Anthrax: 'Every Time Metallica Did Something It Broke Down Another Wall That Rest of Us Could Jump Over'

Scott Ian still sees the thrash scene as a big brotherhood.

Ultimate Guitar

Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian recently discussed the brotherhood aspect of the thrash scene, going back to the genre's earliest days.

"We all knew each other, we all met each other," he told Metal Hammer. "Our history with Metallica, that's an old story, we've known each other since the day they got to New York.

"We met Slayer very early on too, I could be completely wrong but my first memory of meeting Slayer was at a Mercyful Fate show at L'Amour in Brooklyn. They were all in town, and we were all at this Mercyful Fate show, and I remember having drinks with those guys at the back bar. Maybe I'd met them before that, but that’s my first memory of hanging out with those dudes, and that had to be in 1985 or something like that.

"Obviously I knew Mustaine while he was still in Metallica, met Ellison right after Megadeth started, we knew the Testament guys even when they were still in Legacy, knew Exodus from pretty much day one as well. We did all know each other yeah, it really was a community and the thing is we were all friends."

Focusing on the importance of the rest of the scene for Anthrax, Ian singled out Metallica's many pioneering efforts. "One of the questions I get asked so much is 'What was the rivalry like back then?,' but for us, as Anthrax, there was no rivalry. I always looked at it as anything any of us accomplished is only helping the others.

"So every time Metallica did something it broke down another wall that the rest of us could jump over, or any time we did something it helped everybody," he noted.

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "met Ellison right after Megadeth started" Ellefson?
    No, Ellison. It clearly states such in the article.
    He meant that the right name is Ellefson, not Ellison, ad there are no Ellison in Megadeth.
    Dude, these are internet music journalists. I think they know who was in Megadeth. Or at least they've done their research to find out.
    Scott is definitley the nicest guy in thrash scene. I always thinked that the relation between Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth are kinda hipocryte, but Scoot looks like he really likes the guys from other bands.
    To finish Kirk was ranked I believe 36th best of all time and James was ranked 10th! IN HISTORY OF ALL GUITARISTS! If you look at the best rhythm players of all time James is ranked no. 1 Unless you are a guitar playing prodigy I do not think you can honestly say that these guys are not both incredible guitar players. Sure some stuff is not too hard to pick up on but man they have played a lot of tunes that only the best of guitar players could match. That statement about nothing but basic riffage and distortion is absurd.
    A lot of people, and when I say that I mean people who have to make guitar playing into a competition don't understand there's a difference between being a technical guitar player and being a good artist, would any of Metallica's albums sound better if Kirk was playing sweep solos and James was playing some overly technical riff underneath? Nope it'd sound like ass, as Kirk even said once "You can say just as much with 3 notes as you can with 1000".
    exactly, who cares how many notes they play or how complicated it is. If you want complicated go watch some random play a soulless rapid solo on youtube. There's more to music than being skilled, you have to have an artistic mind too. Plus 'Smoke on the Water', very simplistic riff - one of the most iconic riffs of all time.
    Lee Makky
    I think there should be huge thrash tour. Metallica, Anthrax, Exodus, Slayer, Testament, Megadeth. And they can only play their old stuff. So for example, Metallica plays only pre-91 stuff, you know? That would be amazing.
    Or, it could be a larger festival with older and newer thrash bands playing whatever the **** they want! I would pay a lot to see that.
    How about they play the concert, but create their own playlist or as Shametone said, whatever the **** they want. Just because you don't like Metallica post Black Album doesn't mean everyone does. The amount of down votes on your comment is a pretty clear indication of where people stand.
    Lee Makky
    Lol, I didn't say I never liked post-91 Metallica? Just saying that Load/Reload wouldn't be relevant at a thrash concert would it? Moron.
    Yeah, Metallica letting their fans dictate what music they play would be so metal !
    Anthrax: 'Every Time Metallica Did Something We Rode Their Coat tails' should be more like the headline.Good story UG , Scott Ian , a famous thrasher met other thrashers . Off to listen to State of Euphoria , thanks for the info UG !!
    the ass-kissing is strong in that statement. yeah metallica had some really heavy distortion and tonnes of reverb to add to their simplistic riffs... but to say they were breaking down walls... the only time they've prob ever done that, is when one of them might have fell through one, off
    Anyone who does not believe Metallica didn't break down walls for a lot of future musicians must have had their heads put through a few walls before. I went to see Ozzy on The Ultimate Sin Tour in'86 as a teen. My friends or I had never heard of the opening act, Metallica over here on the East Coast. We actually didn't worry about getting there on time because we thought that Metallica couldn't be very good or we would have heard them on the radio before. No net or ITunes in those days. When we went into the buildings concourse area I heard something going on in the arena and went straight in to check it out. Metallica was about halfway through there set by estimates. I could not believe what I was hearing. A new sound in Metal. Lars getting down on the drums and using a double bass faster than I had ever heard. The speed of the guitars being played, James' voice very raspy and just screamed a very unique sound, Cliff slinging his very long hair around as well as head banging. I stood there as a young guitar player amazed at what I was seeing and hearing. I should have known Ozzy would have a good opening act. I think I got to hear them sing 4 songs or so. When they left the stage I immediately turned to my friends and said Holy Sh!t! I told them that they were amazing and had a whole different sound than anything I had heard before. I made a guarantee right then that they would soon be the Headliner and could possibly change music as we know it. I was 17 or 18 and had heard and seen several HUGE bands already. Well, I think the fact that they are the best selling Metal band of all time and anything Hard Rock or Metal is compared to Metallica. I have seen them several times since and of course they were the only band each time and every venue sold out extremely fast. Lars is the true brains behind the band. I have had the opportunity to converse with him on more than one occasion and his ability to adapt to the changes in music due to the fact that he thinks well into the future and not just what the flavor of the month is got them to the top where they remain today. As far as their simplistic riffs I say B.S. James and Kirk are both ranked in the top 100 guitar players of all times by their peers. All genres and as far back as music history goes was included. Chuck Barry was in there, even one of Elvis' old guitar players was in there.
    since it's a long reply, and very uninspiring to read such a wall of text...i forced myself to read it anyways, only because it looked like you put a lot of time to write me a story about one of your teenage experiences. when i was a pre-teen kid, i use to cross my legs and clench my butt-cheeks whenever i needed to poop... sometimes, when you're having fun playing(or camping, coz out-houses n such used to creep the hell outa me), the last thing you want to do, is drop your fun to go drop a deuce. anyways, one time, 3days or so had passed from poop-holding, i had a really bad tummy ache...and decided to finally poop...but i was scared, coz i had a feeling it was gonna be huge...well, lemme tell you...that feeling didn't disappoint. it was almost like giving labor, i must have sat on that toilet, biting my fist trying to push it out...i had tears in my eyes, and with one final forceful push, it stretched its way out...(i don't think i have to mention all the blood i was wiping from my fragile, young butt-hole) so from that day on, i learned, when you have to poop...go poop.
    And Scott Ian then got drunk and fell through the next wall he saw. So.....?