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Anthrax bassist Frank Bello Interview at the Slayer Farewell Tour in Austria Vienna.


Nov 232018

Back in the early 80s ... In addition to music greats like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, KISS, AC/DC, Guns ’n' Roses and many more… A new genre began to rise in the world of metal. The four American bands Slayer, Anthrax, Metallica and Megadeth, also called the Big Four, were responsible for this change. Together they sold several millions of albums and played several thousands of concerts in almost every corner of the world. Earlier this year Slayer announced their farewell, furthermore, their last world tour. After almost 40 years one of the most successful and well-known metal bands retires. An era comes to an end. Together with their very close friends and Thrash Metal Legends Anthrax, as well as Lamb of God and Obituary they are currently on their farewell world tour. 14,000 fans came together at their Vienna-stop to celebrate a worthy farewell to Slayer with a sold out show. We met Frank Bello from Anthrax before their show and talked about Slayer, Tour life, Metal, the past and the future.

“The ultimate high in life, is getting on the stage tonight. I don’t do drugs, but that’s my drug!“

You have had many ups and downs in your career, what gave you the strength to keep on going?

Monster Energy [laughing]. You know what, everybody got ups and downs and I am not different. I grew up in the Bronx, my father took of when I was young, left me and my family no money, all that stuff. Everybody got their story, if you work hard to get what you want, that’s they way I live. Work hard to get what you want, good things will happen, that’s the importance. You have to really want it and work hard. So again I’m very fortunate. I know how lucky and fortunate I am. I never take it for granted. I say: “Wow look where it started, and thankfully it worked out nicely.“ I am very grateful for that.

You’ve been on many, many tours over the years. Are there any rules for tour-life that you’ve learned? How do you manage it with your family / private life? ”

Don’t shit on the bus! [laughing] No shitting allowed on the bus! Be courteous to others. It’s hard because this is the fourth week of the tour, everybody needs their space a little bit. Be kind and just give everybody their own space. Be respectful. Respect is very important. This is a 6 week tour, I still have two weeks and two days left. And that’s very hard, because I have a 12 years old son and a wife. That’s really hard, being away from home. I am already booked for next year quite a lot. So that is very hard, but they are very understanding, thank god! Again, this is the way I make my living and I’m a blue collar guy, I want to work to feed my family. That’s what we do. And I also wanna rock, I love playing to people, I love this! The ultimate high in life, is getting on the stage tonight. I don’t do drugs, but that’s my drug! That’s the ultimate thing. The audience is there and you come on stage and you create this wonderful energy. It’s not just the band, it’s the audience too. There is one big energy blowing up. It’s the best fu***** job in the world. That’s why Kiss be on the road. That’s why I wanna do that. I’m so hungry. I think the whole band is hungrier now to play than we have ever been. It’s true.

How did Anthrax come up with the idea of ​​mixing rap with metal?

A couple of us were into rap, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys we love forever. Mixing Rap with Metal, first we did „I’m The Man“ and that was supposed to be the Beastie Boys doing that. Actually, they were gonna do it, but then the schedules didn’t work out. So myself, Scott and Charlie were in the studio and just did it. After a couple of takes we did, it was finished. And it came up the way it came up and the people loved it, that was just great. Then with the Public Enemy thing, I remember we were Public Enemy fans and we wanted to contact Chuck D to see if he could do something. One of the things just magically worked out. He loved the track we did, “Bring the Noise“, he put his part on it and then we went on tour. It was insane, the tour was insane! Public Enemy and Anthrax. It was crazy! At the last song we did “Bring the Noise“, everybody came together. It was insane, it was just so much fun. It was very successful. A lot of people liked it and it crossed a lot of boundaries. It broke barriers down. A real positive thing. I love this. One of my highlights in our careers.

Which Anthrax song do like to play live most?

That’s a good question. I’ll be honest, when you watch the first song „Caught in a Mosh“, when that song starts, you see the eruption of the crowd and it’s like oh my god, it’s on, the energy just starts right there and I really like opening with that song. It gets people fucking off their asses and I like that vibe, cause I’m a fan. If I am in the audience I wanna enjoy the show. That song really starts it off. It’s like: This gonna be a good fucking night. I haven’t even started the bass part , it’s f***ing so heavy. Im so excited playing that and get them going. It’s about people, making people forget their problems for a while. I think it does that.