Anthrax's Scott Ian Talks Amps and Cover Songs in Outtakes From This Week's Print Feature

Thrash kings Anthrax, anchored by famously outspoken guitarist Scott Ian, land in Miami this Sunday as special guests on a tour with Slayer and Megadeth. Or at least, that's the plan. If we learned anything from this week's Miami New Times print music feature, it's that Ian doesn't take any future plan for granted. In his universe, things might happen, or will probably happen, but nothing is ever certain.

After all, just check out the headilne of the story: "What if the world explodes?" Those are words from Ian himself, explaining his life m.o. of taking things as they come.

In all likelihood, the band will, indeed, show up at Bayfront Park Amphitheater, fronted again by singer Joey Belladonna, the voice on a large chunk of the band's classic albums. But beyond that, well, who knows?

It's an uncertainty that drives certain segments of the band's fans crazy. (Just check out these comments on metal news site Blabbermouth when our Ian Q&A preview got linked a couple weeks back.) But hey, at least it's honest.

Crossfade: Anthrax is billed as "special guests" on this tour. Does this mean you're playing a shorter set than Megadeth and Slayer?

Scott Ian: When we got asked to do this, the tour was already an existing thing. They were already out there doing this with Testament opening, and then they were like, "Hey, do you want to come out for a month and do this?" Logistically they couldn't change it around and make it work where all three bands could play an hour-and-a-half.

The show was already sold as a package for X amount of hours, and blah, blah, blah. I don't need to bore you with that, but basically there was no way to make it a longer night because the show had been sold as a set amount of hours. We're the special guests, so we'll get everyone nice and warmed up, and then drink beer and watch.

You've been Tweeting a lot about a new speaker cabinet you got from Randall Amplifiers. What makes it so great?

It's a project with me and this guy Dave Friedman; he has a company called Tone Merchants. He's Eddie Van Halen's guy and Jerry Cantrell's guy. So many people bring him in to put together what they've got. When Randall approached me about designing my own signature amplifier and all that, I told them, "I'm gonna put you thorugh hell, because I'm gonna be really picky about this."

But they've given me carte blanche, so I hired Dave and we've been working on this amp and redesigning Randall cabinets, because I thought they all sounded like shoeboxes, truthfully. But now it definitely represents the tone I've been looking for -- my tone. It's gonna sound right. It's an amazing-sounding four-by-12. It's got all the bottom tones, and the middle.

You had already recorded some of your upcoming album when Joey Belladonna rejoined the band as the singer. What are you going to do with the previous material? Is he going to re-record the vocals, or are you just going to write new material for him to sing?

Both, all that. We're keeping some of it and Joey's going to re-sing it, and we're writing new stuff.

Early track lists for the record included covers of songs by Refused and Alice in Chains. Will those still make it?

We have no idea.

So were those covers ever supposed to be part of the mix, or was that something totally made up on the Internet?

Possibly! I don't know.

Um, so will you be including any covers on the new album, or not?

I don't know. Who gives a shit about cover songs! We're so far away from that.

What about your new side project, the Damned Things? When is that release coming out?

The album's finished. It's coming out in January.

Has anyone given you flack for working with a Fall Out Boy on that project?


Anthrax with Slayer and Megadeth. 7 p.m. Sunday, October 3, at Bayfront Park Amphitheater, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Admission is $16.25 to $62.50;