ANTHRAX/MANTTIS/SWORN ENEMY/GOD FORBID
1/6/06 - Baltimore, MD - Ram's Head Live
This is the first show of 2006 for both Rock N Roll Experience, & for all 4 of the bands on this bill, & we were given a rare chance to cover the show, both inside & out. To set the mood for the piece...it was a busy Friday evening in Baltimore, Maryland, & in the bustling downtown area of Baltimore, MD, the VH1 Sponsored Anthrax tour was playing to a pretty packed house that was a mix of both older & newer fans. I decided to break up each segment of the show & offer you said bands interview & review together, so I hope you enjoy this piece...the thing you might not get from it, is that everything was done pretty much on the fly...this was the 1st night of the tour & NOTHING was going as planned! The doors were supposed to open at 7 PM & they ended up opening over 30 minutes late!
After seeing 3 bands open this bill...it would have been easy to end the show right then & there, because all 3 bands played their asses off & delivered a great show, but the stage was set, & the huge backdrop that had ANTHRAX written on it, along with XX banners that covered the bands amps, was the pre-curser for what was getting ready to happen next!
Anthrax used the Blues Brothers as an intro, & they stormed the stage like rabid dogs searching for new territory to dominate! Time might have taken it's toll on the band, but when you hear them & see them play, it's like going back in time 15 years & seeing the band..they are still pretty fresh, Joey Belladonna still has that amazing energy & interacts with the crowd, Charlie's drumming is dead on, Scott Ian is even more aggressive now then back in the day, Frankie Bello a hyper MF, & Dan Spitz anchor's the band with his blazing solos'....Anthrax, the original version, are back!
Scott Ian commented that he recalled the old days of playing at the old Hammerjacks, & the bands set included EVERY song post John Bush era that you would ever wanna hear! They even played "Skeletons in the Closet" which hasn't been played in years! "Indians", "Anti-Social", "Madhouse", "I'm the Man"...the band really covered every area of the original line-ups best songs, & they ended the night with "I am the Law"! It was actually really beautiful to hear the crowd singing "NFL" & "Anti-Social", because almost everyone there knew almost every word! One weird moment of the show was when a large guy jumped on stage & got to dance with Joey Belladonna during "Indians" & then he didn't wanna leave the stage, so security tackled him & tried to throw the guy out & ANthrax stopped the show & Joey Belladonna ran behind security & allowed the guy back onstage & they told him to go back in the crowd & enjoy the show...I must say that is one of the coolest things I've ever seen a band do onstage...after the guy was brought back in, they resumed "Indians" & the show continued! Dan Spitz played a new custom "Spitz" model PRS Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles guitar, & there will be a new PRS guitar coming out soon that is a flying V, similar to his Jackson one he used to play back in the day. I had to opportunity to chat with Dan Spitz, & here's what he had to say:
Rock N Roll Experience: Did you ever think that Anthrax should have changed their name when the "Among the Living" line-up split up?
Dan: They had everything going already with them, from a business stand point you would be crazy to change it & start all over from scratch again, so they were given that gift to kind of keep going & that is up to the fans....there are definitely different evolutions of Anthrax, , when we started we had Neil Turbin singing & Dan Lilker on bass for the 1st album & there was alot of turmoil then, but the once we solidified & got Joey....
Rock N Roll Experience: What is your favorite Anthrax record that you've recorded on?
Dan: "Among the Living"...working with Eddie Kramer as a producer for me was...I'm into the technical stuff, so he is the guy that did every Zeppelin record & every Hendrix record, so for me, him pulling out old tube gear...me & Jimmy Page made this thing....
Rock N Roll Experience: What kind of guitars are you using on the road currently?
Dan: Everybody knows that I was with Jackson since I was a little kid & we made alot of guitars together & now I'm doing the same with PRS
Rock N Roll Experience: So you're not using anymore Flying V's?
Dan: Uhmmm..I will be shortly, so that should be a hint to everyone world wide that we are adding a little metal over at PRS...that's where I've been the last 2 days, I actually flew in early & I've been at the PRS factory having meetings with Paul & everybody over there.
Rock N Roll Experience: So there will be PRS Flying V's soon.
Dan: Uhmmm, no comment ha ha, but it's kind of weird not playing V's.
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you still have the Ninja Turtle V, or was that one lost in the studio fire?
Dan: No, that one is hanging in one of the Hard Rock Cafe's...when I left music I gave 53 guitars to the Hard Rock Cafe so they are everywhere I would imagine, or whatever is not on the wall is in storage.
Rock N Roll Experience: What kind of tunings are you using?
Dan: On this tour we are 1/2 step down & now we are adding "Keep it In the Family" which is the same thing but the E string is tuned down (drop D).
Rock N Roll Experience: Are you doing a solo record?
Dan: I've been working on 2 separate projects...one with Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden & one with Patrick Johansen, the drummer from Yngwie Malmsteen's band...the music is heavy as shit.
Rock N Roll Experience: What do you think of the statements that Rob, Anthrax's last guitar player, made saying that the reunion was all about money & that is was a bad thing.
Dan: I didn't know he said that, but, I don't know what to say to that, except the 5 of us made a certain kind of music & a certain kind of history together & now we are back together & we are playing for the enjoyment of ourselves & it's great to see that enjoyment again in our fans from yesteryear & introduce some new music & see what comes from the fans nowadays.
Rock N Roll Experience: Is John Bush still a member of Anthrax or is he on retainer?
Dan: John Bush is not a member of Anthrax, nor does he get money from Anthrax....if John Bush was brought back into the band & Joey left I would no longer play in Anthrax.