I must say that when I first read about this reunion tour and read the comments from Anthrax fans that were Anti-Joey at; http://www.reunionbashers.com/list.html, I was really skeptical about Joey being able to sing/hold a note on all of the classic stuff from Anthrax perfectly, due to these reviews. I was expecting some "old guy" not being able to sing, but not only was I impressed with Joey and his ability/capability to sing like he used to, it had come to my realization that these Anthrax fans were just taking this whole exchanging of John B. for Joey a tad bit personal. But then again, when Joey was kicked out of Anthrax, I also took it kinda personal as well, so I see where these individuals are coming from. I have no John B. era Anthrax in my collection due to Joey, in my humble opinion, being the TRUE vocalist and voice of Anthrax, not John, not Neil, Joey. When I bought/heard the new Anthrax with John B. as vocalist, I gave it a chance (or did I?), but I just couldnít listen to it when I heard the change in sound. What was once Anthrax, I had felt the music/voice had morphed into something I just wasnít into, so...
My only complaints about this show were; 1) No big old-school circle pit and 2) and the most disappointing, not knowing ahead of time that I wasnít going to be allowed to use my flash on my camera and not having a faster film speed with me, making 95% of all the photographs taken - complete crap. But guess what? When the bouncers werenít looking I did indeed take a few shots that are somewhat okay, but I should have had some better shots. Sorry fellas if my flash blinded ya, but shouldnít you all be used to camera flashes by now? Oh well, canít "shoot" them all. And finally; 3) Not coming out and hanging out with the fans (or those who had passes to see/meet them). Donít forget guys that WE (the fans) made you what you are today, just for future reference.
Interview with Joey B. (True voice of Anthrax!)
Conducted by Michael Coles - Photographs by Michael Coles (1-12-06) - Picture of Charlie B. - S.O.D. - 1999 at The Galaxy (Didn't have any good ones from this show, so....)
Thanks go out to Brian and Andrew for coming up with some questions. And thank you Jensen for hooking me up!!
The Outcast: Well, what the hells up man? What have you been doing for these past 13 years?
Joey: Iíve been working on material, gigginí, writing, you know, taking care of business, but music has been with me pretty much all of the time.
The Outcast: What have you been listening to these past few years?
Joey: I listen to a lot of stuff, Iím definitely into a lot of new stuff and Iíve got a lot of old stuff Iíve got to catch up on.
The Outcast: Like what? Whatís your favorite band right now?
Joey: I like Seven Dust, I think theyíre a good band. I donít have any "favorite-favorites", you know? I like Fear Factory a lot, Foo-Fighters, all of those arenít new bands, but thereís a lot of good stuff out there, but I still love a lot of old stuff too.
The Outcast: Venom, Mercyful Fate, Exodus, Destruction, SOD, Nuclear Assault - Anthrax, how does that feel, man? I think itís awesome!!
Joey: Itís good, thatís a hell of a roster.
The Outcast: Itís just weird how all of these bands are coming up again.
Joey: But isnít that cool that, itís sortaí like, uh, itís almost as if, uh, if they could play, like some old football players coming back, or somethiní. Itís just neat to see people that can actually love it and actually do it.
The Outcast: Come back and do it and not have any negative feelings towards each other, forgetting the past and moving on.
Joey: If you get a band that is a little bit, um, hating each other, itís definitely strange because you can actually see itís not that quite real there. But there isnít that with us, hell, weíre better than ever I think. Itís like weíve rejuvenated, recharged the whole system. Itís great.
The Outcast: Do you have any crazy or memorable stories from the Priest tour?
Joey: I donít have any stories from the Priest tour that I can think of that are crazy, you know? Iíd have to think about it but I donít recall anything nutty.
The Outcast: Going back a little, how was it being on Married with Children and why/who decided to use the song; "In My World" for the show?
Joey: I donít know where the song came from or why we chose it.
The Outcast: So you guys did choose it, no one said; "You have to play this song."?
Joey: I donít know, I really donít know, in fact, when I got there I didnít even know what I was doing (laughter). I had no idea, we sat down and the script was being read within an hour, whereís my line at, you know? What am I doing? Everybody was around a table talking and.. I really donít even know how we got the show. It was something we got offered to do in L.A. and we were there shooting for 5 days.
