One of The Big Four turns the Big 4-0 this year and is celebrating with a number of special activities and events to honor the landmark anniversary. Formed by guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker in Queens, NY on July 18, 1981, Anthrax was one of the first thrash metal bands to emerge from the East Coast and quickly became regarded as a leader in the genre alongside Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth.
Active over the past five decades, Anthrax has released 11 studio albums, been awarded multiple Gold and Platinum certifications, received six Grammy nominations, toured the world since 1984 playing thousands of shows, including headlining Madison Square Garden and playing Yankee Stadium with The Big 4. The band has built a strong reputation with fans as well as the record industry. With the lineup including Ian, bassist Frank Bello, drummer Charlie Benante, singer Joey Belladonna, and guitarist Jon Donais, the band is being feted on their 40th anniversary by a wide range of friends and music contemporaries.
Each week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and wrapping on the band’s official founding anniversary of July 18, Anthrax’s social media accounts will offer a series of video testimonials sent in by former band members, fellow musicians, colleagues, and industry veterans sharing behind-the-scenes stories of working with the band and what Anthrax’s legacy has meant all these years on. These videos will honor each album in chronological order beginning with the original release, Fistful of Metal. Go here for the full schedule, and watch Episode #20: Volume 8 – The Threat Is Real below.
The 11-week series will include video contributions from Chuck D, Corey Taylor, Dave Grohl, Dave Mustaine, Gary Holt, Gene Simmons, Henry Rollins, John Carpenter, Kerry King, Mike Patton, Nergal, Norman Reedus, Michael Poulsen, Rob Zombie, Robert Trujillo, Roger Miret, Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC), Slash, Tom Morello and more. There will also be video clips from former Anthrax band members Dan Lilker, Dan Spitz, John Bush, Neil Turbin, and Rob Caggiano.
The finale will come as a very special Livestream performance from Anthrax on Friday, July 16, featuring a deep cuts set that will pull from the band’s entire career-spanning catalog.
The special worldwide Livestream event, presented by Danny Wimmer Presents and originating from Los Angeles, will kick off in North America on Friday, July 16, beginning at 4 PM, PT and 7 PM, ET, and in the UK on Saturday, July 17, starting at Midnight, BST.
Livestream event tickets and special 40th-anniversary ticket bundles – one including a live video chat with the members of Anthrax – are on sale now. Special 40th-anniversary artwork was created by Brian Ewing and Stephen Thompson for limited-edition t-shirts, commemorative tickets, and an anniversary poster. In addition to the Livestream and merchandise bundles, fans will be able to buy a digital ticket to relive the past 40 years with exclusive interviews, testimonials, and behind-the-scenes stories of the band’s legendary career. All purchasing details are accessible at AnthraxLive.com.
The Global Livestream event, debuting July 16/17 (depending on your global location), will remain available to fans worldwide to tune in through July 25 at 11:59 PM, ET via video on demand. The band – Joey Belladonna/vocalist, Scott Ian/rhythm guitar, Frank Bello/bass, Charlie Benante/drums, and Jon Donias/guitar, will perform an extensive set of hits and deep cuts that will pull from the band’s entire catalog.
“I was a 17-year-old metal-head kid from Queens when I started this band,” said Scott Ian. “I am a 57-year-old metal-head kid from Queens about to celebrate the 40th anniversary of this band. That means for 40 years, I’ve gotten to do exactly what I’ve wanted to do – and getting to do what I love and being a part of something so much bigger than myself has made the time, the unbelievable weight of 40 seems so light. It’s been an amazing story so far, and I see 40 as a milestone that absolutely should be recognized and celebrated. Congratulations to us! I also see 40 as a stepping stone to the next chapter of Anthrax – we still have a lot to say and some killer riffs to unleash. I’m not going to say, “Here’s to 40 more” because nobody wants to see that (I’d be 97). How about, “Here’s to at least ten more, and we’ll go from there! Thank you for enabling me, my friends.”
(Photo – Jimmy Hubbard)