Ronan McGreevy of The Irish Times recently conducted an interview withANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the split with singer Dan Nelson after completing work on the first version of “Worship Music”:

Scott: “That was the most confusing moment in all my years ofANTHRAX, and we’ve been through a lot of crap, as any band would, in a 30-year span. To be sitting there with a finished album and no lead singer was certainly a new one for all of us.”

On the return of singer Joey Belladonna:

Scott: “People say, ‘Why it is so hard to keep a lineup together?’ People don’t get it. It’s worse than family. You spend so much time with people in your life and sometimes it would seem like the easiest thing on your mind to pick up the phone and call somebody. We called Joey. We met in New York. It was as simple as 15 minutes over a cup of coffee in New York. ‘Do you want to do it? What do you think?’ He was on the same page. That was three years ago and we haven’t looked back.”

On playing “Big Four” shows with METALLICASLAYER and MEGADETH in 2010 and 2011:

Scott: “I can’t really say enough about those shows. METALLICA have many reasons for their success over the years, and timing certainly is one of them. Success in the entertainment business is luck and timing. It really gave us the kick in the ass to keep moving forward. Those shows were very much the impetus to get Joey back in the band. We felt that Joeyshould be the guy representing us on those shows because he was the guy who helped break ANTHRAX in the 1980s. It gave us the impetus to re-expose ourselves to an audience that has not seen us in a long time and it exposed us to a new audience that had heard of ANTHRAX and never seen us.”

On ANTHRAX‘s longevity:

Scott: “All we ever wanted to do was to make records and go out on tour. That ought to be an easy thing once you are an established band to continue doing, but it really isn’t.

“It is said there are peaks and valleys and we have definitely come out of the valley. We weren’t playing stadiums in 1986. We sell more tickets now than we did then.

“When you have come this far, it is just an amazing idea that there are so many people on this planet who love this music.”

Read more from The Irish Times.