With thrash metal a largely West Coast phenomenon in the ’80s, New Yorkers Anthrax represented for the East Coast, establishing themselves as one of the major players in the genre. More than 30 years and numerous lineup changes later, Anthrax remain one of the most vital bands in the metal world, a proud bastion of the ‘Big Four’ of thrash acts, and the subject of endless trivia — like these 20 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Anthrax:
Guitarist Scott Ian formed Anthrax in the summer of 1981, but drummer Charlie Benante didn’t enter the picture until 1983, replacing Greg D’Angelo, who left to join White Lion!
Scott Ian’s brother Jason Rosenfeld sang with the fledgling Anthrax between 1981 and ’82, before deciding not to pursue a music career.
In 1983, when a young Metallica moved into the New York rehearsal space shared by Anthrax and other bands, Anthrax felt so bad for how poor they were that they gave them a fridge.
Prior to Joining Anthrax in 1983, lead guitarist Dan Spitz had been a member of Jersey thrashers Overkill.
‘Fistful of Metal’ vocalist Neil Turbin met his future Anthrax band mates Scott Ian and bassist Danny Lilker at New York’s Bayside High School.
Carl Canedy, who produced Anthrax’s first two albums, and several other classic thrash LPs, was the drummer for upstate New York heavy metal trio the Rods.
It was Canedy who introduced Anthrax to Joey Belladonna — who also cut his teeth in the clubs north of NYC, including stints with former Elf/Rainbow members Gary Driscoll and Craig Gruber.
Perhaps the most popular of all Anthrax side projects, S.O.D. started out named Sargent D and recorded an astounding 63 songs in their first demo.
A lot of fans know that Anthrax have written several songs based on the works of horror author Stephen King, but did you know King is also a serious heavy metal fan, citing Anthrax and Metallica among his favorites?
The band caricature seen on the rear sleeve of 1988’s ‘State of Euphoria’ album was created by legendary ‘Mad’ magazine artist Mort Drucker.
‘Antisocial,’ off of ‘State of Euphoria,’ was written and first recorded in 1980 by French rockers Trust, who were pals with AC/DC singer Bon Scott before his passing, and enlisted drummer Nicko McBrain, prior to his joining Iron Maiden.
Arguably Anthrax’s heaviest and darkest album, ‘Persistence of Time’ wasn’t just a response to the oft-criticized humor of ‘State of Euphoria,’ but the gut-wrenching warehouse fire that destroyed most of the band’s priceless instruments.
In 1992, Anthrax made a cameo appearance on the popular sitcom ‘Married… With Children,’ performing the ‘Persistence of Time’ track ‘In My World.’
Singer John Bush wasn’t the first Armored Saint band member to get a big time job offer when he linked up with Anthrax. Saint bassist Joey Vera was previously asked to replace Cliff Burton in Metallica, but, unlike Bush, he decided to stick to his old band. Oops!
After parting ways with Anthrax, lead guitarist Dan Spitz enrolled in the prestigious Bulova School and became a Swiss trained master watchmaker!
Much more than Anthrax’s drummer, Charlie Benante has played guitar on many of the band’s albums and written a good portion of their music over the decades (guitarist Scott Ian writes most of their lyrics).
While it’s common knowledge that Scott Ian is married to Meat Loaf’s daughter Pearl Aday, did you know that he wore bermuda shorts at his wedding ceremony?
Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com
Paul Crook, who played some solos for 1995’s ‘Stomp 442’ album and then joined Anthrax on tour for the remainder of the decade, got his start as a guitar tech for Slayer’s Kerry King.
The 2012 motion picture ‘Greetings From Tim Buckley’ features Anthrax bassist Frank Bello in the role of punk rock icon Richard Hell.
Scott Ian played a zombie in a webisode that accompanied the popular TV series ‘The Walking Dead.’
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