Joey Belladona (ANTHRAX) on Rock Overdose:"A new live DVD will be out until the end of the year"
Zisis Petkanas from Rock Overdose had the chance to chat with ANTRAX vocalist Joey Belladona!
You may here the chat and also read the text below...
RockOverdose: Joey, welcome to rockoverdose.gr. It’s a great honor to have you here with us tonight.
Joey Belladona: Thank you, man, I appreciate it.
RockOverdose: How are you these days? You are going to join "Megadeth" and “Iron Maiden” in the historical appearance at “The Battle of San Bernardino” on September 13th? What are your feelings for that? What have you prepared for the fans?
Joey Belladona: Yes, that’s right. But we didn’t get there yet, we have all these summer festivals coming up soon, we actually have a little bit of time before we hit those shows so we haven’t really talked about anything yet, in particular.
RockOverdose: What do the fans have to expect from this appearance?
Joey Belladona: Well, we are just going to be on stage together again, with “Maiden”, we just did some shows in Spain and Barcelona, and it went amazing and we loved playing together, we’re very happy to do shows again together.
RockOverdose: Last month, you released “Anthems”, your long awaited EP, which pays tribute to some of your favorite classic bands, and includes some classical songs from the seventies. What has led you to choose these songs? How are those representative for you and what is the message you want to pass to your fans with this EP?
Joey Belladona: We had some songs sitting around, thinking to put some for an EP out, and we just like recording covers, we just kind of did a little bit on the road, a little bit here, a little bit there, in the hotels and stuff, and we did a couple of songs and then kind of everybody collectively thought it would be cool to play and we made an EP out of that, it was just as easy as that, nothing more than having fun recording songs, and we just tried to do some different stuff. I love playing covers, with my old band we use to play country covers all the time.
RockOverdose: It has to be a lot of fun I suppose.
Joey Belladona: Yeah, we’re fans of the music, we’re fans of the bands, and we thought it fun to do.
RockOverdose: Joey, have you started working on new material? What is the direction that it follows, if you started it?
Joey Belladona: We listened to music and ideas amongst each other but we weren’t in a room together so I couldn’t really tell you what to expect at this point cause we haven’t sat down and listen to it… obviously it’s going to be something that you’re going to enjoy, I think, with the style we’ve written before, and what we’ve come up with lately, we really have some nice ideas aside, but again, I didn’t hear anything yet, it’s a little early for me to describe anything.
RockOverdose: But do you believe it’s going to be an “Anthrax” classic album?
Joey Belladona: With the last album, it was nice to be back and do something at the time that we did it, we did it and it was really exciting and well written …We were looking forward to doing a great record.
RockOverdose: Do you have any idea if it’s going to be released in the next year?
Joey Belladona: Yes, I would think so, maybe by summer, to be realistic, maybe sooner, but it’s hard to say right now, we haven’t even got started so we don’t know how much progress we can make…it’s too early to put a time line on it. We’re going to try to put a time line on it without pushing ourselves into a corner, you know…
RockOverdose: How is your cooperation with John Edwards from “Status Quo”?
Joey Belladona: It’s a great one, John is funny to be around, is a great player, he’s just a great dude, he likes playing with us, and things are working out good.
RockOverdose: You are a member of the most historical bands. The band for which the term “trash metal” was used for the first time. Tell us some of the best moments that you had with the band, and maybe some of the worst, if it’s easy.
Joey Belladona: I can mention the success and the time we’ve been together, for so long, it’s a really great achievement to be together in a band that long, be focused and write good music and be successful in the style we actually came up with. It’s a great accomplishment and I’m just happy about that, it’s not an easy thing to do at all. Obviously, the down point for me was being out of the band and not being able to stay in the band for whatever reason, so that wasn’t one of my found and happiest moments. That’s not good for anybody. I wouldn’t have made any change, just because I thought we didn’t need it, to destruct what we were doing, but someone thought better about it, so that was one of my lower moments.
RockOverdose: But now you are back in the band for good.
