Former Anthrax Singer Reveals He Could've Joined Metallica

Neil Turbin says he impressed the metal giants' manager during "Fistful of Metal" sessions.

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Neil Turbin says he was mentioned as a possible singer for Metallica when he was recording Anthrax's debut album, Metal Hammer reports.

Turbin, who these days fronts Deathriders, recalls his time in the studio laying down vocals for "Fistful of Metal" in 1983 when, he says, he impressed Metallica's then manager Jon Zazula.

"Fistful of Metal" – which was the only Anthrax album on which Turbin appeared – is this year celebrating the 30th anniversary of its release.

Zazula was apparently especially blown away by Turbin's singing on the track "Metal Thrashing Mad."

Turbin tells the Metal Voice: "I knocked it out of the park. I think on that particular song, I remember being in the studio, and I know that Jonny Z was listening to these songs while we were up in the studio.

"And I think at that point there were some interesting comments made. He managed Metallica at the time and he talked about' 'Oh, maybe we should get to sing for Metallica,' or something like that. I'm like, 'No, that's alright, thanks though.'"

But Turbin stopped short of claiming he was offered the job with Metallica, who at the time were recording their own debut album "Kill 'Em All."

Turbin adds: "I guess he must have been impressed with something in the studio. There was just some talk, he was just thinking out loud. I'm not saying I was offered any gigs."

Turbin says he made next to no money from his work with Anthrax, claiming he was "kept out of the loop" when it came to business decisions and that he never felt as if he was part of the band.

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40 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I'm sure lots of singers were mentioned or considered, James never wanted to do the singing. Turned out pretty good though, didn't he?
    I think he wanted to sing, but he was shy, and it took him some time to get used to be frontman.
    I remember him saying "originally we were going to be a 5-piece, and I just wanted to play guitar" or something similar. I think it took a few albums before he really started to take singing seriously, as such.
    So an obscure metal singer who was briefly part of the worst Big 4 band was once told by Metallica's manager that he was pretty talented. This is news how?
    "briefly part of the worst Big 4 band" The article was about a former Anthrax singer, not for Slayer
    That's funny because in my opinion metallica is the worst of the big 4 but, that is just an OPINION.
    So in the title you state he "Reveals He Could've Joined Metallica" and later in the article "There was just some talk, he was just thinking out loud. I'm not saying I was offered any gigs." I would rather go and read the daily mail than this literal vomit, signing out now, never coming back, 10/10 done with this terrible website.
    I long ago got to the point where coming to the news part of this site is for purely comedic value, not to be informed. they have good tabs though.
    Also Bush could have been Metallica's frontman, but in the end, no matter how good Neil and John are, they wouldn't have fitted at all with metallica's sound back in the 80's and early 90's. Probably, the only frontman that was also related to Anthrax beginings, and later was the frontman of a great thrash metal band, and has a voice that actually would have have fitted with Metallica is John Connelly
    What?? John Connelly in Metallica? Absolutely not. Neil sounded perfect on Fistful of Metal, which is very similar in style to Kill Em All. I think he could have pulled it off.
    I am 44 and never heard of this Neil dude.
    ????? Dunno why that got down-voted, Anthrax are part of the big 4 and you dont even know the guy who sang deathrider, metal thrashin mad, etc. soon someone's gonna be asking "whos belladonna? I thought John Bush was their singer".
    This was like 30 years ago... why is it relevant?
    Because it's potentially interesting for some people. The word "relevant" is quickly approaching the #1 spot on my "most ****ing annoying words ever" list.
    Right there with you on "relevant" becoming one of the most overused and annoying words to be used on this site.
    It's just a really easy way to say something negative about a band/person/sports team/whatever, without actually saying anything negative at all. Then again, I'm not particularly relevant, so feel free to ignore this comment.
    What you think of the word 'relevant' is irrelevant to this article, surely you must know that.
    Metal needs to ****ing replace or add new people. All I hear now is Mustaine saying some stupid shit or complaining about something, or old has-beens talking about how they could've been great, or how other bands aren't as good as how they were before.
    link no1
    Metal need to replace and add some people?So, how exactly does this work? Are there a large group of people who are refereed to 'the Metal' in a Gothic castle surrounded by lava and dragons somewhere? Do 'the Metal' gather around it's followers during the anniversary of the bloodletting, where in which they decide the important things such as 'who is going to represent metal in the headlines this year', or 'who will be retired from the covenant of metal to make way for nameless peon #36,721'? No, it's the journalists that decide who's in the news and despite we would all like our favorite lesser known musicians to appear in the headlines, people like Mustaine and Metallica bring in page views where as 'nameless peon' doesn't.
    your description of "the metal" totally reminds me of tumblr "feminists" idea of the "patriarchy"
    Are there a large group of people who are refereed to 'the Metal' in a Gothic castle surrounded by lava and dragons somewhere? Now there are. In my mind, at least.
    That's the media choosing what to report... Not "metal" itself. I'm sure there are a crap load of contemporary acts that have something to say.
    it's ridiculous for a grown man to be bragging about this. it's the equivalent of a dad in the middle of a midlife crisis trying to impress people with tales of a how great a football star he was in high school. this dude is basically the al bundy of metal.
    mfkr, I just come here for laughs when I am really board. This whole GC site sucks, the mods suck, they "review" stuff and sell stuff. How can it not be biased?
    slightly off topic but does anyone know what happened to James's guitar tech that played rhythm guitar for him on tour when hetfield broke his arm/wrist ? skating way back in the late 80s / early 90s ? from memory I think his name was john marshall (but it was a long time ago so that could be wrong). cheers