Intervju med Frank Bello i Anthrax!
Då jag just nu befinner mig på resande fot och har väldigt sporadisk kontakt med datorer, har uppdateringarna blivit få den senaste tiden.
Här är dock den korta intervjun jag hade nöjet att göra med Frank under pågående Big Four spektakel i Göteborg för någon vecka sedan.
Strax innan intervjun stod jag och väntade utanför backstagefållan som ett annat mähä. Helt plötsligt blev det liv och rörelse på folk runt omkring och det visade sig att mr Hetfield stod 2 m ifrån mig och betraktade Megadeths spelning. Själv blev jag till mig som en liten skolflicka och fick upp kameran snabbt som attan och fick en bild. Utan tvekan det närmsta jag kommer att komma denna riffmeister.
Frank visade sig vara en ytterst trevlig rocker som bjöd på ölen han just fått i handen och sedan hämtade en ny åt sig själv samtidigt som han kraftigt underströk att han ännu inte hade hunnit dricka ur min öl. Samtalet var kort, utfördes i ett trapphus och blev inte direkt djuplodande, men jag hoppas på ett nytt tillfälle i samband med att nya plattan släpps.
Frank: Where were you?
I was way up in the back.
Frank: Alright. I don´t know what happened with the wiring, but it was all… we just had to go with it, you know. Thank god we know the songs! (laughs)
That´s always good!
Frank: Yeah, we just saw a playback of the show. Sounded good?
Frank: Thank god, you know! I thought it got all weirded out.
Pretty cool that you did “Only”! Have you been doing that for a while?
Frank: You know, we´re mixing different songs. The other night we did “Medusa” and now we did “Only” instead, but we always do that to see what works. You want a beer?
Sure! (Frank hands me his beer and keeps telling me he didn´t sip it) I´m just wondering, since I´ve read a bit about the new album, how much of it was all new stuff that you did with Joey?
Frank: We pretty much erased everything from the past. Scott, Charlie and I wrote these songs a while back. The good thing with having all this time is that you can pick and choose different parts. For Joey we took out lyrics and melodies that we didn´t want from the past and everything was Charlie, Scott and I with the band and I tell you man, I haven´t been this psyched about a record… I came over here and we just got the masters the other day and it´s a great fucking time when you´re finally finished after eight years. Listening to it I was like Oh fuck man, I really can´t wait to play this shit!”. Everybody says that, but I really… I think we could play every song on this record if we wanted to. A friend of ours from a magazine in Germany, heard the whole record at a listening party and he compared it to certain records, but he said it sounds new and fresh and that´s what I wanna hear. It sounds new and fresh and I think it´s definitely what we want and I think it´s what people are looking for. I don´t think anybody´s gonna be disappointed! I´m fucking… I haven´t been this stoked in a while!
Yeah, I´ve heard “Fight ém til you can´t” and it just brought me back. It´s got classic Anthrax and there´s new stuff to it as well and it sounds really good live.
Frank: Thank you! With Andreas, he´s a good friend of ours and obviously the right guy for the right job and Scott just had the baby. We´re all family and this whole tour is family, man! That´s what´s great about the Big Four. Everybody talks about metal, but we talk about families because that´s where we´re at in our lives. This music is still intense. Andreas, man… I had jammed with him before and when Scott was having his baby, he was the right guy and he also brings an intensity to the stage. I´m really stoked and it´s a different part of Anthrax again. It´s the only time Scott hasn´t played with Anthrax for all these years. It´s kind of cool! We were rehearsing the other day for this tour and Scott was on Skype holding the baby and watching us. (laughs) It was so surreal just watching it.
Was Andreas your first choice?
Frank: Yeah! I don´t know if you know this band called Hail, but I had jammed with them in New York. It´s Dave Ellefson´s band and he asked me if I could come down and jam and we jammed on some Anthrax songs. I´ve known Andreas for a long time and I knew he´d lock it so for me it was a no-brainer. I love what the guy does! It´s so heavy! His sound is so heavy! He came into rehearsals and I swear it was like Scott was there! It was kind of cool!
