Scott Ian: The Devil We Know
By Steve PatrickPosted Feb 1, 2012
As one of the founding fathers of thrash metal, Scott Ian of Anthrax has been a busy guy recently.
Anthrax participated in several high profile “big four” shows last year with their thrash peers Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica. 2011 also saw the release of Anthrax’s long-awaited new album “Worship Music,” which was years in the making and features the return of their classic lead singer Joey Belladonna.
Ian then somehow found the time to play in two side-projects (The Damned Things and his wife’s band Pearl), be in every VH1 countdown show imaginable, and become a first-time father.
Thankfully, the guitarist also took some time to talk to UWeekly about political unrest around the globe, “The Walking Dead,” and what’s next for Anthrax:
UWeekly: Since it was so many years in the making, did the release of “Worship Music” lift a huge weight off your shoulders?
Yeah, I guess you could say that. You know, it just felt really good to have worked so hard on something for a period of time to finally see it come to fruition definitely felt good. More importantly, to have made the record we made … to be so happy with the record we made, that was the most important thing. I don’t really care how long it takes to work on something as long as it’s right … as long as it’s correct and as long as we’re happy with it. That’s really all I care about.
UW: There is a line in the song “Earth on Hell” that goes, “taking the streets occupied.” Are you some sort of metal Nostradamus by predicting the Occupy Wall Street movement?
laughs I mean, no, I had no idea obviously at the time because I wrote those lyrics years before any of that Occupy stuff happened, but it just came from more of a feeling of…just a general displeasure with government, you know, all around the world. Just people being fed up with the s*** they’ve been forced to eat their whole lives and deciding, “Let’s try to take some of the power back.”
I truthfully didn’t think anything was ever going to happen here in any way, shape or form. You know, I was certainly looking at places like Egypt where major shit was going down. I didn’t think anything would happen here in the States, so when the Occupy stuff actually started happening I was actually very surprised that anyone actually took this kind of initiative.
But no, I definitely didn’t … I wish I could say, “Yes, of course I knew it was going to happen,” but no, absolutely not.
I just think, as a whole, people are fed up. People are fed up everywhere. People are tired of the same old shit and the only way change is really going to happen isn’t with a new president or anything a government is gonna do. It’s gonna get implemented from the people. The people really do have the power to make a change. Sadly, generally that means a lot of people are probably going to die in the process, but any great change that’s happened in the world has always come at the cost of lives and people who are willing to give their lives to make a change.
UW: How did you end up being in a webisode of “Walking Dead?”
I actually was a part of … there’s a show on now called “Talking Dead” that airs after “Walking Dead.” I was actually a part of that pilot episode with Chris Hardwick that the network basically used to sell the show, so my part on that pilot was I got to go out and be like a field reporter and I got to spend the day on the set of that webisode and get made up as a zombie and get to take part in it. So, that was how that all came to be. And I guess I’m going to be on the “Talking Dead” coming up when the shows come back on next month or something.
UW: Do you see The Damned Things making another album once Anthrax is done with the “Worship Music” touring cycle?
I have no idea. I don’t really see at this point, you know, from a time perspective … we’ll finish touring and we’ll probably jump right back into making another Anthrax record. So, you know, from a time or schedule thing, I don’t know. I don’t know how to answer that at all.
UW: Oh, that’s good. So, is that the frame of mind that the other Anthrax guys are in? Making a new record after the tour, that is …
We haven’t talked about it, but I would assume that’s the schedule we’ll be on.
UW: How was it performing on stage with John Bush by your side at Metallica’s recent 30th anniversary shows?
Well, I can’t say he was by my side because he was running around like a maniac. The only time I knew I was near him is ‘cause he’d run past me and whip me in the butt with his fingers. He does this whip thing with his fingers so I’d know that John had just past me by. But yeah, I mean, it was just great being there and being a part of that. Getting to jam “Seek and Destroy” with those guys after all these years and with the dudes in Mercyful Fate … and John … yeah, it was a pretty epic moment.
Anthrax will be performing with Testament and Death Angel at The LC on Friday, Feb. 3. Doors open at 7p.m. Tickets are $27.50 advance / $29 day of show. For more information, please visit www.anthrax.com or www.promowestlive.com.