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Joey Belladonna – Singer for Anthrax

Date: 1/2/06
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. So it has been printed that Charlie, Frank and Scott have already started working on some new songs. How is that progressing? What direction do you see the songs going in?

JOEY : We haven't really formally discussed anything yet but yeah we have taken steps to get to that point. All of us still have to get together in a room to get that done, but yes they have done some jamming. I'm sure what those guys are working on I can imagine you might hear some of their newer sound and older sound mixed. Everyone has evolved since we recorded our last record together so I'm sure things may be a bit different. With every record I have done with them things have always been a little different from one to the next, they all don't sound the same. Charlie and Scott do a lot of the writing of the music, but everyone has ideas when it comes down to it. The process might be a little more open this time, I don't know yet. You don't need a lot of cooks in the kitchen sometimes because not everybody's ideas are always the right one. I have always been happy with what the guys have presented me in the past.

2. Has the reunion met your expectations?

JOEY : O yes definitely. We have not really done a full tour yet, I mean aside from festivasl we have not even toured Europe yet or Japan. We did Australia but that was a smaller run. These dates we are doing now for the new year is like a second faze.

3. What songs would you like to play that did not make it to the setlist thus far?

JOEY : Well we are staring to integrate some different ones, we are trying to cover a lot of ground and do a little from each album. I'm not quite sure what songs will be added yet, I'd say at least 5 songs will be added that have not been done yet. I still like playing a lot of the obvious ones because they just work every time, its great. “Indians”, “Caught in a Mosh”, even adding “Medusa” has been great.

4. Well speaking of songs, a great one “Skeletons in the Closet” was included on your recent two disc anthology. Any chance of that being added?

JOEY : I think its possible and its a great song, I forgot that was actually in there. I don't think it would be a problem at all.

5. What is your favorite Anthrax album and why?

: “Spreading the Disease” was the first official album, aside from the Armed and Dangerous” E.P. which was actually recorded at the same time, and a highlight for me. It was a cool way of coming into a band, everything was full blast and ideas were wide open. It was a blast everyday getting together with them to record that stuff.

6. So why did only “Armed and Dangerous” from the E.P. only appear on the “Spreading” album and not “Raise Hell”?

JOEY : When I walked into the band we were recording “Spreading” along with the “Armed” E.P. and they hadn't even wrote A.I.R. yet. So I did an album and E.P. at the same time. I don't even remember why “Raise Hell” was not included, I think everyone was just happy that is was on the E.P. and that was ready to go with the Live tracks “Metal Thrashing”, “Panic” and the cover of “God Save the Queen”.

7. Is the band happy with the new Alive 2 DVD?

JOEY : Yeah I mean that's a raw show, there was no real pre production for that, it was very spontaneous and I think it captured the band very well. If we didn't like it we wouldn't put it out.

8. A lot of people have the idea that this reunion tour is a quick cash in one time deal. What are your thoughts on those comments and the future?

JOEY : Well as far as cashing in I don't think anybody is really chasing in that's for sure. I mean as far as a one shot deal we have been going and rolling longer then that idea. The band is back together and it is a band thing, so it doesn't really matter how long it lasts so its not seen as a temporary thing. We are in for the long haul as long as that may be.

9. What have been some of the highlights?

JOEY : The European fests, Gigantour, Ozzfest, Priest, we are just very happy doing this again and the fans really love it.

10. Any plans to reissue and remaster the old albums?

JOEY : Well the tracks that were included for the Anthology set were remastered. But if anything we are looking at writing a new record. When you remaster something you really don't get miracles but you can beef things up, smooth things out, broaden it. But you can hear a difference I think and that was something good to do for that release.

11. Any comments or any statements that maybe have been said previously in the press about this reformation of this lineup that you feel need to be addressed because it was taken out of context or put into print as being false or misguided information?

JOEY : Yeah I don't pay attention to that stuff, you never know how reliable the source is. If it's something as simple as someone liking one singer better than the other, or this guys not a good guy. I mean there are people that I like better but that doesn't mean who I like is not good. I've done so much with these guys early on and achieved so much at that time and we really started to spawn out at the time. I'm not into the controversy or speculation of things. I'm really happy to be around a bunch of guys that want to do this for the right reasons because we really want to play and perform. Because if we really didn't want to do it you wouldn't get the results your getting. I don't even have to say anything to start shit, I mean someone could read this interview and get the wrong idea about something, Haha, ya know.

12. So are you working on anything else aside from working with Anthrax again?

JOEY : No not really right now. I keep writing and where or not it comes out is hard to say but Anthrax is my priority right now and I would like to keep my focus on this. I really enjoy doing this and always have so this is all I really need at this point, this is where I want to be.

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