Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX singer Joey Belladonna. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Icon Vs. Icon: It has been years in the making and no easy process for the band. How do you feel about finally being able to unleash “Worship Music” on the world?
Joey: Yeah, they have had some difficulties getting it off the ground. I guess through the trials and tribulations, they had time to find me a spot in there. It seemed that I had been out of the band forever. It is cool in its own way, but it is a shame that after we have done something so well, I wish we could have done more in the past and kept that going. That still bugs me. You have all of these comparisons now and reasons why you weren’t there. You just look back on it like, “Man, we missed a lot of opportunities. Who knows what we could have come up with along the way?” I think it would have been successful in its own way, especially when music was being centered around the stores instead of the Internet. But you know what? I am happy to be there! I am very glad that the record is finished and ready to go — finally!
Icon Vs. Icon: Did you have any reservations about heading back into the studio for this project?
Joey: Well, you know, just getting me in there in a real situation where it was going to be legit, that I was going to be doing it, and that the music was going to be fitting to me, because it seemed like the last touches were going to be the vocals on a record that was going to be sitting for a while. I had been out, so the expectations of me coming back in, to me, were large. They had all these different singers, the longevity of doing other records with other people after I had been out. To have to come in and lift that all off your back and stand on your own, which was great, because it obviously turned out that way. I wasn’t worried about it, but there was a moment where I hoped that the songs were suitable because sometimes music doesn’t fit your need. Obviously, a lot of it doesn’t fit, but I find a way to make it fit and I think I have done that again on this album. That was a little bit of a concern, just having the weight on my shoulders because they had been taking so long, so people are a little bit upset that it was taking so long and then to have me come in and hold it up again just because something wasn’t working or the doubt of a song or the whole thing in its entirety. It was that kind of stuff that made me think, “Wow! I don’t want to be the burden of this thing falling because they were rushing it or couldn’t get it together.” But as soon as I walked in and started doing stuff with them, it was clear that it was coming together. As the day was evolving, there were no problems whatsoever. In fact, it sounded better than I had even anticipated.
Icon Vs. Icon: What was the biggest challenge in putting the record together?
Joey: No challenge, really! [laughs] Honestly, the hardest part was finding the time for the producer on the project, I had things going on that I couldn’t make it on a particular week and then he couldn’t make it another week. It was a matter of saying, “OK, here is what I have open. What do you have open?” Scheduling, that was the hardest part, the rest was pretty easy, you know? I had to fly out to California. The coolest thing was that no one was there but me and [producer] Jay Ruston. Nobody was there staring at me through the window, which can make you tense as you are trying to work. So that is the way to do it; it is for me, anyhow. There can be those situations someone has to coach someone all day long and tell them how to do it. I didn’t need that.
Icon Vs. Icon: I am sure there is some concern on your part in regards to your future with ANTHRAX. Where do you stand with the other guys in the band right now?
Joey: I stand pretty good right now. I mean, we are taking on everything according to the time-frame that is in front of us. Each day is a new situation. We just try to take everything down in numbers just to make sure that everybody is correct and that we are doing it together and that everyone is a part of it. You have to have good management and good people around you to make sure that things are done right. I think that sometimes over the years, we haven’t had the most adequate situations in place to help the band succeed. Between that and us working together as a band to make sure that we are on the same page and that no one is dictating to one another, out of fairness, and making sure that we all get a nice, even shake — together. We may all decide as a group that “We want to do this song” or “Yeah, we want to go out then.” Everything is a group effort. So right now I think that everything is in line, as best as it can be and we have a lot of stuff going on.
Read the entire interview from Icon Vs. Icon.