Joey Belladonna of Anthrax
Brandon Marshall:Hey Joey, welcome back. Anthrax has been non-stop for the past 10 months with relentless touring. How is it going so far?
Joey Belladonna:Thanks! It�s been going great so far and this is our 3rd night on this leg. We were in New York City last night and it was sold out. We are really having a great time and the band is tight.
B.M: Anthrax has been on some amazing bills over the past several months with bands like Judas Priest and the Gigantour. Have you picked up a few new band CDs since you have been on that bill and have they made a fan out of you?
J.B: Bands would give me stuff all the time like CDs, t-shirts and demos. I have a lot of friends who give me stuff and I walk away with cards, e-mails and new friends too.
B.M: Would some of the new bands party as hard as Anthrax did in say 1988?
J.B:[Laughs]There are plenty of other bands that party as hard as us. Right now, as we speak, the bands are doing that. We are kinda beat to be partying too much right away and we have to pace ourselves. We want to perform well so you can�t get too caught up in a lot of things that are going to prevent you from doing what you need to do. It sounds a little bit like discipline but we don�t want to disappoint the fans.
B.M: (laughs) I was downstairs with Sworn Enemy before i came uo here so i know that all to well. So this lineup is just for the time being, It�s not permanent?
J.B: We are together as we can be right now and I don�t even want to call it a reunion. We are together and we will do what we can. Unless someone has something going on in two months from now or something down the road, other then that we are rolling. We are a good band together and we do enjoy each other�s company. We like each other as players and the combo of us together is good chemistry and we put on a good show as this lineup.
B.M: Really? So walking away from Anthrax for so long and now to come back, do you guys get along even better?
J.B:As a band we are even better and musicians too. Out of all the stuff I have done on my own I have got into doing different things and you develop new ideas and you get better at it.
B.M: Speaking of the Belladonna band, what is the status of it? Are you still writing and working on it?
J.B:Right now I have songs and I still write. That�s just something that�s a necessity for me. Before I meet Anthrax I was gigging for a long time and as much as I could. Belladonna was something I had to do just to play music. Now Anthrax provides me the right situation again where it is set up to where it was and that�s a great thing. I don�t want to wave to any flags with Belladonna right now and I want to make sure I get this where it needs to be because I have enough on my plate.
B.M: Anthrax was such a huge influence in the early 80�s and there were a lot of copycat bands. Were you humbled by that?
J.B:Well� we were a band that was influenced by musicians and a lot of what we do are influenced in many ways and it�s a great thing. Meeting new bands that we have taken out now and the discussions we have with them, it�s just flattering to hear people say something that�s nice, genuine and true about us and have us say it back to them too.
B.M: So if you left Anthrax, who would you want to take your place?
J.B: Well, it has happened and someone did take my place. [Laughs]
B.M: So what�s going on with John Bush?
J.B: I really don�t know. The thing about taking one�s place is that you can�t compare us because we are just very different.
B.M: So, when you left the band did you keep tabs on Anthrax?
J.B: Oh ya, I mean I wouldn�t have discussions with them but I was interested on what they did and where they were going.
B.M: What is Anthrax�s plan after this leg of the tour?
J.B:Well, things are being planned and it�s all timing. It�s just so hard to tell right now. We didn�t even know we were going to be on the Judas Priest tour. Anthrax is definitely going to take a break for a bit though and we are going to write some stuff for the next step in the game.
B.M:Oh, so Anthrax is going into the studio?
J.B:I never said the studio, but I know people have some material in mind to button up in the form of a song and that�s about all I know. Whether this is in one month or five months from now, I just don�t know. We don�t plan anything that way but the next step of something that would be appropriate would be a record. We need new material.
B.M: If you were not a musician, what would do you think you would be doing for a job?
J.B:I was always into hockey. I was going to go semi pro but I like music a little too much. I was safe behind the net. I played all four years in high school and we were a good hockey team. Up where I live is very hockey oriented.
B.M:Any last words for all the readers and you're fans?
J.B:Good to be back and we hope to see you all out at the shows.
Interview and photos by: Brandon Marshall