ANTHRAX’S FRANK BELLO SAYS “HOW DO YOU OUTGROW METAL?!..THIS IS A WAY OF LIFE”
Ruben Mosqueda of Oregon Music News recently spoke with Anthrax bassist Frank Bello about their new album For All Kings, Anthrax’s 35th year anniversary, among other topics. Portions of the interview appear below.
OMN: Worship Music was released 6 years ago and it still seems fresh to me. So to get a new Anthrax record [For All Kings] when you’ve not grown tired of a band’s previous effort; that’s a huge plus. Any worries about following up Worship Music?
Frank Bello: I’ll be honest with you dude, there is no secret; they key thing is caring about the music. It’s not an easy thing. You can’t write a record in two weeks and put it out. We’re fans of this music and we have to be into what we’re writing because we’re going to be playing it every night…we’re fans; we didn’t want to disappoint ourselves. We didn’t want to release anything that did [not] give you that fire in your belly and get you going. We hope that our music connects with the fans which thankfully judging from the reaction it has. If you write a good record or a write a good song the rest will take care of itself. You know we’ll be touring forever behind it, which we are. It’s great feeling when people connect with your music. We’re incredibly grateful for it.
OMN: As a fan I knew that Anthrax was creeping up on 30+ years in the business; it’s been 35 years of Anthrax in 2016. I can’t believe it. We’re getting old. What’s been a memorable musical memory in your time with the band?
FB: First, the old thing. I look at it like this; everyone on earth is getting old. I’m up for a challenge I think everyone in Anthrax is up for a challenge. I look at it like ‘bring it.’ In spite of us getting old we should write the best music of our careers and we should be putting on the best shows. We do just that. We go for it and we leave it all on the table. That’s how we grew up.
With getting older I also would like to think that I’m getting better. You never stop learning that’s my take and that’s how I live my life. We have bumps, bruises, backaches all that stuff from touring. We keep in pretty good shape we eat well and take care of ourselves. Anthrax wasn’t a ‘party band’ so we didn’t get into all of that. I think we’re good to go. I’m a yoga guy so that helps a lot. I look forward to the future with this band and I think we have a lot more to say.
As for a career highlight? I think to still having a record label and to have a record like For All Kings come out. People are acknowledging it and hearing from people in the press referring to it as “our best work to date;’ that really feels good man. That’s the real deal right there. After 35 years and we can put out two consecutive records that connect with people like that and that are referred to as “our best work?!” How can you not love that? I think we’ve really captured something really cool and we’re in such a great place.
We’re seeing our fan base growing. We’ve been seeing a younger fan base coming to the shows. There are people who hadn’t heard of Anthrax before we’re getting people from 12 years old to people into their 50s. The great thing is everybody is invited come out party and have fun.
OMN: I’ve been a fan of this music for years there’s something about it that keeps you young. I might be in my 40s but I’m still a fan. There’s people that I bump into that say “You’re still into that? Oh, I grew out of that years ago.”
FB: How do you outgrow metal?! I’m 51 years old and I’m just as into it as I have ever been. This is a way of life and I don’t consider it a trend, you know what I mean? I’ve always love[d] the music from the early days of metal. This is a way of life for me. Really? This is not a trend for me! It’s a community that I really appreciate and I’m loyal to. I agree this music keeps you young and if you’re a true metal fan you’re in it for life.
I think back to the reason why I was drawn to this music was that as a kid I had a lot of angst in me. This music met that angst; it really did. I’m pretty sure into your 40s you never lost that? You’ve got that fire, you know what I mean? I’ve still got it. I think it’s probably grown over the years actually. So, to me this generational thing or the getting older thing is all bulls–t…
OMN: What record do you think is THE definitive Anthrax record and why?
FB: For All Kings! I’ll tell you why and it’s not a shameless plug. After all these years we still care about what we do; we know how important it is to write that ‘right song.’ We can not ‘phone it in.’ It’s more important now than ever because no one makes a dollar on records? It’s still that important to us.
Read more at Oregon Music News.
Anthrax tour dates:
16 Knitting Factory Spokane Spokane, WA w/ Death Angel
17 ENMAX Center Lethbridge, Canada w/ Slayer and Death Angel
19 South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton, BC w/ Slayer and Death Angel
20 Abbotsford Centre, Abbotsford, BC w/ Slayer and Death Angel
21 Daze Of the Dead Portland, OR w/ Death Angel
22 Aftershock Festival w/ Slayer, Tool,…Sacramento, CA
23 Reno Events Center, Reno, NV w/ Slayer and Death Angel
25 Orpheum Theater Flagstaff, AZ w/ Death Angel
26 Top Deck Farmington, NM w/ Death Angel
27 El Paso County Coliseum, El Paso, TX w/ Slayer and Death Angel
2 70,000 Tons Of Metal Miami, FL
I agree with Frank Bello. I’m more into metal and hard rock music now than I was as a teen in the 80’s. It really is a way of life, and it does keep you young. It’s crazy, but you can see somebody on the street wearing a metal band’s t-shirt, and instantly walk up to that person and have a great conversation about music as if you’ve known this person for a while. This music is more than entertainment…to me, its my therapy. In the words of the late, great Ronnie James Dio “Long Live Rock and Roll!!”
I listen to harder and heavier music now, than I did when I was an 80’s teen.
For All Kings is, in my opinion, their best album to date. It’s amazingly good.