Anthems, Anthrax’s long-awaited, eight-track EP that pays tribute to the classic songs by some of Anthrax’s favorite bands from the 1970s, will be released in North America on March 19 (MRI/Megaforce), and on March 22 in Europe (Nuclear Blast). Anthems’s track listing features Rush’s “Anthem,” Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak,” “TNT” by AC/DC, Boston’s “Smokin’,” “Big Eyes” by Cheap Trick, Journey’s “Keep on Runnin,” as well as the album version and a special remix of Anthrax’s “Crawl” from the band’s critically-acclaimed 2011 album Worship Music.
Said the band’s vocalist Joey Belladonna, “These are all bands I grew up with and have listened to forever. It’s just great music. I had fun singing these songs and I was happy recording together with Anthrax, doing classic rock songs. Fun stuff!”
On Boston’s “Smokin’,” Anthrax brought in a special guest to play keyboards – Fred Mandel, who has played with Alice Cooper, Queen, Elton John, Cheap Trick, Supertramp and on Pink Floyd’s The Wall. About the track, drummer Charlie Benante said, “If ever there were a perfect first album, it’s Boston’s first album. The harmony leads they did would later be heard by Iron Maiden, which of course would lead to thrash metal.”
The EP will be available on CD as well as digitally via iTunes and other online retailers. In addition to Anthems’ cover art (attached), Benante and artist Stephen Thompson have subtly redesigned each track’s original album cover art to “Anthrax” it. The Anthems EP will first be housed in one of the “re-imagined” digipak covers, and then inserted inside the main CD cover sleeve. The main cover sleeve has been designed in such a way so fans will be able to see which one of the six “re-imagined” covers is inside.
Anthems was produced by Anthrax, Jay Ruston and Rob Caggiano, and recorded for the most part throughout 2012 literally all over the world: at Benante’s home studio, in Ruston’s New York studio, on the band’s tour bus while on last summer’s Mayhem Tour, in hotel rooms, and backstage at their Berlin show last December.
The Grammy-nominated Anthrax – Belladonna, Benate/drums, Scott Ian/guitar and Frank Bello/bass – will hit the road in support Anthems on February 16 with dates in India and Australia, and then return to North America to headline the Metal Alliance Tour that kicks off March 22. For all of these dates, Anthrax will be joined by Shadows Fall guitarist Jon Donais.
Anthrax have announced that Shadows Fall guitarist Jon Donais will step in for the departing Rob Caggiano. Donais will temporarily fill in for Anthrax’s upcoming tour dates in India, the series of Soundwave Festival shows in Australia, and the North American Metal Alliance Tour.
“Jon is a bro and he’s also a total f**king ripper,” said Scott Ian. “I’ve worked with him twice before on side projects and he tears it up. I’m excited to have him on my right burning up the stage with Anthrax. 13′s gonna be a good year.”
“I grew up on Anthrax, they’re the thrash scene, they’re one of The Big Four, I’d be crazy to not want to play with them,” said Donais. “Initially, Rob called and told me he was leaving the band, and asked if I’d be interested in filling in. Then Scott called me and everything fell into place. Rob and I are using Skype to work on solos and other guitar parts, so he’s being great. I also have to give special thanks to my band – Brian, Matt, Jason and Ed – who have been incredibly supportive and encouraged me to do this.
“Rob has been an integral part of Anthrax for so many years, as our lead guitarist, in a production capacity, but most of all, as our close friend. His contributions to the band have been enormous. While we are sad that he is leaving, we wish him nothing but great success going forward, and hope to share the stage with him again sometime down the road.
“With the Metal Alliance Tour on the horizon, we have been considering several lead guitarist options, and will be making an announcement on that shortly.”
ANTHRAX – Charlie Benante, Scott Ian, Frank Bello, Joey Belladonna.
The surprise isn’t that Anthrax’s “I’m Alive” received a Grammy nomination last night for Best Rock/Metal Performance; the surprise is that it comes more than a year after the track’s September 13, 2011 release on the band’s critical smash, Worship Music, which was named was of the best metal albums of 2011 by numerous media outlets, and provided the band with the rock’n’roll comeback story of the year. This is the fourth Grammy nomination for Anthrax – Charlie Benante/drums, Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano/guitars, Frank Bello/bass, Joey Belladonna/vocals.
“I was watching The Dave Matthews Band perform when I received a text saying ‘Congrats on the Grammy nomination!’,” said Benante. “Huh? I had lost all hope of ever being nominated for another Grammy, but I guess I was wrong. We put so much hard work into ‘Worship Music,’ and I am so honored to be nominated with a group of bands that have also sustained the Test of Time like the legendary Maiden and Megadeth. Heavy Metal is a Force, it has fans that range from six to 66, and I’m so proud to be a part of this Force…it’s in all of us.”
Anthrax fans waited eight long years for Worship Music, the band’s first studio album since 2003′s We’ve Come For You All, that features the return of “classic era” vocalist Belladonna making his first Anthrax album in twenty years. Since its September 13 release and subsequent debut at #12 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart, Worship Music has received glowing praise from numerous critics and music tastemakers, including That Metal Show’s Eddie Trunk and Alexander Milas, editor of the UK’s Metal Hammer. Loudwire named it the #1 Metal Album of the Year.
The return of Belladonna and Anthrax’s remarkable renewal began in 2009 in a Cleveland hotel bar. Anthrax’s Benante and Ian, and Metallica’s Lars Ulrich were in town for the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame when Lars first brought up the idea of The Big Four – Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, the four bands that served as the original architects for the “thrash/speed-metal” scene,” yet had never shared the same stage before. The first of (so far) fourteen Big Four events took place on June 16, 2010, culminating in what was Anthrax’s New York homecoming concert – The Big Four at Yankee Stadium on September 14, the day after Worship Music hit stores. “We came into The Big Four as the underdog,” said Benante. “We were the band that had the most to prove, and we’ve worked really, really hard to do that.”
Anthrax continues touring in support of Worship Music having just completed a European tour with Motorhead, and will be announcing North American plans for 2013 shortly.