The Big 4 shows in 2010 and 2011 – also starring Slayer and Megadeth – forced Anthrax to refocus on delivering acclaimed album Worship Music, which had been blighted by a series of disasters over a number of years.
A reunion with classic-era singer Joey Belladonna resulted in his second departure and ousted frontman John Bush decided not to return. Anthrax hired Dan Nelson but dramatically sacked him on the eve of the album’s release. Bush returned but refused to commit his future to the band, then Belladonna finally made a full-time return. Guitarist Scott Ian recently said the current lineup will be the thrash giants’ last.
With Belladonna finally secured Anthrax re-recorded Worship Music and released it to coincide with the Big 4 show in New York in 2011.
Now Bello tells Pure Grain Audio: “I take my hat off to Metallica. Not only are they our friends, but they really gave us a kick in the ass, which is what we needed to be a band again.
“Metallica’s the biggest band in the world. To be on stage with them, let alone the Big 4, was huge for us. It put us back in the limelight, in front of this whole new fanbase.
“To see 14-year-old kids coming up, saying they love this record, they grew on my bass playing from their father – I love that. That’s what it’s about.”
Bello says of Worship Music: “You’ve gotta come up with the goods. Nobody cares if you don’t come up with the goods. We knew we had something special. It all worked. It was the perfect storm.”
Meanwhile, Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor has revealed he missed out on his chance to work with Anthrax – because his label wouldn’t let him do it.
He was approached about contributing to Worship Music during the period before Belladonna’s return, and says he’d have loved to take them up on the offer.
Taylor tells Radio Metal: “When they sent me some riffs and some music they’d done, I thought it would be fun, not only as a friend but as a fan, to see where the demos could go after my involvement.
“My label forced me out of the project so I wasn’t able to do it. They wanted a new Slipknot album. When I was all set to fly to Chicago and work with Anthrax, the label told me they wouldn’t let me do it.
“At first I was really mad about it but I let it go after a while. I went on to do All Hope Is Gone and Anthrax called Joey back.”
But Taylor adds: “I told them I would love to help them in writing stuff in the future.”
-Classic rock Magazine