Anthrax! One-quarter of the thrash-metal Big Four; New York musical icons; All-around nice guys! A band that has kept themselves busy through a global pandemic.

On July 18th, fans worldwide got to celebrate the 40th anniversary of thrash/metal legends Anthrax courtesy of a unique worldwide livestream event presented by Danny Wimmer Presents. Filmed in Los Angeles! (Read our full show review here.)  For anyone not paying attention to Anthrax’s socials, they have released footage of their 40-year journey in metal in 10 to 20-minute increments via their socials a few times a week. Things began on May 3rd with the ongoing, eleven-week, online video docu-series presented on Anthrax’s social media accounts. The posts followed the Anthrax album catalogue’s chronological order. Each episode focused on a particular album, with past and present band members, fellow musicians, colleagues, and industry veterans sharing behind-the-scenes stories of their interactions. Those contributing their memories include Kerry King, Robert Trujillo, Dave Grohl, Dave Mustaine, Gene Simmons, Henry Rollins, John Carpenter, Norman Reedus, Rob Zombie, Slash, Tom Morello, Mike Patton, Nergal, Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC), Michael Paulson, and Roger Miret.

Anthrax created and released a 176-page graphic novel through the pandemic. Aligning themselves with Z2 Comics, The Among The Living project pulls together a who’s who of names from comics and music for a track-by-track storyline inspired by one of heavy metal’s most iconic albums, with all four members of the classic Anthrax lineup contributing. The Among The Living graphic novel got its global release on July 6th, and it’s a wonderful read.

Bassist Frank Bello wrote a book through the pandemic. A 200-pager that digs through numerous moments throughout his life, mostly focusing on his upbringing and events that shaped him into the man he is today. Bello is usually the guy with the biggest smile on his face at an Anthrax concert, and this book may surprise people on some of the life events he’s endured over the years. It’s a good read and brings insight into one of the band members of Anthrax, who is less in the public eye. Written with Joel McIver and due for release on October 12th courtesy of Rare Bird Books (out of Los Angeles), the book is another to celebrate Anthrax’s 40th year.

Our heartfelt thanks to Frank Bello for taking a healthy chunk out of his afternoon a few weeks ago to field a few questions for V13 via Zoom. The video/audio is available here if you’d prefer to hear his answers in real-time.

When does the book actually come out? I’ve just got the PDF Galley edition.

Frank Bello: “It comes out on October 12th. And let me tell you, I can be honest. I’ve never done this before, it’s different than a record, but it’s the same. Do you know what I mean? I guess with this thing; I’ve never written a book; I’ve never done anything like this. To have it come out October 12th, and we’re going right into August. Now, I kind of went all out on this thing, imagine bringing out your life growing up and stuff, whatever you went through in your life? I put it all out there, and sometimes when I was reading through the book, I said, ‘Did I put too much in here?’ You feel kind of naked. It’s raw. And to be honest with you, dude, sometimes it was a lot. I can’t read some of the chapters in it. Even when we were writing it together, Joe McIver and I, it was pretty painful. Some of the things with my brother, the hardships of growing up, no money, all that stuff, after abandonment? All that good stuff.

“I see it like that because I kind of have to put it into my mind like, ‘Alright, it’s a better place now.’ I guess I wanted to do this because I feel there’s a lot of people out there that are hurting right now. I’m at the age now where I have a son, and I want to pass it on. I want to pass on good vibes to people, and if you’re in a shit position in life, I just want to let you know that there’s a way to brush yourself off and move on with your life. And I guess that’s where I’m at in my life right now. Because nobody’s got an easy path in life, I don’t consider mine the worst, but not the best either. but if I can help one person that’s gone through abandonment, poverty, all of that stuff that people go through, then the book does its job for me.”

You and Joey seem like the private people in Anthrax. More private than the other three, so when I saw that the book was coming out, I thought, yes, this could be interesting. Because I really don’t know that much about you.

“Thanks. And you know what, to be honest, I’m a very family-private person, I’m all about family. My family is everything; I don’t care about the rest of the world. I love music, but it’s not my family. For me, I don’t want to be on social media every two minutes and all that stuff; it’s not for me. Whoever wants to, it’s cool. I’m learning that I have to do it because I have a book coming out; I get it. It’s good to promote and all that stuff, but I don’t want to have to live on it. I want to keep in touch; I think it’s cool to connect. I like connecting with people, so I’m learning! I’m not very good at it at all, and obviously, the people who know me and are watching us? They would know I’m not very good at it.”