Joey Belladona: Yes, at this point things are looking good; everybody seems to be on track.
RockOverdose: Are you considering releasing a solo album, like you have done in the past?
Joey Belladona: I’ve got songs, I’ve got material, I work on this stuff every day if I can, just to keep myself motivated and feel good about making music. Obviously, “Anthrax” is my main focus, but I like working on original music…who knows, you know.
RockOverdose: You always have time to try different stuff. So, you all have different influences in the band? Who has the strangest musical preferences?
Joey Belladona: I don’t know, I’m almost thinking it might me between me and Charlie, I think I like more of the melodic stuff than everybody else, I don’t know, it’s really hard to say, I can’t speak for everybody, about what they are listening to now, it seems that I am the one listening to more classic stuff, more rock, pop-rock, melody-rock, blues, and more fusion and stuff, and Charlie can do that too. I can listen to Dave Matthews all day long. We all listen to different stuff, it’s hard to say.
RockOverdose: But you’re the most “rocker” of all.
Joey Belladona: Yeah, I suppose. (laughing)
RockOverdose: Lately, the metal community suffered from Jeff Hanneman loss. You have toured a lot with “Slayer”. What are your memories from him and what would you like to tell him if he was able to listen to you, now?
Joey Belladona: Oh, God, we miss him very dearly, he was too young, for anybody, to pass out like that, the fans miss him, the band misses him, such a tragic thing to have someone pass like that…maybe somebody might have helped… it’s just sad to see that happen, especially when you’re really close to the person, and you work together, every day…It’s hard to say, what you could have done, so…It’s just a shame, it really is, we miss him very much… it’s hard to put it in words. It’s a big loss for the fans, the family, the band…he went through other stuff too, he had a bite and that was a rough ride too.
RockOverdose: We hope to hear less sad news this year. Would you like to tell us about your incoming shows and festivals you will take part to?
Joey Belladona: We’ve got a three days festival here in the US, and then once we’re done with that we take off to go to Europe with “Maiden”, we do a tour of four of five shows, and then we hit all the festivals in the summer. It’s going to be cool, you know, these are normal days full of impact bands and long days of fun, music. Woodstock, we have some cool place to get and we’re looking forward to.
RockOverdose: You’re going to hit Greece with your first headline in July.
Joey Belladona: Really. No kidding? We’re looking forward for that. That’s news to me. You see, I don’t always follow everything, it’s always good, it’s like…, “Oh, we’re in Greece today? We’re headlining?” ….What kind of place is it? What’s the venue? Is it a club?
RockOverdose: It’s a club, yes, a big one. What do you remember from the previous times that you have visited Greece?
Joey Belladona: We went on the Acropolis, up on the hill there. I remember it was bright, and white, and hot. I remember taking a cab there and spending a great quality time at a bar overlooking the whole town, late in the morning, drinking, having good times with fans, I remember the festivals, really hot, and everybody was hiding under the threes, until the bands went on stage, and then came back out. We played another one or two festivals like that. We played a lot of festivals like that, on a camp, open air festivals, but those were the two festivals I remember quite well, it was real hot there, I remember walking in the streets, shopping, and checking things out, it was real cool, real interesting.
RockOverdose: I suppose you didn’t only like the place but you also got the cheers from the fans.
Joey Belladona: The fans are super great. Actually now I can see how cool the show will be. Big time.
RockOverdose: Are there any other future plans you’d like to share in this interview?
Joey Belladona: We just shot a DVD, that is out there for everybody to check out. We have a full concert on this DVD. It’s the show from Chile, South America, and a bunch of others. We are recording some others, quite cool stuff; we hope to have that out until the end of the year.
RockOverdose: When it’s going to be released?
Joey Belladona: Before the end of the year.
RockOverdose: Would you like to close this interview with a message for the Greek fans?
Joey Belladona: We’re looking to see everybody again very soon, I hope everybody is getting ready for some hardcore, slash dance and smashing, sweating and getting ready for our coming. Thank you very much for the interview.
RockOverdose: Thank you very much too. It’s going to be a great metal show.