The Outcast: The "Not" man, what does he represent, if anything at all? Who came up with that?
Joey: For some reason that little town was found in a store and somehow the label got a hold of that and used it and had that ad. "By George I think heís got it!", whatever the hell that means.
The Outcast: I know youíve said in other interviews that you are all taking this tour and this reunion one step at a time, but are any videos from old songs or anything of that nature in the works?
Joey: Videos are like the furthest thing from every bodies mind. Even though we have live stuff coming out, from concerts, the downloads, the German shows, weíve got a live DVD, weíve got all of that, so weíve got plenty of videos floating right now, so.. Eventually maybe there will be. Videos are kind of weird these days because you donít see them that often, but of course if we did a song off a brand new record I think you might see us shoot something. Old, I donít know, that would probably be the last thing we do as far as video.
The Outcast: I have a friend named Mike who thinks, no offense, that Neil and Danny should be here, not Frank and Joey, which I think is totally absurd due to only having one album with them on it. What is your message to my friend Mike and to all of those who take this a bit too far and personal, especially since it has been that much longer since they were even in Anthrax.
Joey: Thatís just wishes, you know, unfortunately thatís not whatís in the cards for anybody.
The Outcast: It was only ONE release, you know?
Joey: There hasnít been a big bond from that length of time like me and John B., and the length weíve been in the band and the success weíve had. They happened to be a part of it (Anthrax), maybe someone would like to see that, but chances for that are pretty slim, but nice. itís a good thought. I see where heís coming from.
The Outcast: I wanted to punch him (just kidding!).
Joey: Some people are very emotional; (In a funny sounding voice) "Heís not the original singer."
The Outcast: They take it personal.
Joey: I canít read it, I just donít get it. What can you say? What are you going to say?
The Outcast: Now going into more of what the magazines theme is focused on (Life, God, Love, Satan, etc.), "Make Me Laugh", you guys never really had a lot of anti-religion songs, with the exception of that one. A lot of other bands (black-metal/satanic-metal in general) pretty much just focus on this theme.
Joey: Personally, for me, when I wrote stuff I never went there because itís such a controversy.
The Outcast: Who wrote the lyrics to that song?
The Outcast: Does anyone in the band believe in God or are any of you guys Christians?
Joey: Iím a Catholic, Dannyís different, heís got a born-again thing going on and I donít know if Frank, Joey, or Scott, Iím not sure about their philosophies or what their religions are.
The Outcast: You are a Native American, correct?
The Outcast: Do you have any beliefs from that that you carry with you in your philosophies?
Joey: I carry the pride of the whole thing and everything, but I donít push it or anything. I donít speak for everyone, or make bold statements, or whatever, but I have thoughts and feelings towards the whole thing. Same with religion, I donít pass it around to everybody or whatever, I donít get into that whole pushing philosophies, you should do this, you should do that, you know?
The Outcast: So you do you believe in God and Satan as actual beings?
Joey: Well, I donít even know if I want to go that far, I really donít even try to figure all of that out. Iím slightly mild about everything; I mean Iíve gone to church with my parents.
The Outcast: So you were raised Catholic.
Joey: At this point I donít get involved at all, I donít even think about it, I just.. Thereís always a spirit, thereís thoughts, but I really donít know enough about everything to really talk about it. Everybody has their inner thoughts.
The Outcast: Did your parents ever give you crap for listening to metal and for playing metal?
Joey: Well, my father thought that maybe I was wasting my time, that I should get a job, but I said; "Hey, this is what I like to do and Iím going to do it." Of course in the end he was really proud of me. He was going to get me a job at the plant with the guys, you know, but it wasnít me. I thought I had the talent to be a musician (He was right!! - Mike) and it makes me feel good. Itís not about the chicks, the drugs, and shit, I just love to play.
The Outcast: Was it back then (chicks and drugs)?
Joey: No, not at all, but there are girls, there are drugs, but I really, it wasnít why... I love music, I love playing, I love drumming, the whole atmosphere of playing in a band.
The Outcast: I wasnít here (Popís) when you played in your solo act, but I was told that you played the drums and you sang on top of that?