Screen shot of our Interview with Frank Bello on July 30, 2021

Get your son to do it for you.

“I’m asking my 15-year-old son how to do it.”

That’s exactly what you do.

“So I’m learning how to because I like connecting. I like talking to people. I like connecting with fans, friends, all that good stuff. And because I’m so family-focused and introverted and kind of in my cocoon, hell, I’m in my cocoon right now, this is my basement; I call it Bello’s Basement because, during COVID, this is where I’ve written, I wrote the book! I’m writing music here; I’ve done videos here! Pretty much everything in this space right here, so I hate to say it, but it’s comfortable now.

“And to tell you the truth, I don’t want it to be comfortable because that means you don’t go out. I’m used to touring and being on the road for months, and this became that space for me. Believe me, dude, I can’t wait till we can get back to life! For everybody.”

https://youtu.be/JPqHV1yv2FU

And you’ve been on stage now! You’ve done a show in public! How did that feel?

“Wisconsin, we did it a couple of weeks ago, and I’ll be honest with you, I had butterflies. And I’ve been doing it a while, right? I’ve been doing it a while, and I noticed that maybe within the whole band, I think because we haven’t done it and so long. We did this livestream, which went great, and that was fun, but that was controlled, in a controlled environment. With this live show, it was like, ‘Alright, just get out there!’ It kind of was; I just stepped into it again. I’ve been on my exercise bike, getting my fat ass in shape and all that stuff; yoga too. I don’t think it gets you ready for that. But it was an amazing experience.

“It was about 110 degrees, it felt like, on stage! The sun was blaring on us, but yeah, it was an incredible experience to be back on and just connect with people, connect with fans. Because that’s what this is all about man, connecting, and people feeling good again. Music makes you feel good, let’s face it, that’s why you and I love music. It’s time to feel good again and not to sound like the angel here, but I’m tired of feeling like shit, to be honest.

“And I’m tired of feeling guilty about everything that I want to do. It’s like, ‘Oh no, no! You can’t do that yet! You can’t go into this building yet, or whatever!’ I’m like, ‘I’m double-vaxed. I’m ready, man; I want to go out and do something.’

“Yeah, I wanted it to be good. I’ve seen my doctor, of course, I’m a family guy, so I’m going to be really extra careful. It’s the way to be, for me. To each his own, but for me, that’s the way I am. But I want to play, man. It’s everybody, all the friends in bands; they’re all biting at the bit, man, to get going. Ok, the fans? I went to a Foo Fighters concert a few weeks ago, and that was awesome, at the Garden. Everybody had a great vibe at that thing. Rock n’ roll; It’s ready. It’s ready; it’s just as soon as everybody gets together on this, we can move on, right? Hopefully, it gets better for everybody.”

Artwork for ‘Fathers, Brothers, and Sons’ by Frank Bello

Your book starts with you describing being bullied as a young boy, and I can relate. I was bullied myself, and I think it was just more prominent and more physical in the ‘70s and the early ‘80s. Now it’s cyberbullying, and it’s being poked online and stuff, but it’s certainly still there.

“It is, and you know what’s concerning to me; I have a 15-year-old boy, which we talked about already. I worry about that every day. Last year, he was in the house all year for school because our high school here had so many cases of COVID happening. I had three to four emails a day about new cases, so there was too much for me to be comfortable with it. And this was before we got the shots. So I had him home the whole year learning via computer. And he did it, it was great. He did great on all his tests, and he had great grades. But this year he is going, so I worry about it. I worry about what’s next? We all do, and we all should, because it’s gotta get better. He’s a 15-year boy, and I worry when he’s going to school this year about bullying; what’s going to happen? Is it happening now? Hopefully, it’s gotten cooler and all that stuff, but he’s going back into a whole new thing right now, so I worry about that. I got beat up, man.

“After my dad took off, we had to move to a lower-income kind of community, and to be honest, walking to school wasn’t that far from my house, so I walked to school. Every day the only path through was right through where these two dudes hung out, and this one specific dude, they just kick the shit out of me every day. And I say every day because I’d try to even be late so that they wouldn’t be there. And this is how much it scars after years of therapy and all this good stuff, you know, I try to get different routes, there were no other routes. They were always there, and it always turned into; I’d call it the morning beating. I was into the car and under the car, man, and I say it in the book, ‘I don’t want anybody to go through that.’ And that built my character.

