoken to Jon and had kind of filled him in about what his plan was. He didn’t want to leave us hanging. As much as it sucks, this whole thing has been friendly. I may think Rob has made a mistake by leaving the band, but at the same time he’s my friend and I back his decision all the way in whatever he needs to do. He feels the same about us. We all know Jon. I’ve actually worked with him before on [comedian] Brian Posehn’s record. We all know he’s a great lead guitar player. And Jon said absolutely he wanted to do it.”
We could gossip over Ian calling Caggiano’s quitting “a mistake.” However, the interview makes it pretty clear that Anthrax and the guitarist indeed parted ways on good terms. Also worth noting is that Ian reveals that Anthrax has already been demoing new material. Although it seems unlikely that we’ll get to hear them play any new songs on the Metal Alliance Tour, since they’ll be busy performing Among The Living in its entirety. Read Ian’s entire interview over at MTV Hive.