This new album, have you produced it yourselves?
Frank: It´s Anthrax, Rob Caggiano and Jay Ruston. Do you know who that is?
Frank: I tell you, Jay was the missing link for Anthrax because he really worked with Joey really well. Coming into this stuff, Joey raised to the occasion and people are gonna freak out when they hear Joey´s voice! Raising to this level with this intensity in the music, I think Joey, where he left off, I think he took it to another level. I´m really psyched of what he did. I´m telling you, dude, I´m really psyched of what he did! Next time I see you, you tell me! It´s a good record and the whole fucking thing… I´m just psyched!
What made you pick “Fight ém till you can´t” to be the first song that you unveiled?
Frank: It says Anthrax! Like you said, it sounds like Anthrax. I think it has all the elements of old and new Anthrax and the way Joey sang it. It´s just a little taste and I can´t wait for people to hear the other stuff, because if this is like this, wait till you hear the other stuff. There´s a song called “In the end” and the first song on the record… god… I just can´t wait!
And “Worship music”, the title, where did you get that from?
Frank: It´s all about worshipping! This is what we do and it´s been eight years. You gotta be in on it, you gotta love it and worship it and then it comes to this! I just think we´re lucky enough to make a living doing this, for a long time. We´re playing Yankee Stadium, guys from the Bronx! Selling out Yankee Stadium, it´s ridiculous! A tribute to Metallica and this isn´t kiss ass! These guys have been my friends forever and I´ve always loved them. They didn´t have to do this, but they did because they believe in it and I love ém for it! We´re having a general good time this whole fucking tour, man! Everyone gets a long and it´s all good!
The artwork for the single, is that gonne be the artwork for the album?
Frank: No, that´s for the single. It´s cool and you´ll see.
And you´ve worked with him before, Alex Ross!
Frank: Dude, he´s unbelievable! The things he´s coming up with. I think he mastered up and it´s so intense and so fucking detailed.
It´s gonna look awesome on a t-shirt!
Frank: Yeah! When it comes to concert t-shirts, the youth of today, I think they get it. 15-16 year old kids coming to our shows and they wanna go old school. It´s real nice! It´s meat and potatoes!
Yeah, I still use a cassette player! (Frank and I both point to my recording device)
Frank: I like it! All the demos for the record I do like this. I do it like this and then I have my iPhone. I do tape first and then my iPhone and e-mail it to everybody and then we go back and forth.
Cool! These days every album comes in three or four different versions. Are there gonna be stuff like that?
Frank: Yeah, there´s gonna be bonus stuff. Anthrax are known for their b-sides and we´ve got a shitload of them. Shit we grew up with and just fun stuff. Some of it is like “Whooaaaa!”, it´s fucking weird but cool. I like doing that. It´ll surprise people. A little different taste of it. It´s really cool!
One final thing, an old thing. How come you ended up on “Married with children” and who nailed Christina Applegate?
Frank: I´ll tell you exactly how it happened! It wasn´t me but there was a rumor. She was actually dating a friend of mine back then and she´s a sweetheart. This woman worked for Megaforce Records back then and she knew we were fans. She called them up and said “The band is really into the show and if you have anything they could do on it, it would be great?” and they said “Yeah!”. It was a week full of fucking craziness. It was great! It was one of their biggest shows for some reason.
It kicks ass!
Frank: It did. It´s still a really cool show!
And Katey Segal is an old singer. She was on Gene Simmons solo record in ´78.
Frank: Yeah, she is and I remember having beers with Ed O´Neil and just sitting down and talking shop and him going “Yeah acting is really close to the music industry!” and just getting loaded and it was great, man. I loved it! Such a cool guy! Good people and they helped us a lot with our lines and were like “Just take your time and relax!” and that´s why I think it came out so well.
Ok, cool! Thanks man!
Frank: Alright dude, no problem!