Joey: That was kick ass. It was cool. It was nice being able to do it, but thatís something that maybe not anyone would be into and may not have tried that, but I liked doing it, it was off, it was lose, itís hard to find anybody who might be serious enough, which Iím serious enough, to even do it. Itís challenging. (Let us not forget about Deceased and Autopsy!! - Mike)
The Outcast: Whatís your number one philosophy in life?
Joey: (Long pause) I donít know, just enjoy your self, be good, and think straight.
The Outcast: What do you hope to find after you die?
Joey: I donít know. I havenít really thought about that.
The Outcast: You try to not think about that?
Joey: I just...., itís a hard thing to even put in my mind. I donít know how.., I really donít know how..., itís just all a mystery really to me.
The Outcast: What do you think about the people who claim that metal is the devils music?
Joey: I donít know, I just think thatís silly. I donít even, when it gets down to that, Iím not even really sure what to think of that. Again, I never really get that far into it. Itís about the chords, the amp, and the sound, everything... The meanings are there but I really donít get into the point that it has "got to be that nutty." Even if it is about death, evil, and stuff, itís more like a fun thing to me, a fantasy, if anything.
The Outcast: What about the extremists in the black metal community who burn churches and commit murder and what not?
Joey: Itís crazy! Does it have to go to that extreme?
The Outcast: But can you see why people are so quick to judge metal in general due to these extremists?
Joey: If somebody wrote a song and it made me feel good, or that it would make me want to do something, you might want to think twice about it.
The Outcast: So do you think that some metal can influence people in a negative way?
Joey: Anything can influence somebody if they really wanted it to. I guess if they have that kind of thought. I mean look at the Priest songs that made somebody kill. Itís just nonsense, if you really wanted to "go" (kill?), you donít even need to hear that song I donít think, I think that thereís other things going on somewhere that are making you want to "go" somewhere.
The Outcast: Do you think Christian Metal is a contradiction?
Joey: I donít know much about the Christian stuff, I mean. when I hear a Christian song I think Amy Grant, sheís a Christian. I listen to her songs and for the longest time I forgot that she was even into the Lord until I start hearing the song, but I donít pay attention to the lyrics, I just hear a good song. I donít pay attention, I really donít. I might hear the lyrics, I might hear some of the meanings and stuff like that, but it kinda goes (hand-gestures- in one ear and out the other). I canít get caught up... For the longest time I donít even hear lyrics, I donít even know Rush, some of the songs, I love their songs but half the time I donít even know what they are saying. Led Zeppelin, I had no idea what they are saying. Sometimes I donít even know what they mean. Up to this day...
The Outcast: I usually look at vocals as just another instrument. Certain bands I try to see what they are trying to say, but I try not to look into the words too much, especially if they (the bands) preach negativity.
Joey: Itís weird when you find out, it can be like; "No shit."
The Outcast: My friend Bill and I looked up the song, "Blinded by the Light", we could never figure out...
Joey: Whatís he saying?
The Outcast: (Pause, trying to recall the verse) "Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night"
Joey: I always thought he said something about douche.
The Outcast: (Laughter) Thatís what EVERYONE thinks heís saying!! Thatís what we thought, we were like; "We have to look it up and find out."
Joey: Itís cool, you know, a blinding light, it could be a spirit for that matter, in which that may be it, no?
The Outcast: I donít know man.
Joey: You know what? I write lyrics and I donít even... I may start a story because I was saying a word in a line and Iím like; "Wow, this could be about a guy driving a car", so Iíll start writing about that. Why, I donít know, it just felt good. It was somewhere to go. It could mean nothing, absolutely nothing.
The Outcast: Well, thatís pretty much all of my questions, but my friend Andrew wanted me to ask you these silly questions, which I hope you donít mind. What do you prefer, creamy or crunchy peanut-butter?
Joey: I like the creamy. That crunchy stuff is just too much to handle. I like it nice and smooth and just gummy, you know, I like peanuts, but not in the peanut-butter.
The Outcast: If you were Santa Clause, what would you bring the kids?
Joey: Uh, just bring them everything they need man, bring that list out and start hauling that shit in.
The Outcast: Cool man. Well, thatís pretty much it but I have a huge favor I want to ask you personally. When you get on stage dude, youíve gottaí tell the crowd; "Old school circle pit!!"
Joey: We do, we get that. Itís pretty much old school most of the night.