“I believe that, because I did go to the karate classes, karate classes did nothing for me because these guys were doubling up on me, and they were just bigger! The main dude just pounced on me; he didn’t care. Until I safely hid under where the muffler is on the car, and that was my safe spot, and I knew that was my go-to. As soon as I saw them, I’d say, ‘I’m just going to dive under that car.’ I know it sounds horrible to hear this because I don’t want anybody to have to go through this, but it happens. Going through the book, when I hear the word bullying, it pisses me off. I relate to it as you do; I just won’t tolerate it. I’ll go up to the bully and try to stop it; it’s just the way I am.”

Not only did it shape your character, but it also steered your life. It steered you to your grandmother’s place, and it steered you to Charlie. And if these bullies knew? Because they were doing it to be superior and to belittle; if they knew that they steered you to your life path? (snorts) They screwed that up!!

“Great point. I thought about this also. Yes, it steered me this route, right? To the route of music and my grandmother, lovingly. All that good stuff with Charlie and living in that house. Did it have to be so brutal? Did it have to be so many times? I get it, but my question for fate or whatever you want to call it; did it have to be so brutal that I had to get my ass kicked every day? And scraped up to go into school? When I went into school, I was always cut up and bleeding. So did it have to be like that?

“And at the end of the day, maybe it did because it made me grow into whoever I am now. And it makes me a little bit smarter, and I can pass it on to people and telling them how to stay away from that stuff. So for me, I found different ways to do it; I found you acknowledge what it is and you adapt to it, all that stuff from my youth maybe learn how to adapt to things and get around things. Maybe it’s street smart; if you want to call it street smart, fine. It made me learn how to adapt to life and move on and going into my grandmother’s house, learning music with Charlie, and growing up in that house full of music and love, that was a godsend. It was my oasis. It really was. The house in the Bronx, my grandmother’s house, was my oasis, and it was my saving grace because there’s no way I would have made it, I know that.”

Anthrax

You spent a few pages describing KISS Alive 1 and what an impact that had on you as a young boy. The first thing on that – it’s a live album. Does a live album impact anybody like it did back then? What’s a good live album right now?

“Well, what impacts people now? Because it’s here today gone today, right? That’s why you have to keep constantly coming out with more stuff. But it did; that was the first album I saw. Charlie had the album in front of me, and he opened it up, and I still remember it as I’m talking to you; I could visualize it right now, him opening it up and me just being captivated. It was a tunnel vision, dude. Oh my God, it was everything I wanted to look forward to; I just knew it.

“And then when he put the record on (KISS – KISS – KISS), I can still remember this stuff, and you hear it, and it builds to this thing and all of a sudden the songs hit, and I just thought they were great songs right off the bat. I said, ‘Who’s singing?’ And I just tried to pick out everything! Because I didn’t know who was singing and who did what, you know? It was just a wonderful time. Those were my superheroes. It was like opening a comic book and really having new heroes and somebody to look up to. And again, the book goes into this, these guys, you want to call them maybe father figures, are my heroes. When nobody is taking that place in the father department, you look for those people to replace and stand up for you. You want to be like somebody, and you want to emulate, and who can I learn from? I learned from KISS.”

And Simmons could have been such a dick to you when you were going up to him and following him around like a total fanboy, and he was not. And that’s just fabulous.

“Gene? From day one, I’ll tell you that all the guys in KISS were great to us; when I tell those stories in the book about us meeting KISS, and for those guys watching this, there’s a lot of KISS stories in the book. I live in New York, and when we were younger, a friend of mine, Tom, would call me up and say, ‘Look, I know where their management is; KISS is going to have a meeting today, but I don’t know what time.’ So we’d take the bus downtown and wait in front of the management building all day. It could be freezing, 13 degrees outside. We were outside shivering, saying, ‘it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.’ For hours and hours, and then out of nowhere, you’d see a couple of guys, 6 foot and above, 6 foot 2 with long hair, with suits on coming into this building. We didn’t even know what they looked like because they still had the makeup on at that time, so to see them out make-up was very big for us. ‘That’s them, that’s gotta be Gene, that’s gotta be them!’

“Well, it was them. It was very, very cool. It was our little world, that, because we had this little thing that nobody else knew about; we can meet KISS when we wanted to, when we found out. Tommy had some kind of inside information with the management of somebody there that he found out when they were going to have a meeting, so he would call me, ‘Let’s go down. They’re going to be there today.’ And we go downtown, and let me tell you, after a while, these guys, they were great, and they’d answer every question we had. They were always great to us, but then they started to know us. Gene, even says to this day, he remembers those days, and he would just say, as he’s writing his hundredth autograph to me, ‘Frank Bello, what are you doing here today? How did you get here? How did you know I’d be here?’ We’d just tell him we took a guess (laughs). It was just a ball, man.”

