There’s two words that you’ll likely never hear uttered together: “Anthrax” and “ordinary.” With more than 35 years of music and mosh pits behind them, the legendary band is far from conventional.
In that time, the members of ‘the Big Four’ of thrash metal -- also comprising Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth - have served up countless commanding tracks, limitless raging riffs, and more, throughout 11 studio albums. There’s also been lineup changes, kick-ass collaborations (including one with Public Enemy), and the like, but there’s more to know about the band than bio-related nuggets. To that end, here’s some nifty lesser known notes on New York’s iconic metallers.
1. Metallica used to crash on their floor.
Not long after Anthrax’s 1981 incarnation, they were cool enough to let a fledgling fellow band crash on their New York studio floor. That was in 1983 – and the band readying to record its debut album there was Metallica.
2. Drummer Charlie Benante designs Anthrax’s cover art, and more.
The backbone of the band since 1983, Benante does more than cover the kit for Anthrax. While he has a hand in writing the band’s music – creating riffs via guitar – he also designs the band's cover artwork, ads, marketing tools and band merchandise. What’s more, he’s the band’s archivist. “If it weren't for the fact that he's kept one of everything the band has done - artwork, t-shirts, posters, demo recordings, early rhythm tracks takes, and so on - Anthrax would never be able to release the rich ‘anniversary editions’ that they have been able to,” according to Anthrax publicist Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald. More on the talented musician in our interview with Charlie Benante, here.
3. Scott Ian played a zombie on “The Walking Dead.”
Anthrax founder and guitarist Scott Ian made a fantastically gruesome cameo on AMC’s zombie apocalypse hit “The Walking Dead.” In the 2015 episode, Ian plays a flesh-eating walker, whose dinner plans are cut short when prime character Carl Grimes spears him with a metal pole. Check please!
4. Anthrax made a cameo on the sitcom “Married With Children”
In the 1992 episode titled “My Dinner with Anthrax,” Bundy kids Kelly and Bud win a contest to have the almighty Anthrax play at their house. A foil-wrapped "mystery pack" is eaten, Joey Belladonna’s portion bites him, Scott Ian sees colors, and the Bundy house gets properly trashed. The song the band plays during said trashing? “In My World.”
5. Joey Belladonna plays in a cover band, Chief Big Way
You may wonder where Anthrax frontman and soaring vocalist Joey Belladonna finds the time but when he’s not touring with Anthrax he’s covering the tunes of others. Belladonna plays mostly “local shows in his home town area” of central New York with his side project Chief Big Way, covering classic rockers AC/DC, Journey, and others.