Monday, January 26, 2009

Radio DePaul Interview Series: Anthrax

Over the past few years Radio DePaul has frequently conducted interviews with current bands and artists from all kinds of musical genres. Listeners are able to tune into these podcasts from the station’s interview blog at There are five episodes available to choose from which include Her Daily Obsession, Owen, Bayside, Anthrax, and Bottle of Justus. For this week’s blog entry I will concentrate on two of these bands to give listeners a brief background on what they are all about.

First, I’ll start with Anthrax. Anthrax is a New York City-based heavy metal band that released its first full-length album in 1984. The band was one of the most popular of the 1980s thrash metal scene and is notable for being the first to combine heavy metal with rap music. The band has sold over 10 million albums worldwide and is classified as one of the "big four" of thrash metal alongside Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer.

Anthrax was formed in mid-1981 by guitarists Scott Ian and Danny Lilker. They found the band's name in a biology textbook and claimed it because it sounded sufficiently evil to them. John Connelly (Nuclear Assault) jammed with them a few times while trying out for the band, but never actually joined. John Connelly ended up being a roadie for the band for many of their early shows. Drummer Dave Weiss and a bassist named Kenny Kushner were other original members. Kenny Kushner was replaced very early on by Paul Kahn, who was found to be insufficient as well, so Lilker chose to take over on bass and Greg Walls joined as lead guitarist and vocalist Neil Turbin, who the band found after going through a series of temporary vocalists (including Ian's 14-year-old brother Jason). Weiss left and was replaced by Greg D'Angelo (White Lion) on drums, who left the band in spring of 1983 while recording the second demo.

Several members have launched affiliated side projects, such as Scott Ian's project with Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante, original Anthrax bassist/lead guitarist Danny Lilker and Billy Milano called Stormtroopers of Death. After leaving Anthrax, Joey Belladonna began a series of solo albums, Belladonna, Spells of Fear, and 03, and John Bush is involved with his former band Armored Saint and Original Anthrax vocalist Neil Turbin has been touring Japan, Europe, Mexico and US with his band Deathriders and recording their debut album "Back With A Vengeance" slated for release sometime this year.

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