Later in the book, you talk about going down to the studio and walking in, bolstering your way into the studio, and getting to hear a KISS song before it was released, which is wild.

“This is just another one of these stories. For everybody watching out there and listening, there’s a lot of these stories that are straight from my heart. This is another one of these tales; Tom calls me up, and he’s found out a time where they’re going to be at this Right Track Studios in the city. It’s a famous recording studio in the city. Anthrax actually worked there; it’s great. So, of course, I’m in; I’m going. So I go with Tommy, we get to the front of the studio. Look, we’re kids at this age. We’re 14, 15 years old. Tom, he wants to go in. I said, ‘Tom, we can’t just go in. Let’s just wait here and watch for them to come out or go in.’ ‘No, I’m gonna go in.’ He rings the bell. I’m scared shitless, dude. I couldn’t believe he actually rang the bell. There’s a camera right there; I’m scared, people are looking. I’m thinking KISS is going to hate us. We can’t just barge in.

“(voice) ‘Yes? Can I help you?’ (Tommy) ‘Yes, we’re here to see Gene Simmons!’ Zzzzzt; They ring us in. My heart dropped; I couldn’t believe he opened the door, and we were walking in. It was like my feet walking in molasses; I was so scared walking to the elevator up to this place. So I was like, ‘Tommy, I can’t go in.’ (Tommy) ‘Come on, come on, come on!’ So the elevator door opens, we get in, we go two flights up, the door opens; I would not come out of the elevator. Tommy walks right out; I would not come out. So there’s nobody there. You can see there’s a desk, but there’s nobody there. I finally take my step out with Tom; we look up to the left; I still have this in my head; it’s an amazing memory. So I looked over to the left, and the wall was blocking whoever was sitting, but you see legs and cowboy boots on a comforter, like a table. So his feet on the table, cowboy boots, you know it’s one of the guys.

“We look around the corner, and it’s Gene Simmons, right? My heart drops; my stomach has a pit in it. I’m saying, ‘He’s going to be so pissed that we’re intruding on this.’ Gene, he’s watching TV, and he has a plate of cookies, and he has a cookie in his hand, and he looks over, and he sees it’s us. And his face goes like this (slowly lowers head) in complete bewilderment; ‘What are you doing here? I can’t believe you are here.’ So I’m, like, freaking. I know the vibe; I want to get out of here.

“I’m pressing the button already for the elevator. Tommy goes, ‘Hey, Gene.’ Tommy had this great high voice. We didn’t reach puberty yet, so it was awesome. ‘Hey, Gene! How are you doing?’ And Gene just straight out goes. ‘What are you doing here?’ Straight out with the cookie in his hand, and I can still envision his face, ‘what are you doing here?’ (Tommy) ‘We just wanted to come and say hello and check out the new stuff.’ They were recording the new record. (Tommy) ‘What is it like, what is it like?’ So Gene, to his credit, says, ‘What are you doing here right now? Don’t you see how I’m working? How would you like it if I came into your house and sat down in your living room while you were doing something? How would you feel about that?’ (Tommy) ‘Come on! You can come over anytime!’

“Tommy always had an answer. He was quick, right? So Gene, at this point, kind of gives up. And I couldn’t get the elevator going. So I see Gene shake his head, and he says, ‘Would you like to hear a song?’ Dude, that was it for me! That was it. We were going to hear a new KISS song before anybody! He sends us in to the engineer, and he says, ‘Let them hear, ‘Young and Wasted.’ So he lets us hear this song called ‘Young and Wasted’ as it was just being mixed.

“We sat down there floored. It was a great song. Eric Carr killed it. It was just a great song. I was very psyched. We went in there, the happiest guys in the world! We’re floating on cloud nine at this point. So we come out of there. Gene’s still sitting on the couch. ‘Did you like it?’ We loved it, man; we couldn’t say enough praises for it; it was awesome, and it sounded great, his voice was killer on it. He goes, ‘Now can I get back to work?’ We were freaking, on cloud nights at this point.

