Interview with Anthrax’s Charlie Benante

Charlie Benante is the drummer for the legendary thrash metal band Anthrax. The band just released their newest studio album titled “Worship Music” which is the first Anthrax album to feature singer Joey Belladonna since the bands 1990 release “Persistence of Time”. Media Mikes caught up with Charlie after the bands performance at the Big 4 concert held at Yankee Stadium in New York City.

Adam Lawton: What was your first response when it was announced you and the band would be playing at Yankee stadium as part of the Big 4?
Charlie Benante: (Laughs) I was like “Oh my god! We are playing Yankee Stadium!” We have a couple really huge Yankee fans in the band so it was just awesome. The anticipation leading up to the show was crazy. It felt like we waited a year to do the show and then all of a sudden it was here. Then it was like “Oh Shit! It just happened”.

AL: Will the set you guys played tonight be the same one you will be playing on your upcoming tour?
CB: The set we played tonight was just something we sort of threw together. We sort of screwed up as we had a little bit more time to play today but didn’t. I think we had about 5 extra minutes.

AL: Do you have a favorite track off the new album “Worship Music”?
CB: It’s hard to pick one of them. Each track brings back different moments and moods so it’s hard to pick just one. However if I had to pick a song based on today I would probably pick “Judas Priest”. Yesterday I was feeling the song “In the End”. Day by day it just depends on what my mood is and what that song represents to me.

AL: Do you have a favorite song that you guys don’t play live but would like to?
CB: Oh Yeah! There is a song off the album “Spreading the Disease” called “Long Justice” that fans just love. It’s seems like every time we try and play that song live it just doesn’t work. It’s a tricky song. There always are songs on a record that people want to hear live but then when you do try it, it just doesn’t seem to work.

AL: I happen to be from the Ithaca, NY area where you guys worked a lot early in your career with producer Alex Perialas. Can you tell us what that was like?
CB: Our experiences there were all great! We built a lot of great relationships there. I haven’t seen Alex in a long time and I wish I have. He is an awesome guy and I learned a lot from him Alex is one of those true real people! Alex is a great guy.

AL: Other than the tour is there anything else planned for you guys?
CB: This week has been a crazy world wind with the album release and the show tonight. We have been just enjoying everything. The tour starts and runs Oct/Nov. and we are just looking for feedback from fans and how they are enjoying this. I am really just enjoying this ride.

For more info on Charlie and Anthrax head over to www.anthrax.com also be sure to check out our review of the band’s latest release “Worship Music” as well as our coverage of the Anthrax from “The Big 4”.

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