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


Scott Ian needs no introduction if you're a fan of Anthrax or thrash metal in general but for the few of you that may not know him, he's the guitarist and founding member of one of the big four of thrash metal titans, Anthrax. When he's not caught in a mosh on stage, he has been on a spoken word tour around the world where he shares some of his experiences of his life on the road and beyond. I was lucky enough to catch one of his shows in Melbourne in 2013 and it was great to hear some of the stories from over the years so we discuss the show and the upcoming DVD which captured one of the shows on the tour.

Andrew: Hi it's Andrew from the Rockpit, how are you?


Scott: Good, how are you?


Andrew: Good thanks! So let's talk about the new DVD "Speaking Words". I saw you do the first one in Australia in Melbourne last year and I was blown away by some of the stories that you got. Just tell me how this whole thing first came together.


Scott: Well that actually wasn't the first, I had already done it in the UK before I was in Australia. But it came together and fell in my lap, I got asked to do a show in London a couple of years ago. There's a thing called Rock Stars Say The Funniest Things and they just wanted me to come and tell stories and I was curious enough about it to say yes because I felt like I had a lot of good stories to tell and hopefully people would be entertained by it. And it ended up going so well that it became something that I wanted to do more of.


Andrew: And you got some amazing stories. The one that stands out the most I think is the first one you open up with where you first meet Lemmy. Is that story the one that sticks out the most for you?


Scott: I don't know haha! I don't really think of it that way. It's not like it sticks out, it's just a really good story from my past that I've been able to relate to people and have a lot of fun with. Other than when I'm in the actual action of telling the story, I don't ever really think about it. I don't know if that makes any sense at all but it's not like I sit around and think about these stories when I'm not telling them. If I happen to be in a bar or something with some friends and you started trading stories, I might think of something. Something would inspire me or be a catalyst for me to think of a story and then I'll tell it but generally I'm not sitting around thinking about that kind of stuff. I'm too busy haha!

Andrew: When you first gathered the stories, especially for the DVD, was it like writing a setlist for a show? How did you go about picking which stories you wanted to tell to everyone?


Scott: Well it was pretty easy then because I had only done a few stories on stage. So it wasn't like I had 10 hours of material to choose from and then I would have to narrow it down to what I was going to do that night. I had only really done not much more than what you see on the DVD, I think there was maybe 1 or 2 other stories that I had done up until that point in front of a crowd. So that was basically the show that I was doing at that point in time so no it wasn't really hard to put together, I just wanted to document what I was doing basically on the tour.


Andrew: Is each show the same or do you change things here and there a bit?


Scott: It's gotten different as I've done more shows because I've gotten more comfortable doing it and I've come up with more stories basically. I actually do have a list in my computer of like 25 or 30 stories. Not all of them have been...let's say fleshed out, like oh yeah I remember the time I did this and...but I haven't really taken them and gotten them to the point where I would stand on stage and tell it and expect people to be entertained by it. There's a big difference between telling a story or thinking about a story to then getting on stage and actually telling it to people, it is kinda different. But I do have more, let's say, stories in my repetoire now in my setlist let's say, that I could choose from than I did 2 years ago.


Andrew: So how much longer would you like to keep doing this?


Scott: I don't know haha! I don't think about. I never put a timeframe really on anything in my life.

Andrew: So the first time that you did one of these shows, was it a little bit daunting? A little nervous? Or were you comfortable when you did it?


Scott: I have no problem with public speaking, the only thing that made me nervous really was just the idea that I really didn't know what I was doing. I didn't have an act do you know what I mean? It's not like I put a show together and showed up with like a prop or act. I didn't do any of that, I just got on stage and started talking so it was just basically having those questions of, How do I do this? I don't even know how to start, what do I do? Do I just walk on stage and say hello and start talking? I didn't know what to do at first so that made me nervous because that's a with Anthrax I don't have any of those questions, I know what I'm doing. But the first time I ever did a talking show I didn't really know what I was doing so a lot of questions made me nervous but within the first few minutes people started laughing in the right places, then I wasn't nervous anymore.