“‘Thanks so much, Gene!’ So we just walked down the stairs and out of the studio. It was one of those moments in life where your hero doesn’t disappoint. We literally barged in on that studio to that man who’s working and, he didn’t have to do that. I think that was a great thing by Gene and I’ll never forget it, that’s a kind of great lesson. That showed me a lot; it showed me how, in my professional career now, how to be. Don’t hold anybody down. He didn’t say, ‘get out of here,’ no. He invited us in to hear a song; why not? Why not? It makes total sense. And for him to write the forward in my book, Gene Simmons writing the forward to Frank Bello’s book? That; why for me, man. And it’s really heartfelt; if you read the forward, Gene doesn’t really talk about the subject that he’s talking about. His dad and stuff, so it’s really heartfelt, and I thank him for it almost every day.”

Anthrax Live Stream Photo

One of the lines that I wrote down, I’m just going to make sure that I’ve got a properly here; you always say that you were born in the wrong time, and you appreciate when people cared about each other more. That just struck me because that’s very true. I feel like we’re very much a viewing-through-a-lens type of society, and we don’t take the time to get in front of people. And COVID has not helped that situation out much.

“True. And I feel like an old fart even saying this, and that’s fine. You know what? Then let it be that way. Because the truth of the matter is, we’re all human, I don’t care what your political beliefs, whatever it is, man, whatever you believe in, the older I get, the more I see this, man. People need to care about one another. This is all we got. This is it, man. I look at the older movies, which I love; I’m a Turner Classic Movie fanatic. Just another way that people related to each other. It seems like now, with social media and everything else, it seems like people are waiting for you to screw up, to jump on you. And is that really the way to be? For me, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to harp on anybody, and I don’t want to jump on anybody; I want to talk like this here, and be human. Your beliefs are your beliefs, that’s cool, I have mine, and that’s cool. This is how we live; this is America, right? This is bigger than that. It’s life.

“I just feel there is too much harping on people; People waiting for somebody to fail so they can jump on them. It’s like, wait a second, man, give the guy a break because he’s human. I just see a lot of that, and I always say, ‘I wish I was born in a better time when people were just more patient with other people and not ready to just pounce like that.’ It’s like, alright, I screwed up, I’m sorry. Let’s move on, and you get to another day; I just hope a little more of that is infused with life soon, that’s all.”

I’ve known from other interviews that you’ve done that your brother was violently killed, and I don’t really want you to relive that here, but you talk a lot about being a Scorsese fan in the book. I mean, it’s New York and some of the stories that he’s done there…

“And Italian American, yeah.”

Yeah, right. Did you look at those movies differently after Anthony was killed?

“Well, after Anthony was killed, I had a hard time watching anything. Anything with guns. Look, I have no problem with guns if people want to own them. I don’t particularly own one right now, but I understand it. So I don’t judge anybody for having a gun. But for violent acts and stuff like that? Come on, what are we doing? And it was just a tragedy, it’s a tragedy that happens far too often in this world, and it, unfortunately, happened to my family, and I don’t wish that on anybody, the pain. But after all that horrible, horrible pain (and many people have reached out to me since this who have had family members murdered) after that pain, if you have to go through the court systems? That’s a double dose of pain, a double dose because it exposes it all again; even as you’re trying to heal, they expose it all again. It’s fucking raw. When I say raw, you’re walking in, and you hear the whole story done over again, and with the added element of the people who are actually accused of it. And that’s just raw.

“So when I say Scorsese, this was like one of those movies where you see the big court thing? This was in Bronx criminal court, my family, and me. One side was my family and our friends; the other side was the person, how about that? And they’re friends and family. It was just a terrible, terrible experience, I still have nightmares about it, and I believe that’s part of my rage that I have that I’m always trying to control. It just leaves you bewildered, and you don’t understand how somebody would do that? Number one, to anybody! Number two, you really start questioning the justice system, how it works, and how many loopholes there are. I got schooled fast on many loopholes there are to our justice system. I’m not talking politics because I can give a shit less. It’s just about my family that was screwed big time. And that’s fine. It’s all in the book, and I don’t want anybody to ever go through that.

“This was my story, and if you’re interested in that, I compare it to one of those Scorsese movies that is like you’re right in the room. It kind of brings you in the room with us, and that’s what people have told me who have read my book. So it was traumatic, and it’s still a day-to-day thing. You know, when you have a loss in your family, everybody out there could feel this; it’s a day-to-day thing. You never really get over it. You just deal with it. And that’s the way I take it, day-to-day, with the loss of my brother. That’s just the way it goes.”

