Joey Belladonna is the lead singer for the seminal NY thrash band Anthrax. Media Mikes caught up with Joey at this year’s Mayhem Festival where we talked about how the crowds have changed over the year and the bands recent work on several cover songs.
Adam Lawton: What has been the best experience so far on this summer’s tour?
Joey Belladonna: I would have to say the new kids. We are running in to a whole lot of different fans. There are young people, old people, new fans and old fans. It’s been really great. The whole atmosphere of this tour has been quite a bit different. It has a carnival like feel to it but it’s still a heavy metal/rock show.
AL: How have shows like Mayhem changed from the band first started playing on them to now?
JB: I think the buzz has started to pick up more. People have started taking notice that we as a band are still strong and better than ever. We aren’t a manufactured something that is just out here for nothing. We don’t mess around and the new material live is brutal.
AL: How did you go about making the set list for this run of shows?
JB: The real hard part was covering are catalog in 40 minutes. We have some songs that are pretty long. We had to try a few different things to fit in to that time frame. I think we have done pretty well touching on all aspects of our music. Sadly there is just no winning if someone wants to hear a specific song but I think we did the best we could with the allotted time.
AL: Can you give us any updates about the cover album that has been in the works?
JB: There have been some songs recorded but I can’t tell you much more than that. I haven’t really started doing vocal tracks for it yet. Things are still sort of lingering with what will become of it and if deadlines can be met.
AL: What are the plans for Anthrax after the Mayhem Festival wraps up?
JB: We will be hitting Canada and some portions of the U.S. That will take us through mid October. Then we will be back out with Testament and Death Angel for the third time around. Starting in November we will be out with Motorhead in Europe as the support act. That should be pretty cool.
AL: Anthrax did a lot of recording at the legendary Pyramid Studios in Ithaca, NY. What is your take on what’s happening with the city trying to destroy that building/business?
JB: Alex was out and saw us the other night. It awful what is happening with that situation. I can’t even imagine being told one day that you have to move out of your house because it’s supposedly unsafe. I didn’t really know what to say when we were discussing it. I passed along some info and I hope everything works out.