An Interview with ex-Anthrax Vocalist, Joey Belladonna, conducted
via e-mail in August, 2003 (a late arrival due to Copyright Clearence
as some appeared in Classic Rock Magazine, early 2004)
Who are your main influences both musically and vocally?
MUSICALLY, RUSH, KANSAS, PURPLE, JOURNEY, AND BLACK SABBATH WERE MY
MAIN INFLUENCES. VOCALLY, PAUL ROGERS,
IAN GILLAN, STEVE WALSH, AND STEVE PERRY INFLUENCED ME THE MOST.
When did you realise you had that incredible voice and range?
I GUESS THE FIRST DAY I STARTED DOING THE CLUB SCENE, COVERING RUSH,
LEAD ZEPPELIN, AND JOURNEY. I FOUND THE
RANGE WAS VERY COMFORTABLE.
What were you doing prior to Anthrax?
I WAS CONSTANTLY PLAYING CLUBS FROM 1978 TO 1984.
Days in Anthrax
How did you become the lead vocalist of Anthrax?
I RECEIVED A CALL FROM ANTHRAX MANAGEMENT ASKING IF I'D LIKE TO FLY
IN AND MEET THE BAND. I DID SO, SANG WITH THEM,
AND TWO DAYS LATER WAS ASKED TO JOIN THE BAND.
What would you say were your favourite times in Anthrax with regard
to albums etc?
WALKING RIGHT IN AND DOING SPREADING THE DISEASE. ALSO, DOING THE ARMED
AND DANGEROUS EP WAS GREAT. WORKING
WITH EDDIE KRAMER ON AMONG THE LIVING WAS AWESOME. PLAYING "MONSTER
OF ROCK" IN THE UK AND EUROPE
WAS ANOTHER OF MY FAVORITE EXPERIENCES. THE "CLASH OF THE TITANS"
TOUR IN THE U.S.A. WAS TERRIFIC,
TOO. ACTUALLY, THE WHOLE EXPERIENCF WAS AWESOME.
A VERY SAD TIME WAS ON THE METALLICA "MASTER OF PUPPETS" TOUR
WHEN CLIFF DIED. THE BLACK SABBATH- WASP-ANTHRAX TOUR
ENDING SO SOON WAS UPSETTING. THE ONLY OTHER BAD TIME I HAD WAS BEING
ASKED TO LEAVE ANTHRAX.
THE "HEADBANGERS' BALL" TOUR FOR MTV, PLAYING ALONGSIDE IRON
MAIDEN, KISS, OZZY AND BLACK SABBATH, PUBLIC ENEMY, PRIMUS,
KINGS X, LIVING COLOUR, EXODUS, TESTIMENT, OVERKILL, METALLICA, AND
DONNINGTON WERE ALL AWESOME.
What was your opinion of 'Clash of the Titans' and 'Donnington 1987'?
GREAT, EXCITING LINEUPS. YOU CAN'T BEAT THE FUN OF THOSE SHOWS.
What did you enjoy performing live most of all and why?
ALL THE ABOVE. THERE WAS REALLY NO FAVORITE OR DULL MOMENT. IT WAS GREAT
HEARING AND REACTING WITH THE FANS.
PERFORMING FOR A LIVE AUDIENCE IS WHAT I LOVE TO DO.
How did the collaboration with Chuck D come about?
TO BE HONEST, I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHO CALLED WHOM, BUT I KNOW THAT THEY
WERE REALLY INTO RECORDING AND PERFORMING
BRING THE NOISE WITH US.
Why did you leave?
I DID NOT QUIT. I WAS ASKED TO LEAVE. I ASSUME THEY WERE LOOKING FOR
A DIFFERENT STYLE. WHAT A SHAME.
Any regrets on leaving?
IT WAS NOT FUN TO BE ASKED TO LEAVE AND BE PUT IN THAT POSITION.
What have you been up to since leaving Anthrax - I know you've fronted
you've fronted your own band (can you give me brief run down)
WE'VE DONE TWO SOLO CD'S, TOURED WITH MOTORHEAD AS WELL AS ON OUR OWN,
HAVE ANOTHER CD ON
THE WAY AND ARE HOPING TO TOUR SOON WITH THE NEW CD.
What made you decide to front your own band?
How successful was it?
BEING ON YOUR OWN TAKES MORE TIME. NOT HAVING THE NAME OF A MAJOR BAND
MAKES THE GOING SLOWER, BUT PROGRESS
IS BEING MADE AND WE KEEP WORKING ON NEW MUSIC ALL THE TIME.
Best times in Belladonna?
MY FIRST TIME GETTING SIGNED FOR A NEW ALBUM. GETTING THE MOTORHEAD
TOUR WAS NICE. PEOPLE REALLY LIKING MY
OWN MUSIC, SEEING OLD FANS AGAIN AND FINDING NEW ONES.
How did you meet up with Stet Howland?
THE GUITAR PLAYER, PIERRE, HAD WORKED WITH STET BEFORE AND WE ASKED
HIM TO COME IN AND LAY SOME DRUM TRACKS.
There was talk of you re-joining Anthrax for a tour recently (with
you and John Bush on vocals)- but it didn't happen - how come?
WE WERE UNABLE TO REACH AN AGREEMENT SATISFACTORY TO BOTH PARTIES, I'M
SORRY TO SAY.
How is the new album ? Can you possibly tell me a bit about it - style/songs/players/when
it's out etC.
I WILL BE DOING THE DRUM TRACKS AS WELL AS VOCALS. IT WILL BE HEAVY........STRAIGHT-UP
HEAVY METAL. WE ARE HOPING FOR A
RELEASE IN THE LATE FALL (THERE WILL BE SOUND BYTES FROM THE ALBUM ON
OUR WEB SITE IN THE NEAR FUTURE):
Will you be touring in the future - when and where? Will it include
WE ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON A TOUR IN THE UK AND, POSSIBLY, EUROPE.
ANOTHER U.S. TOUR MAY BE IN THE WORKS.
What are your thoughts of Anthrax overall now?
I HAVE GREAT MEMORIES OF GREAT TIMES. IT WAS QUITE AN ACCOMMPLISHMENT
FOR ME. WE HAD AWESOME FANS.
Would you ever return to Anthrax if the terms and conditions were right
- what would the terms and conditions be?
YES, I WOULD RETURN TO ANTHRAX IF TERMS WERE SATIFACTORY TO ONE AND
What does the future hold?
I'D LIKE TO CONTINUE WRITING GREAT MUSIC AS WELL AS PERFORM BEFORE LIVE