John Bush Interview excerpts from "The Vault"

By DJ WILL, KNAC.COM Personality
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 8:53 PM

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The following are edited excerpts from my interview with John Bush that took place Oct 25th on "The Vault".
John gave me the Armored Saint recording update and his status on the whole Anthrax saga.

"We did two shows [Sonisphere festival in the U.K. and Loud Park festival in Japan] and they were both awesome," said Bush, who was previously a member of ANTHRAX from 1992 to 2005. "And I'm committed to [doing] these five [more] dates, which is the Soundwave festival in Australia in February, and I'm looking forward to that.

"[Playing Soundwave festival is] gonna be cool. There are some really great bands on the bill, particularly FAITH NO MORE, who've reunited, whom I look forward to seeing.

"And that's as far as it's gone. I'm taking really tiny steps with that, because that feels like the natural thing to do.

"The experience's been great [so far]. And the band is sitting on [an already completed new] record [with Dan Nelson's vocals] that they're probably a little unsure what to do with, and we've discussed that, and we're trying to figure that out too. And I've listened to some music and it sounds cool.

"Doing shows is easy, for the most part. Remembering lyrics is the biggest challenge lately, and I've done pretty well with that at the two shows. I'm proud of myself. I guess all my memory abilities are still there, which is important. I haven't gotten early signs of Alzheimer's yet; I'm lucky. We even played a couple of songs at the Japanese show, like 'Catharsis', which we played once in the band's career, and we didn't even rehearse; that's a pretty awesome accomplishment, I think.

"That being said, I kind of wanted to [complete] the [new] ARMORED SAINT [album], as far as creativity-wise, before I could enter a new area of being creative with ANTHRAX. And I've talked to them and I wanted to be super-straight-up about everything.

"There's a few things to iron out if I was gonna re-sing the [songs on the already completed new ANTHRAX] record, basically. One is making sure that I have the capability of contributing in the proper way and in the most uplifting way. And also there are a couple of legal things to work out.

"The [new ANTHRAX] record's done. I mean, Dan sang on it; it's finished. So it's an area that I'm still kind of entering with... not trepidation, but just... again, baby steps for me and trying to figure out the right way.

"Doing shows? That's gravy; that's easy. "It was awesome [playing live with ANTHRAX again]. There's obviously camarederie between me and those guys on stage. It's powerful, it's like we never stopped, and that's easy.

"You know, when it comes to anything that's happened in ANTHRAX [on a personal level], it's irreleveant as well.

"Once I decided to do the Knebworth [Sonisphere] gig, my mindset was, 'Let's go out and rule and kick ass and do the best we can,' and that's where it was. Anything else beyond that as far as some of the ins and outs of the group as far as the things that happened, it's kind of behind me. Because it doesn't matter, 'cause I'm in a different place now. It just doesn't matter. If I'm going to do a show, I'm gonna do the show. I'm not gonna do the show with a 'But...' or 'Well...' — one of those.

I'm doing it. I'm in, and that's it. Doing the record is a little different, but if it happens, I'm there and I'll do it with everything I've got. Charlie [Benante, drums] and Frankie [Bello, bass] are the same, because those guys, they have kids, and I could bust their balls straight up and say those guys hated touring a lot of the time without kids. We'd go to Europe and they'd be like, 'Grrr....' 'Cause they just weren't the biggest fans of touring.

"Playing shows is easy, again... That's gravy, that's easy. The other 22 and a half hours of the day is, for me — and I'm sure those guys and a lot of people — the negative side of touring. Especially when you're away from your family and especially now when you add kids to the mix. It's hard. And I don't wanna do that.

"We've already discussed it, and I've been pretty clear about it — I don't wanna go out and slug it out for months on the road; I'm just not feeling that anymore. It doesn't bring happiness to me. There's like this two-and-a-half-week window where everything goes south and it's just like, 'I don't wanna be here.' Again, I can't speak for other bands; I just know that that's how ANTHRAX work, and I think those guys would agree with me — it's just the way it is.

"So I think that playing the right shows in the right circumstances, especially if they're big gigs, it's very enticing and that sounds like fun.

"If I never have to walk into Harpo's [club in Detroit] again in my life, or if I do, somebody needs to shoot me. Nothing personal against the city of Detroit — it's just that that's the kind of thing I just never wanna do again. And it's not because I have this arrogant attitude — I've done it... and many times. I've been there. It's just not what I wanna do with my life anymore at this stage. And I don't think we have to, which is cool. Again, we're trying to figure it all out.

"Those guys kind of were on the road, and then their road kind of got detoured; that's life, let alone rock and roll.

"So that's where we're at. We're kind of seeing what's gonna happen, and everything's been a positive thing."

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