As one of the founding fathers of speed and thrash metal, Anthrax has been around the block and then some. The metal mavens that make up Anthrax are recently returned vocalist Joey Belladona, Scott Ian (guitar), Rob Caggiano (guitar), Frank Bello (bass) and Charlie Benante (drums). Anthrax's newest album Worship Music is a testament to the fine-tuning of their craft and their ability to still put out music that kicks ass. They will be playing the Mayhem Festival on 7/22, performing on the Jagermeister Stage. They were given the choice to play the Main Stage, but opted for the latter in order to bring the "mayhem" and do something special for the fans and have an audience that wouldn't be seated. Benante took some time out of his busy schedule to chat with RDW about coffee, Anthrax and everything in between.
What do you think it is about Anthrax that has made your band stand the test of time?
You have to be willing, first of all, to stand the test of time. There are so many other bands that fall apart and stay fallen apart. We refuse to stay down, even when we were down. It's just a love of music and a love of what we do. So that really keeps the drive, a sheer love of it, it's still exciting to us.
How would you describe your drumming style?
When I was a kid playing, my ears were open and I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could. Then I kind of developed my own style and that was it. Throughout the years I've tried to push it – to push the envelope and be the best that I possibly could.
I've heard you're a big coffee guy and that you actually make your own blend.
I am a big coffee guy, I did make my own. I was doing it and we kind of pulled it. Let's just say the people I was with, they let it kind of go. I was involved with it and had no choice but to let it go to. But I'm making another attempt to do it again. I just loved it, I thought it was awesome. I wanted people to taste this kind of blend that I thought of and that I really liked. It's going to be coming out again.
Where has been somewhere in the world that you've had an amazing cup o' joe?
Definitely different countries, especially going down to South America you find the different blends out there. The Columbian coffee was definitely something that made my palate very happy when I tried it. But with Starbucks and stuff, and it being all around the world, people always ask me, 'Why do you love that shit so much?' For me it's familiar, and if I go to a Starbucks in say Spain, I know I'm going to get exactly what I want.
Have you ever received any really odd gifts from a fan?
Yeah, I've gotten anything from serial killer paintings to Buffy the Vampire Slayer action figures to gum.
If you weren't a musician what do you think you'd be doing?
I would definitely be doing something in the art field. If I wasn't doing music all of the time I'd probably be an illustrator or something like that. I say it like, 'Oh yeah, that's what I would be.' I don't know if that's what I would be, but that's what I would like to be. I do artwork for people, a friend of mine in Japan has a clothing line and I do t-shirts with him, which reminds me I gotta do more. It's called Greed. | RDW
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival with Slipknot, Slayer, Anthrax and more • 7/22, 1:30 p.m. • DTE Energy Music Theatre • 7774 Sashabaw, Clarkston • 248.645.6666 • palacenet.com • $25, $39, $66, $91