Anthrax to open for Judas Priest

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11273295462946.jpg’, ‘Photo provided’, ‘Anthrax returns to the stage at the MetroCentre Sept. 28, alongside Judas Priest, with their original classic lineup of musicians.’);

Take a trip down memory lane with one of the most influential metal bands to ever break barriers and rock American musical history.

Anthrax returns to the stage alongside Judas Priest with their original classic lineup of musicians for the 2005 Retribution Tour.

Joey Belladonna (lead vocals), Frank Bello (bass guitar, vocals), Charlie Benante (drums, guitar), Scott Ian (rhythm guitar, vocals) and Daniel Spitz (lead guitar) make up the unstoppable classic lineup of Anthrax.

With more than 20 phenomenal years behind them, Anthrax has walked into the millennium as a survivor of the heavy metal apocalypse of the ’90s.

For new metal fans, the history of Anthrax may be unknown. At the time, the members were in their late teens/early 20s and ready to show this world their talent.

With influences including Kiss, Cheap Trick, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, Anthrax was out to claim its own spot in heavy metal history.

Their first independent album, Fistfull of Metal, was released in 1984. That same day it was released, Bello joined the group, taking the place of their previous bass player.

“We started the tour right after the release,” Bello said. “I didn’t get paid for it … I believed in it, and that’s the whole thing.”

Anthrax’s first studio album, Spreading the Disease, was released in 1985 and is the first album, of many, to include the classic lineup.

During the mid-’80s to early-’90s, Anthrax was at the top of the heavy metal hierarchy. In 1992, the band replaced frontman Joey Belladonna with John Bush and created the album Sound of White Noise in 1993.

Over the next decade, Anthrax had a couple of member changes, but nothing too drastic. Original guitarist Daniel Spitz left the band more than a decade ago. He left all music behind and became one of the world’s coveted master watch-makers.

Frank Bello left Anthrax a couple of years ago and has recently been playing bass with the seminal aggro-outfit band Helmet.

Guitarist Scott Ian is the only founding member of Anthrax who has continually been with the band throughout its entire career, with drummer Charlie Benante the second-longest standing member.

Even with some member changes in the past 20 years, the band has still managed to produce 10 studio albums that sold more than 10 million copies, go on more than 55 tours spanning more than 32 countries on five continents, were nominated for three Grammy Awards and broke barriers in the industry by joining talents with the rappers of Public Enemy to create a fusion of metal and rap.

Anthrax also broke social barriers in the mid-’80s, and then created a social trend by wearing their regular street clothes on stage.

“I just wore my stage clothes yesterday,” Bello said. “My gimmick is let the music do the talking. We are what you see.”

Anthrax had a lot of achievements over the past 20 years, but everything wasn’t always perfect.

“There has been a lot of ups and downs along the road,” Bello said. “That’s what you get for a 20-year anniversary, you get a history.”

Bello said one of the biggest problems Anthrax came across was their band name following the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Anthrax debated changing their name due to the terrorist threat of a chemical that shared the same name as the band.

During that same time, they played at a benefit for the New York Fire and Police departments. The departments told them not to change their name, otherwise the terrorists would have won.

Anthrax stuck with their original band name as fans stuck by their side.

“We’re still around after 20 years without help from anyone other than the fans,” Bello said. “And that’s all that matters.”

Anthrax will be opening for Judas Priest Sept. 28 at the MetroCentre, 300 Elm St., starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $38.50. Info: 968-5222.

From the Sept. 21-27, 2005, issue

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