Joey Belladonna had never heard of anthrax during his audition
The members of Anthrax recall lead singer Joey Belladonna’s first audition with the band – including how the singer had never heard of the thrash metal act before the reunion – in the group’s latest edition in progress. 40 for 40 docuseries on the group.
This spring and summer, the series celebrates the group’s 40th anniversary with new videos airing three times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), leading to a live performance of the 40th anniversary of veteran New York thrashers on July 16. .
Watch the latest episode of Anthrax 40 for 40, titled “A New Hope – Armed and Dangerous,” towards the bottom of this post.
“No, I had no idea – I didn’t even know what I was going to visit,” Belladonna recalls her knowledge of Anthrax before her audition at the end of 1984. “There was no indication of anything. of style. [I had] never heard of them. [I] just flew over there on a propeller plane from Plattsburgh, NY, to Ithaca, of all places. “
Despite the singer’s initial ignorance, Belladonna’s Anthrax hearing would usher in a fruitful partnership. But on that very first try, before the musician proved he had the merchandise in the singing department, his then glamorous looks clashed with Anthrax’s no-frills aesthetic.
“I’m wearing ripped jeans and an Agnostic Front t-shirt, and out walking this guy who looks like he’s in Whitesnake,” Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian recalls with amusement. “And the nigga fucking nails. And we all look at each other like [opens mouth in astonishment]. ” [via Metal Hammer]
Drummer Charlie Benante adds, “I wasn’t up there in Ithaca and they played it for me on the phone, and I was like, ‘That’s it, write it down, let’s go. “The first song he sang was a song called ‘Medusa’, and he fucking nailed it. When Joey got into the band, it was just – it sounded just like, that’s it, c ‘s the band right there, don’t touch it. “
Belladonna replaced singer Neil Turbin in the group after Anthrax’s debut album, Metal handle. The singer swap came after a 1984 concert in New York City featuring Anthrax with Metallica and Raven leading to each band signing with a major record company. (The circumstances would also produce Anthrax’s second album, Spread of disease.)
The fateful three-ticket show was “one of the greatest nights in New York metal history,” says Ian. “And the three bands signed their main label deals on the back of this show – we signed with Island, Metallica signed with Elektra, Raven signed with Atlantic.”
Come back to this story with the new 40 for 40 below. In a previous episode, Ian recalled his reaction to the Metallica demo. Details on Anthrax’s live concert in July will be announced shortly.