The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
INTERVIEW 2013Frank Bello Anthrax




TALKS TO PAUL ABOUT about the Sun, the Departure of Rob Caggiano and a new EP soon for release...





Paul: Hi Frank its Paul here from The Rockpit, how are you?


: Hey man how are you?


Paul: I’m very well thank you, where are we calling you from at the moment?


Frank I’m in New York


Paul: I bet its cold there today?


Frank: Oh man, Its biting cold! its that cold I think my nose is going to fall off!!


Paul: Haha, so first things first, the last few years have been quite a whirlwind for the band with Joey rejoining, The Big 4 shows, the album Worship Music released, a year long tour with Testament and Death Angel, how has all this affected the setting up the future of Anthrax?


Frank: There’s nothing but positivity going on in the band, you gotta realise that since the record and even before the record we did the Yankee Stadium with the big 4 stuff, now that was a whirlwind and we feel the band is back in a big way and we are hungry!! we have a whole new audience with our old audience, there’s a brand new Anthrax audience out there now man and from playing with the big 4 you got old fans that are now bringing there brothers and their kids to the shows, you can see you have 15 year old kids right in there amongst our hardcore fans, we are really excited to have such a wide spectrum of fans and we’re hungrier than fucking ever man!


Paul: That is so cool to hear! I just wanted to touch base on the recent departure of guitarist Rob Caggiano from the band how has it affected you guys?


Frank: Hey man its totally amicable we knew and understood that Rob wants to produce and we are sad to see him leave, hey we’re brothers man and we knew his heart was with producing, its all cool and he’s really good at it, like I say, follow your heart and be happy with life and Jon joining the band for the tour is great, he’s perfect for the band we are like a machine at the moment and we’re ready to go! We’re hungry as hell, we are so excited to play Australia its unbelievable man, plus it will be nice to be warm again


(frank laughs)


Paul: How did you get in touch with Jon?


Frank: Jon has been a friend of ours for years we played with Shadow Fall and he’s just the perfect fit and it always helps when you’re friends and you know he’s such a great player and he works so well on stage too, it was an easy transition because we know his style and he’s a great guy to hang out with and have a beer with, its going to be great.


Paul: Do you think this will be permanent ?


Frank: I don’t know right now, right now he’s doing the tours and I can’t speak for tomorrow right now, we will see how it goes and Anthrax have records to write as well in the midst of all this touring, there’s a lot to do so we’re taking it day by day, but right now were having a ball man.


Paul: Maybe even a return for Dan Spitz now that he musically active again?


Frank: Yeah I love Danny, but right now we are good as we are, I think Danny has his own band happening right now too, look Danny sent me a Christmas card, we still love each other and we are still good friends, he’s a family guy were all family guys, but as of right now Anthrax are going to be with Jon.


Paul: Now you are coming to Soundwave, are you guy’s looking forward to that ?


Frank: To say the least, We’re so excited!! you have to understand that Metallica Anthrax and Slayer have all been touring quite alot in the last few years and to see our friends again its like one big reunion, these are friends we have grown up with and lets face it we all love Australia and totally worth the trip! We step off the plane and totally feel the love, we feel the love man! (Paul comments about the heat as well and both laugh )


Paul: I had to ask this after your last comment but if Megadeth had been added to the bill, the Big 4 would have been here altogether, would there have been a possible big 4 show on the main sage for the Australian fans ?


Frank: Well really that’s a Metallica question, it’s not a Frank Bello question, its their thing that they explore, but we will be anywhere where the big 4 show shows up because we love doing it, plus it’s a great collection of musicians and we’re friend’s! Anthrax will always be there because we just love doing it, it’s a great vibe, but yeh that’s a Metallica question (laughs)


Paul: Im going to put you on the spot now, You are known as the Big 4, if it was to become the big 5, which band would you choose to be on that stage?


Frank: Easy…. That would be Exodus! look man they have been around as long as us playing thrash and their going to be playing with Anthrax in America on the Metal Alliance tour starting in March, we are really excited about it we’re real good friends and we like to tour with our friends, it just seems a really fun thing to do.


Paul: Do you think the band will play a little more of the Bush era of songs now that Joey is back in the band ?


Frank: I don’t think so and here is why, we have so much music with Joey that personally I would like to play more music from the Worship Music record plus we have such a catalogue of song’s with Joey, there’s so much to do, we don’t know about the future, but we are all getting along great and we have a whole new generation of fans out there, its looking great man, a really good time.


Paul: Were you actually surprised by the success of Worship Music after a seven year gap between albums?


Frank: Its overwhelming, look nobody is taking it for granted, but we are thankful, we know how hard it is because we have been on the other side of it and we are very appreciative and we are in a happy place at the moment, the only way to describe how the band feels is that we are hungry and we have a goal, we have a mission at this point to get where we want to be, we’re fighting tours we’re getting there and we are all very excited.


Paul: My favourite track on the album is ‘The Devil You Know’ I just think it has a great bass track on it and it just rolls along which gets you in to that feel good mood, what is your favourite track?


Frank: Thanks for that man!! I love every song on the record I’m so proud of it even eighteen months after its release, there are two that stand out for me and I keep going over and over and I just wanna play, ‘In The End’ and ‘I’m Alive’ ( Paul says I’m Alive is a great track ) We are going to the Grammy’s next week in America here, and we have been nominated for the Best Metal Performance, We‘re so excited! So we‘re nominated for a Grammy and we are gonna go and keep metal where it should be ( paul says good luck with that, put metal where it should be on top of the ladder ) yes it’s nice to be nominated and all that stuff but it just nice to be recognised for our music that’s what makes it special.


