Twin Peaks Archive recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante. An excerpt from the chat follows:
Twin Peaks Archive: Another high-profile collaboration you did was with PUBLIC ENEMY on the remake of "Bring The Noise". How did that come about?
Charlie: That came about because Scott [Ian, guitar] and I just loved PUBLIC ENEMY. We had a big fondness for rap music in general back then, and to us PUBLIC ENEMY was the epitome of what rap is. It was talking about issues that were important. Some people deemed PUBLIC ENEMY as being a racist type of band. I never really took that what Chuck D was saying as being racist, I just took it that Chuck D was talking about what he knew, what he felt and what he saw. To me, PUBLIC ENEMY hit the nail on the head. After that, I think some of the rappers who spoke about drug dealing were glorifying it. I don't really think they were really speaking of "this is where I came from." I think Chuck D was trying to help his cause, whereas other rappers were trying to keep the cause as is, 'cos they were making money off it. That (the namecheck in the original "Bring The Noise") was one of the reasons why we wanted to do that cover and we just wanted to pay it back to them. I remember sending the track to Chuck and he called me up to say how much he loved it… in his exact words, "This track is slammin'!" Then the ball just rolled from there. We got together in Chicago to do a video and I remember talking to Chuck afterwards and we were all so happy we said we should go out and do some shows together. The tour was booked — and that was it! It was one of those things that just came together in such a friendly way. There was no money thrown out or "I can't do it unless I get this." It wasn't like that at all, it was just the way it should be. I don't think that tour would happen nowadays, because too many other hands would've got involved.
Twin Peaks Archive: What's next for ANTHRAX?
Charlie: Well, we're demoing songs for a new record. We have a new singer in place, we're really excited about this third stage of our career. I could've just packed it in and said "I'm done with this," but we still have this drive, I still have this hunger. And I still have this catalogue of music that needs to be heard. We're gonna hopefully put it out this year. We just wanna make it right, because with a new singer it's gonna be under the microscope. I would say it's gonna be a little more in the older direction that we were going into, and I would say it's going to be more into a new direction. I hear elements of the old and I hear elements of new. We're thinking of working with this guy Joe Barresi [QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, WEEZER, BAD RELIGION], who worked on the last TOOL record. I'm doing a lot of stuff in my place in Chicago, which is kinda like ANTHRAX central. [Editor's note: ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian recently worked with Joe Barresi on the new EP from PEARL, the band fronted by Pearl Aday, Ian's fiancée and daughter of legendary crooner Meat Loaf.]