Last week, rumors were swirling the internet that Anthrax was once again reuniting with singer Joey Belladonna for the “Big Four” European Festival performances. As of this morning, two things are clear: 1. It’s no longer a rumor, and 2. They couldn’t get John Bush back despite their best efforts.
It has been confirmed that Joey Belladonna is now back in Anthrax. He will be making his first appearance with the band since 2006 on June 16 Sonisphere Festival in Poland. “I had been in touch with Charlie and Frank, then I got a call from their manager who said that everyone wanted me back in the band. I thought, ‘are you guys for real? You want me up there, fronting the band like it was before?’ I was thrilled. We’ve already started to reconnect with the old ways of having conversations. Everything is easy going and feels really good,” says Joey Belladonna.
However, unlike their most recent shows with John Bush, Anthrax has bigger plans with the returning frontman. Immediately following the summer appearances, Belladonna will hop into the studio with Anthrax to re-record their “new” album. That’s right, Anthrax is officially re-recording Worship Music, with Joey Belladonna. “We’ve got an unusual luxury of hindsight. We finished an album a year ago, we’ve lived with those 12 songs since then, and we can look back on them and see what we really love and what we can make even better, especially with Joey back in the fold,” revealed guitarist Scott Ian.
Check out all of the statements made by Anthrax at Blabbermouth.net.
While I am kind of sad that chances of Bush’s return are now dead, I can’t exactly hate on Anthrax for reuniting with Belladonna. Sure they come off as a bit hypocritical since all they could talk about in interviews was how much they wanted Bush back. However, Bush was making it clear that he wasn’t interested in re-recording and permanently touring again. Time was certainly ticking for Anthrax (ticking in their heads!), not only because they were sitting on new material for over a year but also since the singer switch-a-roo was putting a strain on the band’s credibility. So trying to find a new singer was out of the question, especially since Dan Nelson didn’t work out too well. It may seem sad that the band is playing it safe, but at least they can now move forward. Let’s just hope for Anthrax’s sake that their second reunion with Belladonna lasts longer.
The real loser in this? Joey Belladonna. I mean, sure, he gets to go back on tour and in the studio with the band that made him famous, and a band that were at their most popular when he was in them. But they already brought him back once, only to get rid of him again – with two different singers. He’s like the unpopular kid at school, getting picked for the kickball team only because there’s an odd number of people. Or an unpopular girl waiting to get asked to the prom, not getting asked, then getting asked by some dude in the AV club at the last second because the homecoming queen already had a date. What we’re trying to say is he’s probably got some self-esteem issues, and the only way it could be worse for him is if they renamed Worship Music and titled it Third Choice.
UPDATE: Blabbermouth.net just revealed a video clip that makes Mr. Ian look a bit like a douche. Back in January, Scott Ian and his wife Pearl taped an episode of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show (the episode aired on March 13). On that episode, the Anthrax guitarist took part in a segment called “The Throwdown”, where he and the hosts discussed whether John Bush or Joey Belladonna was the better singer in Anthrax. Well not only did Ian without hesitation say Bush, but also claimed that Anthrax “didn’t need a bird, we needed a lion.” And to think, we thought Belladonna couldn’t be made to feel any lesser. Take a look after the jump to see the video of the piece (the segment starts at the 40 second mark).