ANTHRAX recently canceled shows in continental Europe as part of its fall 2022 touring activities, citing “ongoing logistical issues” and “costs that are out of our control.” The band just wrapped a U.S. tour with BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. HATEBREED served as special guests.
In a recent interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET, bassist Frank Bello elaborated on ANTHRAX‘s decision to scrap the European gigs and forge ahead with only the United Kingdom dates.
“When was the last time we canceled a European tour?” asked Frank. “We’ve never done it. The god’s honest truth: Everything budgeting-wise is insane right now. We budgeted it last year and came back to this year with the gas lines and all the shit that’s going on. It was three times the budget. We would have gone into a bad deficit, horrible. And the promoters are saying, ‘It doesn’t make sense for you guys to do it.’ The buses, just life in general. It’s horrible. We were able to salvage the U.K. But people know us. They know we’ll be back. We love it there. I can’t wait to go back. It’s just a bummer that life is in the way of metal. [Laughs] What’s going on in the world is in the way of metal and making people feel good with our music.
“We’ve been away,” he continued. “We just did the BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and HATEBREED tour and we got the taste back. We were looking forward to the next leg, the U.K., then right into Europe. We’re used to touring a few months at a time. Then our manager comes, ‘We can’t do this with the accounting.’ It’s like, ‘What? How did this happen?’ Then you read the papers and you understand. It’s terrible.”
Frank then touched on the inclusion of “Only”, a John Bush-era track that hadn’t been performed live since 2011. While Bush sang on four ANTHRAX studio albums from 1993 until his initial 2005 departure, “Only” has remained the lone song from that period that current singer Joey Belladonna has played with the band.
“There’s always talk about [trying other Bush-era songs],” said Frank. “It’s crazy. There are two different bands within ANTHRAX. The way I feel about it: We’ve been very fortunate to have two separate bands, one with Joey, one with John. They’re both to be celebrated. There’s such a catalog of Joey, right? It’s so hard even to get those songs in the setlist. There’s obscure ones. Look, I want to play ‘Lone Justice’, ‘The Enemy’. I don’t know how they’d go over. It’s hard to mix that in with the John Bush catalog. I think baby steps with that.”
ANTHRAX‘s latest album, “For All Kings”, which features Belladonna, came out in February 2016 via Nuclear Blast.
ANTHRAX celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2021 with a number of special activities and events. Formed by guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker in Queens, New York on July 18, 1981, ANTHRAX was one of the first thrash metal bands to emerge from the East Coast and quickly became regarded as a leader in the genre alongside METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH.
Active over the past five decades, ANTHRAX has released 11 studio albums, been awarded multiple gold and platinum certifications, received six Grammy nominations, toured the world since 1984 playing thousands of shows, including headlining Madison Square Garden and playing Yankee Stadium with the “Big Four”.
“For All Kings” was called by some critics ANTHRAX‘s strongest album to date. Its arrival followed a five-year period during which the group experienced a rebirth of sorts, beginning with ANTHRAX‘s inclusion on the “Big Four” tour, and continuing with the release of comeback LP “Worship Music”.