While they’ve released an album that’s among this year’s best and are currently on the road with Slayer, we haven’t written about Anthrax since they played two incredibly small shows at Saint Vitus Bar and did a Pink Floyd cover. There have been a few more developments in the the Anthrax camp. Nothing super ground breaking, but earlier this week, Slipknot and Stone Sour vocalist Corey Taylor admitted when talking to guitarist Scott Ian that he almost joined the band, and would have if it wasn’t for his label and management forbidding him to. Also, Scott Ian, who’s railed against Spotify in the past, appears to have had a change of heart about the streaming service.
There was a lot of talk before 2011’s Worship Music came out about who the singer of the band might be. Of course Joey Belladonna returned to the band, and has been doing a great job since. But after they got rid of Dan Nelson, who’d already recorded vocals for the album, one persistent name that kept coming up was Taylor. That may have made sense, because in 2010, two years after All Hope Is Gone was released, bassist Paul Gray was found dead and the status of the band was uncertain. Taylor spoke about the near-reunion on Ian’s new SiriusXM show Never Meet Your Heroes:
I remember Charlie [Benante, Anthrax drummer] getting super stoked and sending me stuff. And I was starting to write lyrics. And then it all went to hell.
I was literally getting ready to fly to Chicago to meet up with you guys. And here comes [Slipknot manager Cory] Brennan, here comes some people from Roadrunner, and it was, ‘You can’t do this.’ And I’m, like, ‘What do you mean I can’t do this? I mean, we’ve got half an album.’ I was so pissed, dude. I was, like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And, basically, they strong-armed me, because they wanted the new Slipknot album, which, at the time, I was about the only person who could really kind of rein everybody in, to get them going; it was a very strange time. But they weren’t gonna let me do it; they just straight-up weren’t gonna let me do it. And I just remember… even before I called you guys, just sitting in my kitchen and just being so downtrodden, just crestfallen, because I had looked so forward to everything. And the whole thing that I just kept saying was, ‘I’ve let you guys down.’ I thought Charlie was mad at me for the longest time.
It appears to have worked out for the best, as Belladonna is beloved in Anthrax and has been doing a great job. Meanwhile, Slipknot came back in a big way with 2014’s .5: The Gray Chapter. And as cool as it would be to have Taylor in Anthrax, Belladonna is more than holding his own in the band.
Meanwhile, just one year ago, one of the most outspoken artists against streaming was Ian. When he appeared on Jamey Jasta’s podcast last September, he literally said “take your streaming and shove it up your ass,” calling it a “fucking joke.” Metal Sucks points out that he’s had a change of heart, via an interview with Alternative Press (which, like the above quote, was transcribed by Blabbermouth):
“I don’t care how people get their music — I don’t care — as long as they’re not stealing it. So, really, it doesn’t matter to me if you’re listening to vinyl or you’re streaming; I don’t care. I’m not one of these people anymore that is against technology or the future. I was [against it] until I found out how our deal actually worked with things like Spotify. I was actually criticizing out of ignorance about two years ago. And then I learned how things were working specifically for us. I don’t know how it works for every band, but I got educated and I embraced Spotify big time after that.”
“I look at it this way: as long as a band is getting paid for what they do, I don’t care how people get their music; it doesn’t matter to me… however you enjoy it. At home now, I’m pretty much… We have music on… If we’re awake, there’s music on in the house, and it’s generally Spotify through out Sonos system, so you’ve got music in every room, and it’s Spotify, so you can hear whatever you want at any given time, because it has everything. It’s the greatest. [Laughs] Oh my God! It’s the best thing ever.”
More like one year ago, Scott. At least he understands, and while he might not be getting as rich as he was from people physically buying albums and CDs, it adds up cumulatively, and it’s really more about exposure. You might only stream an Anthrax album instead of buying it, but if you’re exposed to them, you might go to their show when they come around and pick up a t-shirt while you’re there.