You’d think that having a 30-year-spanning history in one of metal’s more successful groups will have made you a band of brothers, but in a recent interview with Sweden Rock Magazine, Anthrax frontman Joey Belladonna said that’s not necessarily the case. He gave a rather sad interview in which he said that after 30 years, he still feels like the new guy in the band. Likening it to coming to a new neighborhood and trying to get new friends, he said that he’s still not really all that friendly with the band.
If I walked into Chuck (Testament frontman Chuck Billy)’s neighborhood and he’s got four of his friends, then I’m, like, this new kid. No matter what you do, it’s gonna be hard. They’re all so close, unless you actually fit in right away and they’re just that cool… They were open to me, but they weren’t doing anything either way to make me feel like it was gonna be the best thing in the world; it was more business-like. ‘You wanna join with us, man? It’d be great.’ Of course, Jonny Z, was very, very encouraging, ’cause he knew more about what it would be like to have somebody in there that would help make the band right versus a bunch of guys that weren’t sitting in the band very well.
He continued: “It’s not right for everybody. This kind of band and that kind of music, it has to be right. Even the whole thing, the whole package — not even just the voice part of it; just the whole setting of it all. I don’t think I’ve ever really found my place with this band. I mean, as much as we do what we do, it’s so corporate in its own way. But, yeah, it doesn’t get much better than it is now, but it could be a whole lot better, too, at the same time. [I’m] only allowed so much friendship.”
Belladonna added that he doesn’t really talk to the band right now, aside from e-mails. And it should be noted that after they fired Dan Nelson following the completion of Worship Music, he wasn’t even the first choice to replace him (that would’ve been John Bush). That being said, one of the main reasons Worship Music was as popular as it was is Belladonna’s participation on it. Spreading the Disease and Among the Living in particular are two of the band’s most-beloved albums. So even if it is just a business arrangement, all parties should be aware that Belladonna is the most popular vocalist in the band, and maybe they should try to work a little harder on the friendship angle.