Paul: Which songs are you finding off the new album, are coming over best live with the fans?


Frank: Well… when ‘In The End’ starts and everybody is singing it! Haha, and it’s kinda like you don’t have to sing the chorus, it’s a great vibe, people ask for that song, erm but probably and eventually be putting ‘I’m Alive’ back into the set one of these days, erm… ‘Devil You Know’ as you mentioned just comes over crazy and everyone just goes nuts! But the great thing about it is we can go in and out with the records with different songs and it reacts the way we want it to react.


Paul: You have recently announced you are to do an EP of covers called ‘Anthem’ what songs can we expect on there or is that top secret at the moment?


Frank: Oh no it’s well known, we are all big fans of these songs, these are the songs that moulded Anthrax, it’s what we are and what we grew up with, it’s like the group Boston, big group, amazing songs! We did the song ’Smokin’ and Rush ‘Anthem’ you know the song? We are big Rush fans, so these are a tribute to these bands, ACDC’s ‘TNT’ oh god erm….Journey, ‘Keep on Running’ we did Thin Lizzy ‘Jailbreak’ there are so many and it was just a lot of fun, and we are putting out a different mix of songs off ‘Worship’ and we are really proud with the way it came out and it’s like WOW!! And for me, a fan of this music I’m glad we did something like this so people can actually see inside of the band and what we grew up on.


Paul: Have you got a release date for it yet?


Frank: March 19th, we’re very excited.


Paul: Look forward to hearing it! And is there any plans for a new studio album in the pipeline?


Frank: We are starting to talk about it which is a great thing, but we have a lot of touring in the meantime whilst we have been putting together riffs and moulding new Anthrax records from shell, we can’t wait, this is a very hungry band right here! We have a mission and like I say we are so hungry!


Paul: And do you find you write most of the music while you are on the road?


Frank: We write riffs on the road, everybody got their little gadgets they record on to and then eventually we get together in a little room and then start banging these songs out


Paul: Do you feel there is a little pressure to better the last album? Because believe me, it was an awesome album, and like you said your hungry, are you ready to step up the mark?


Frank: Well the thing is, I think the band lives for that challenge, the thing is, we are you, we are the bands, I think that is why people understand us still and that is why we want to make sure the album is right, and that is how we work man, we become pretty good with that now and knowing that what’s good and what’s not good, we are pretty good at editing our songs and writing good Anthrax sounds.


Paul: You are obviously touring heavily at the moment, but would you consider a few more acting roles personally for you?


Frank: Ah yeah, but quite honestly we been touring so much that I only I spoke to the agent last week and he said ‘when are you gonna be home to read over some things?’ I said ‘I dunno man, we’re going to Australia’ I wanna read some more things, but you know what? I love acting, I love music but if I had more time for it, it would be fine. I think everything has got its time, so I’ll probably look forward to doing more acting and I thoroughly enjoy it.


Paul: There’s a question I like to ask everybody who I interview, if there is one album or song that you would have liked to have recorded personally, what would that song or album be?


Frank: Quite honestly all the recordings that we have done covers to and that, but maybe a Led Zepplin song, oh man, there’s so many great songs, Zepplin, Beatles, something like that, something cool.


Paul: I’m a big fan of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, because that was my era when it was kicking off and metal came to the front personally for me, (Frank says he loves it also) I’m not sure if you are aware of it but the bands Demon, Savage and Tigers of Pan Tang have recently released new albums and they are absolutely killer albums! I just wondered if you had actually heard any of them?


Frank: No I honestly haven’t heard any of them because I have been so wrapped with what I’ve been doing here, I need to venture out there, thanks for that heads up, I will venture out and listen to them.


Paul: That’s cool, Yes if you get the chance really do, the Demon’s one is good and the Savage one is an absolute cracker of an album, it’s like reloaded British Heavy Metal, the guys have been around for such a long time and they seemed to have come up with killer albums and there is such a lot of good music about at the moment.


Frank: Yes there is and it’s cool to see those bands making some great albums again.


Paul: One final question and this is a question that The Rockpit always asks everyone, and this is one of our favourite questions, what is your take on the meaning of life?


Frank: Oh man……here’s my take on the meaning of life, ‘forever in these years!’ Quite honestly, it sounds cliché but it stands true, and the reason why people still say it is because it’s true, day by day man and that’s what it’s all about because if you live in the future its all bullshit, you live in the past, that’s all bullshit too, it’s moment to moment, day by day and that’s how I live man, that’s truly how I live, day by day, moment to moment.


Paul: I agree! Well thanks for taking time out to talk with us, it was great to chat with you and look forward to catching you guys at Soundwave, I’m really looking forward to seeing you.


Frank: You gotta understand we’re realllllly excited! We are ready cock’d and loaded, we love it there and we couldn’t be more psych’d up!


Paul: And you get to see some sun too!


Frank: Haha yeah I think I can vaguely remember what the sun looks like!


Paul: Believe me you are coming at possibly the hottest time of the year, it will be so hot when you come out.


Frank: Bring it on! Cheers mate and take care now! Bye!


Frank was interviewed by Paul Hadlington February 2013



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