Anthrax NYC Press Conference Report

By Mick Stingley, Contributor
Saturday, April 2, 2005 @ 3:51 PM

Recap of Anthrax's Press Confe

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TRUTH BE TOLD: WE ALREADY KNEW. The rumors had been flung all over the internet like so much bullshit and this press conference was little more than a formality. Yeah, the “classic” line-up of Anthrax is back together and they’re going to tour and they’re going to put out a live DVD and maybe a live CD and they’ll keep touring until they implode or who knows what. No, they’re not on OZZfest 2005, which is a bummer. What else? Not one of them has gotten fat or looks that much different than they did about 21 years ago. So- that’s it, really. Scott Ian, Dan Spitz, Joey Belladonna, Frank Bello and Charlie Benante are back together to bring the noise, as it were.

UNLESS this is some elaborate stupid prank. It was April Fool’s Day, after all. These guys have always had something of a sense of humor, and (at this writing 4/1/05 11:35PM) the official Anthrax website still has some clock/counter that has yet to yield whatever news its going to proclaim. <anthrax.com> THAT ASIDE- the whole thing was anticlimactic. Anyone who grew to love the John Bush lineup was going to be disappointed to learn that the band wasn’t going to tour with both singers or both line-ups or something forward-thinking like that. That lineup recorded a true classic late into the Anthrax career (“We’ve Come For You All”) and delivered the goods live. It seemed as if they were rebuilding a new career off that; and now (for the time-being), it’s over. Scott did say that both John Bush and Rob Caggiano were still part of the Anthrax family, but failed to elaborate how. Guess we’ll have to see.

SO WHY DO THIS? Well, Scott Ian was pretty honest about the fact that, as working musicians, yes, there was some good money involved. Scott also mentioned that both John and Rob gave Scott their blessing and told them, “You should do this.” He joked a bit about the endless KISS farewell tours and made a strong point in doing so: what’s wrong with a band making a living? To be fair, there is nothing wrong with it. So there.

AND? And… nothing. Anthrax did one thing with this press conference that was unique and worth mentioning: they gave themselves over to a fairly chilling and fascinating cause. They are defending soldiers’ rights (and citizens’ rights) to refrain from the so-called “Anthrax vaccine” which has caused innumerable health problems for US servicemen (and women), among others. With the help of the reunited Anthrax, and the “Slave To The Metal” Foundation <slavetothemetal.org> , AHRP, (the “watchdog” organization “Alliance For Human Research Protection” that “tracks and exposes unethical research practices that undermine the rights, dignity and welfare of human subjects” <ahrp.org> ), is getting the word out about the ultimately bizarre treatment of Americans in the name of national security.

QUITE FRANKLY it was brutal and somber and brought the press conference to a screeching halt. Between comparisons to Nuremburg (where the protocols of modern medical practice which limit “permissible” medical experiments originated) and impassioned speeches against the government treatment of patients for research; and a redundant announcement about the reunion of the “Among The Living” band line-up: there should have been a goddamned fully-stocked open bar. (There was not. There were, however, sandwiches and sodas. How “rock” of Sirius.)

OH YEAH, I ALMOST FORGOT: that chick “Juliya” from FUSE was there. I have to admit that she’s very hot in person. I don’t watch FUSE, so I can’t tell you anything about that show she has; but she does look hot and that was pretty distracting. Nice weird lower back ink that you could see every time she bent over and reached into her bag, (which was a lot).

ANYWAY. Even though this so-called journalist was kinda pissed that they didn’t announce some ultra-badass megatour with both lineups and no opening acts, the good news is that the Anthrax saga continues and anyone who missed out the first time around will be able to see an amazing live act do it again. Last time I saw this lineup was 1991 opening for Maiden, and they were great. Whatever their differences, the band seems re-invigorated by the opportunity to see the world from the stage once at least one more time.

SO, TO RECAP: the “classic” line-up of ANTHRAX is back and going to be touring heavily and releasing some product. Anthrax is cool enough to admit that money is at least one significant factor in doing a reunion. And, when all is said and done, Anthrax is actually civic-minded enough to use this opportunity to do something good by promoting public health awareness without being glib about it. Scott Ian scores high points for being an honest and sincere individual who deserves more credit than he is given. He is very funny and entertaining and should maybe consider doing a Henry Rollins-style spoken-word tour in the future, since he never disappoints. Also, press conferences should always have open bars and probably a few strippers. And “Juliya” should wear more half-tops.

To learn more about this afternoon’s press conference and up your knowledge on the band and the AHRP and their noteworthy, affiliated causes, check out the following links:


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