Andrew: Do you think it was similar in anyway to when you did your first show with Anthrax?


Scott: I don't remember. I don't think so no. I would have to say probably not because the dynamic of being in a band on stage or standing there yourself with a microphone is completely different. The ony thing that's the same is just my attitude towards being on stage, no matter what I'm doing on a stage I'm gonna do everything I can within my power to entertain the people that have paid money to come see whatever it is I'm doing. So that's the only thing that really is the same but dynamically they are completely different.


Andrew: One of the people that you talk about in your show is one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Dimebag Darrell and obviously next month is the 10 year anniversary since we lost him. What do you remember the most about Dimebag?


Scott: He was a good friend of mine, that's what I remember the most, that I loved my time with him. The thing about hanging out with him was always just the extra fun. I have a lot of fun in general but getting to hang out with Darrell was always extra fun. I was really looking forward knowing I was going to get to see Darrell and I always considered my time with him to be special because it was always just more fun to hang around that guy. And certaintly after he was murdered I didn't really even realize just how special that time was because it was never going to happen again so that's probaby what I think about the most. Just how much fun I had with that guy over the years.

Andrew: Yeah it was a huge loss but it was great that you did talk about him and some of the fun stuff that he did. Because he was a bit of a character and a bit of a prankster and all that kind of stuff.


Scott: It's just fun for me to tell that story or any other story I may tell about him just because I get so into it when I'm telling a story it always makes me feel not necessarily like, I don't feel like, oh Darrell must be in the room with us, because that sounds stupid. But talking about him like that and sharing those memories with people, in some sense it will always keep him alive, the fact that people are always talking about him.


Andrew: One of the things I noticed on the DVD is you have the comic book illustrations on there. I don't remember if you had that at the show in Melbourne last year, was that something you introduced to the show somewhere along the tour?


Scott: I don't think I did have them in Australia but I don't remember actually.


Andrew: Yeah I don't remember either but that's a cool idea to have that in there though.


Scott: Yeah actually that Dimebag story on the DVD, I have that all illustrated now too but I haven't used them yet in the show because I haven't really practiced telling the story with it. If you're telling the story with pictures you have to figure out the timing of how you're telling the story and I haven't done that yet. But I plan to, I got some shows coming up in January in Europe and I'm going to try and use the Darrell illustrations so I actually need to practice that! Like learn how to tell the story with the pictures.

Andrew: So in a way there's some kind of rehearsal for these shows?


Scott: Well no only just because I have to learn how to do something. Other than that no I don't rehearse.


Andrew: Just before we wrap this up I just wanted to ask you quickly about a cameo appearance in an upcoming episode of The Walking Dead. Is that true?


Scott: Yes.


Andrew: How did that come about?


Scott: A friend of mine is one of the bosses of the show and he was able to make it happen.


Andrew: Ah OK cool obviously you are a fan of zombie stuff I assume?


Scott: I'm a big fan of The Walking Dead, absolutely!


Andrew: Comic book or TV show, which one is better do you reckon?


Scott: I kinda fell off the comic a couple of years ago but I still watch the TV show. But that does not necessarily mean one is better than the other. It wasn't just The Walking Dead, I kinda fell off all comic books because I just didn't have time to really keep up with comics anymore. So I can't really speak on where the comics at, I haven't read it in 2 years. But I was a big fan of the comic obviously as well.


Andrew: I personally think the comic book is even better than the TV show but everyone has different views on that I suppose. Well it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you and for those about to catch your show, they are in for a real treat because you do have some amazing stories. So thanks again!


Scott: Yeah thank you! Hopefully I'll get to come down there and do a tour at some point.



Scott spoke to Andrew Schizodeluxe - November 2014





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