ANTHRAX Singer: ‘I Don’t Sound Like Anybody Else And That’s One Thing That’s Cool’ recently conducted an interview with
ANTHRAX singer Joey Belladonna. A couple of excerpts from the chat
follow below. The first question I want to ask
is if there was ever a point where you said, “This is it. No more ANTHRAX
for me?”

Belladonna: I never anticipated anything else happening.
I continued singing ANTHRAX songs. I never said never, but I always
thought maybe there’s somewhere along the line that they’ll want to do it again.
There’s always that chance, but on the other hand I didn’t sit around waiting
for it. So it was just a matter of course when
they finally asked you to come in and finish “Worship

Belladonna: Well, there were a couple incidents. Of
course, we did the reunion [in 2005] and that was out and then they go get
somebody else, [but] I like to play. The people are cool and if they’re sincere
enough and the business side of it is good and things can work out, then let’s
make this happen, but if not, then I guess it’s just not meant to be. I never
really get too hung up on it. Not that we haven’t had our moments or times where
it’s like, “What’s going on here?” or “What do you mean? I’m not good enough?”
That kind of crap. But I never hold it against anybody. There’s always a chance
to have things work out. It hasn’t been that bad where I wouldn’t have ever even
stepped foot back there. Did you use any of the
previous vocals [from the completed ANTHRAX album featuring former singer
Dan Nelson] as a guide or did you just look at the lyrics and decide to
do your own thing?

Belladonna: I heard some stuff, but I try not
to go by any of that. I hate following anybody. The only time I follow anything
is when I’m doing a cover song. . . You know, if I’m learning a RUSH
tune, I’m going to pretty much get as close as I can and then do my own thing
with it. But I still stay in that kind of boundary. I didn’t want to use [Dan
‘s vocals], obviously for whatever reason, it didn’t work out for him.
Any guide I’m going to use is going to be guidance from the guys in
ANTHRAX, meaning Scott, Frank, Charlie, or
Rob, anybody that had any suggestions. Obviously, they had stuff that
they came up with that they wanted to put in place. I definitely listened to
what they were looking for, but I also didn’t have to do everything verbatim and
there’s nothing wrong with that because people have good ideas. I mean,
Scott would come in with lyrics, and he’d talk things through to me, and
I had to come up with my own ideas but I still knew where he wanted me to start
it and how to phrase it, how to kind of go about putting it in the
song. You’ve been touring around for the past
year with the band. How’s ANTHRAX compare now to when you did the reunion
in 2005?

Belladonna: Well, the reunion, it seemed like when they
called, they wanted to do it, but they didn’t really want to do it, for some
reason. It seemed like an, “OK, but don’t get comfortable. We’re not asking you
to join the band” kind of thing. I felt that way, as if, “Let’s just do some
shows for old time’s sake and make people happy.” The next thing you know, they
call somebody else that nobody knows that they don’t even know and I would have
bet money that wouldn’t have worked out. So I found out online — my friend calls
me and goes, “You know they just announced they got another singer?” What am I
supposed to think of that? You’re like dating somebody last night and three days
later they’re dating somebody else. Like, was it me, or what did I do wrong, or
I’m not good enough? And then I left again — all I could do is like, “Well, have
fun with that again. Here you go. I mean, you got what you wanted, just go ahead
and do it.” Then again, when they came back and asked to do this particular tour
the first time out on the “Big Four,” of course Dan [Nelson]
didn’t work out, and then they asked John [Bush] and John
doesn’t want to do it. Who do they call but me? I guess I was like the last pea
in the plate; you gotta eat it or there’s nothing left. Sometimes I feel that
way and then other times, it’s like, “Let’s just get serious here and stop
bullshitting and try to do something that’s working here that did work, that
should work, and will work.” Other than that, I can’t get caught up in all the
reasons why, because they seem to have their finger on the pulse or they’re
still kind of undecided, like as if they aren’t sure that my vocals fit or my
style is what people want. Sometimes what’s natural is a cool thing — it’s
special, it’s done well. I don’t sound like anybody else and that’s one thing
that’s cool. If you’re with somebody and they want a certain style, like they
did when I think they were looking for John, then I guess my style wasn’t
suitable. But I still think I could have done any of those [John
-era] records. I mean, I know I could have. Not to even compare, I just
think it would have been no problem.

Read the entire interview from

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