One of the things that I liked in the book (and I don’t know if this is intentional or not) was that for the first three to four years that you were in Anthrax, you would come back from tour, and you would go your uncle’s Deli. Just go right back into the Deli and work there. I just thought that was kind of charming. And it certainly speaks to your character.

“Thank you. You know what it is, all I can do is speak the truth, and for the love of family, my uncle Joe was another father figure for me, and I say I get a little choked up because he was there for me. He taught me in that Deli how to be a man. And what was right, what was wrong; Not to take the easy way. He enforced my work ethic! The whole thing with growing up the way I did was that I knew I had to work hard for whatever I got. That’s the only way to do it because when you have nothing and want to get to that next place, you have to dig in. Get your feet on the ground and roll with it, man. And he enforced that with me about having a really strong work ethic and how to do things right and put the extra effort in. I’m glad he instilled that in me. He really reinforced it for me. I have that because I knew I had to do this (Anthrax), and he reinforced it. I still love my uncle and that store in the Bronx, Joe’s Deli. It was a pleasure to go back to it. It wasn’t the money; Yeah, I needed some kicking-around money because there was no money in the early days.

“Your first record, you tour, there’s no money. So you come home, and you want spending money. I lived with my grandmother, so the food, thank God, was taking care of. And shelter. But you wanted spending money to buy albums and stuff like that. So that was my spending money. But the lessons I learned in that Deli from my uncle Joe, and just people coming in and how to be a people-person. That taught me life. It really did. It taught me girls. My dating life started in that Deli with people coming in, all that stuff. A lot of pretty girls came into that Deli, so it worked out well.

“I was right at that point getting to going through all that fun ‘man stuff,’ so it was good. It was a great time. It was a great time considering where I was… I look at that as a gift. It was a complete gift for that to come into my life, and it was consistent. The day that Deli closed down, it broke my heart because I think they sold it for condos, so that’s sad. Welcome to life, right?”

Yeah, and it’s happening so much now, more than it was back then.

“Totally. I see it now; I can go back there. Even right now, it’s 30 minutes from my house, it’s just condos in that great area where I grew up, and a lot of great things happened in that store, but it is what it is; that’s life”

How about we finish off with Anthrax’s 40th and your 38th year in the band this year. What a milestone. How much did you have to change your plans because of the pandemic? Because you couldn’t host a celebratory show. You’ve got all this wonderful footage that’s gone up incrementally out by album on Instagram and YouTube! But very different, I’m sure, than what you had originally planned.

“You know what, it was hard. Because usually, we would do a tour and blow it up big time. But this is what we’re doing. We did the live stream, which was awesome; we dug deep for the songs.

“This is life. And again, Anthrax has always been a band that was able to adapt to whatever is given to them, and I think we did that the best way we could. Doing those videos, if you guys haven’t seen it on YouTube, all the videos we put out show the band’s history. And you know what, I learned a lot from those videos because many of our friends in bands talked about Anthrax and how much we meant to them. I had no idea. Honestly, I had no idea how much Anthrax meant to a lot of the bands, and even a lot of famous people, Keanu Reeves, a lot of famous people, good people, in bands and in the arts that came out and said how much Anthrax meant to them. I didn’t realize it, and it felt good.

“Also, I learned a lot of stuff from my bandmates that I didn’t know, how their take was on it at the time. It was a lot of fun. If you guys haven’t looked at the YouTube videos, check them out, you get the whole history of Anthrax done in an interesting way.”

Anthrax, to me, has always been the band that smiled. Back in those early days, there was Slayer – frowns and devil horns. There was Metallica – frowns and liquor. And there was Megadeth – frowns. It was just frowns all around. Anthrax was crazy shorts, frigging Hawaii shirts, big smiles, cartoons on the back of the record covers – that spoke to me. That’s what I was into, and that’s why I’ve liked the band for as long as I have.

“And it’s just honest. I’m lucky enough to do this for a living on stage, playing in front of a lot of friends out there. What’s not to be happy about? That’s the way I look at it. Yeah, the music is heavy and fucking aggressive and all of that, but I’m having the best fucking time doing it, and that’s God’s honest truth. So if a smile comes out on my face, I’m sorry, but I’m fucking thankful for doing this shit, and maybe it’s just coming out that way. I can bag my head. I’m in a brutal mood, but you know what? I’m having a great fucking time doing it, and that’s what I want people out there to feel.”

I like mojitos, loud music, and David Lynch.