Joey Belladonna: 'I've Never Really Found My Place With Anthrax ... It Could Be a Whole Lot Better'

Singer makes revealing comments about his relationship with the band.

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In an interview with Sweden Rock Magazine (via Blabbermouth), Joey Belladonna has made some revealing comments about his current relationship with Anthrax.

The singer notes that he has "never really found his place" with the band, in spite of being their singer, off and on, since 1984:

"You're joining four guys that are friends from New York City, and I don't live ... It's like coming into a new neighborhood and trying to get new friends.

"If I walked into Chuck [Billy, Testament singer, who was also present at the time of the interview]'s neighborhood and he's got four of his friends, then I'm, like, this new kid. No matter what you do, it's gonna be hard. They're all so close, unless you actually fit in right away and they're just that cool ... They were open to me, but they weren't doing anything either way to make me feel like it was gonna be the best thing in the world; it was more business-like. 'You wanna join with us, man? It'd be great.'

"Of course, [Anthrax's manager at the time] Jonny Z, was very, very encouraging, 'cause he knew more about what it would be like to have somebody in there that would help make the band right versus a bunch of guys that weren't sitting in the band very well."

The singer went on to note that he doesn't talk with the other members of Anthrax outside of band activities:

"I don't think I've ever really found my place with this band. I mean, as much as we do what we do, it's so corporate in its own way. But, yeah, it doesn't get much better than it is now, but it could be a whole lot better, too, at the same time. [I'm] only allowed so much friendship.

"I don't even talk with [the other guys in the band] right now. I mean, there'll be a few e-mails, but they're so short. It's not like I sit on the horn [telephone] and talk with Charlie [Benante, Anthrax drummer] all day. He don't have time for me. I do, but they just don't, you know?! It's only out of necessity [that they keep in contact with me]. So even back then, I don't think it was anything really that cool. Part of me might not have joined it because it wasn't as open as when I jammed with friends at home and they'd always come over my house all day and play for hours. And we'd go out together and we'd hang out together. Anthrax wasn't like that, you know?!"

Anthrax's follow up to 2011's "Worship Music" is due for release later this year.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This made me feel really sad and sorry for him. If ever you want to join my band Joey, I promise we could talk all day on the phone, share lengthy emails and go out together after practice.
    I always watch videos of Anthrax live and see them as the nicest, happiest of the big four but this makes me feel sad. I think Belladonna's a great guy and while it's obviously not as serious as Slayers problems it's still sad to think about him being left out like that. I dunno man I just hope they become a happy Anthrax family
    Although I enjoy Anthrax with or without Belladonna, I do get the vibe from the band that Scott, Charlie and Frankie are in their own little bubble of friendship and songwriting and don't really let the other two members of the band into that metaphorical bubble, whoever they might be at any particular moment in time, be it Rob Caggiano/John Bush, Rob/Joey or Jon/Joey like it is now. Perhaps when Dan Spitz was in the band, he was part of the bubble and Joey was the only one who was left out of that aspect of the band, but now it seems Dan doesn't have a relationship with the other guys, so Jon Donais is right outside the bubble with Joey. (Heh, look at me overusing a different b-word to the one I'm known for using) I mean, if you pay attention to these new album updates, it's mostly Scott, Frankie and Charlie talking about the direction of the music and their jamming. I mean, do they even invite Joey or Jon/Rob to jam with them or encourage them to contribute to the songwriting at all? Would they accept any real contribution from them? It just makes you wonder what kind of music Anthrax would put out if all five members contributed equally to the songwriting.
    So, if you're right about the jamming and all, if you could describe Scott, Charlie and Frankie in one word, what would it be?
    There's gotta be a Bellendonna joke in there somewhere...even though he's not the offender in this particular scenario.
    Maybe that's how the other members have regarded him from time to time. xD
    It really hits you in the childhood when you see bands that you idolized growing up (Anthrax, Slayer, etc.)Have issues like this, I mean is it really that hard to have a group of musicians with a similar mindset get along and make music? I mean if Rush or Iron Maiden can still do it and get along after all these years why can't these other bands do it as well?
    Just because they both share the same career doesn't mean they're gonna be the same people.
    What kind of a band is Anthrax these days? Rob left because his creative input was let down, and now this. Is it Scott Ian who got a ego-trip? I think it's even worse than all the Slayer/Kerry King stuff
    probably, Scott has always struck me as a control freak, any band that goes through Lead Guitarists and Singers like Anthrax is probably due to one of the members being hard to get along with. (The way Megadeth goes through Lead Guitarists and Drummers).
    I thought Anthrax was one of those bands where it's members were all good friends (like any other band) it's just disappointing read this, I wonder why would he return to a band where is person was never taken into account, it's just... sad
    i dont feel sorry for him at all. i never liked belladonna anyway. think bush is a better singer and a class act
    Sucks if the band really is like that, but I'm with ya on Bush being the better fit for Anthrax...IMO anyway. Dude is a monster on vox.
    Yeah, I kind of felt weird about the fact that Belladonna was singing Dan Nelson's lyrics for some of the songs. I wish they just let him make his own.
    Music is a business. Until music stops being a commodity, you will have bands that get together and stay together for the money. Think about it, the only "friends" in Metallica are James and Lars, everybody else was brought in later. Slayer were guys who all met to start a band. Megadeth was always a professional band. The bands of high school buddies who make it are very few and far between.
    It`s so sad and pathetic, how all these metal bands, their members, their ex members, producers, managers and roadies, virtually everyone who can land a written, audio or video interview, are bitching and moaning and spitting at each other. It`s disgusting to see that there`s no respect and self respect left in the industry. No dignity and no respect for the fans. It`s become 90% bitching, hate, spitting on others and 10% percent music, the reason they`re here and the reason we put up with them. If they were assembly line workers, would anyone of us really care? No. That`s why it`s disrespectful and disgusting. Does anyone want to hear me moaning and bitching about my job, my friends, my boss, girls? Hell no! And you`d be damn right to tell me to **** off with my shit. So, Mr Belladonna, grow up, man up, get your shit together, do whatever the **** you want, stay in Anthrax, leave, whatever, but please stop bitching. You look like a big, overweight bearded pussy.
    I really do feel for Joey. To be in a band for that long, even off and on, you'd think that if there wasn't any conflict within the band itself, then all the members would be more open to each other and treat each other like family. I remember when Joey was announced to return to Anthrax for Worship, and it was seriously a happy moment for me since personally I favour Joey's era in Anthrax. But now it feels like 3 guys and 2 outcasts playing on stage together.