One of heavy metal’s most recognizable and well-liked figures, Scott Ian was born Scott Ian Rosenfeld, in Queens, New York, on December 31, 1963, and rose to fame as a founding member of thrash metal icons, Anthrax. Beginning in 1981, his band helped pioneer and establish the thrash genre, alongside Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and others, thanks to important albums like Fistful of Metal (1985), Spreading the Disease (1985) and their signature statement, Among the Living (1987). Along the way, Ian played rhythm guitar and wrote most of Anthrax’s material with drummer Charlie Benante; was instrumental in helping to popularize the latest heavy metal vernacular (e.g. mosh pits, NOT!, etc); while participating in the charter crossover outfit S.O.D. Towards the end of the decade, as Anthrax’s reputation took a hit with 1988’s State of Euphoria album, Ian nevertheless found himself at the cutting edge of rock’s first experiments with rap and hip hop, by way of Anthrax’s collaboration with Public Enemy (“Bring the Noise”) and their own “I’m the Man” EP. The ‘90s wouldn’t be so kind to Anthrax (nor most other metal bands for that matter), but Ian made the best of it, by persevering with Anthrax (now fronted by John Bush) while befriending other scene stalwarts like Pantera and guitarist Dimebag Darrell, in particular. In 2001, following the 9/11 attacks and unrelated letters posted with anthrax, Scott and the band briefly considered changing their name, but instead rebounded with their strongest effort in years in 2003’s We’ve Come for You All. This was followed by an eclectic decade marked by numerous TV engagements (many with VH1), movie cameos, comic book projects, poker championships and, of course, lots of music, including large-scale Big Four tours. In 2011, Anthrax reunited with ‘80s frontman Joey Belladonna for their tenth studio album, Worship Music, further solidifying their reputation among metal’s respected elder statesmen and, by extension, that of their leader, Scott Ian, too.
- Selected Discography: Spreading the Disease (1985), Among the Living (1987), Sound of White Noise (1993), Worship Music (2011)
- Related Artists: Anthrax, S.O.D., Pantera, Dimebag Darrell, Metallica
- Further Reading: 10 Best Anthrax Songs, Anthrax’s Scott Ian Plays ‘Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?’