American heavy metal outfit Anthrax are hoping to book themselves into the recording studio next year, with plans afoot to prepare their 12th album since forming in 1981. The icons of the thrash metal scene, alongside the likes of Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth, Anthrax have managed to stand the test of time despite only releasing three studio albums since the turn of the millennium.
Founding band member Scott Ian was recently interviewed by “Whiplash” for the KLOS radio station, with 56-year-old quizzed about the future of Anthrax and whether long-time fans can expect more tracks from the band in the coming months. Ian intimated that he and the band have one eye on entering the studio in 2021, providing the health and economic climate is such that the group could tour their new songs in tandem with the release of a new record.
Ian insisted that he had no appetite for putting out a record “until [he] can play shows”. However, he did admit that the band was “ready to make a record next year”, with the group likely to “go do that” because there is “no reason to have a record written” and subsequently “sit around and not record it”.
One of the finest live metal acts on the planet
Touring is something that’s in the genes of Scott Ian and the rest of Anthrax. It’s fair to say that it’s harder to “get” the brand – and the concept of speed and thrash metal in general – without seeing it for yourself on-stage. The band are regulars on-tour with many other heavy rock icons, including Iron Maiden, Slayer and Killswitch Engage in recent years. Of course, the band are not getting any younger. Next year will be the 40th anniversary of the band’s formation, so it’s safe to assume that Scott Ian and co. have perfected the art of surviving grueling nationwide and overseas tours.
Scott Ian is no stranger to finding new hobbies to pass the time away from the stage. In years gone by, Ian has been spotted playing poker at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas. Given how easy it is to learn Texas Hold’em hands that govern each round of action, and the improved technology of online poker rooms, Ian has been known to regularly log online to play in between tours and shows too.
The sonic direction of Anthrax’s twelfth album revealed
Ian was pressed on what the direction the new studio album will take. Although he admitted that he always finds it difficult to describe new material given that it “always just sounds like Anthrax” to him, he said that the new tracks are “definitely riffier” compared with their previous album. Album number 11, titled “For All Kings” was extremely well-received by fans and critics alike. In fact, some even claimed that it was the band’s finest piece of work to date.
The album was released after five years on the industry sidelines, with the band undergoing something of a rebirth following the new record and its inclusion in the iconic “Big Four” tour that had metal fans frothing at the mouth in excitement. “For All Kings” was also the first studio album involving Jon Donais on lead guitar, replacing Rob Caggiano, who departed Anthrax to become the new lead guitarist for Danish rock band Volbeat. Album number 11 was also the first record to reach the top ten of the Billboard 200 charts since “Sound of White Noise” back in 1993. It’s also been 35 years since their second album “Spreading The Disease”, which the band has coincided with launching their own branded hand sanitizer, which has proved to be a genius marketing ploy.
When Anthrax performed at 2019’s Download Festival in the UK, drummer Charlie Benante teased fans about the creative direction of album number 12. He described that the album will contain some “extreme stuff”, with the band focused on trying “different things” in a bid to “make it next level”. Benante even revealed to a podcast in Australia that the new record is likely to be more “aggressive” in style, which will certainly whet the appetite of the band’s hardcore following.