Scott Ian: 'I Don't Even Know How the Music Business Works Anymore'

Anthrax guitarist admits he doesn't know what advice he would give to a new band.

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Anthrax axeman Scott Ian admitted that the only advice he could give to new bands would be on a creative level, seeing how drastically the music industry has changed since he entered it. As Ian himself put it, he doesn't "even know how the music business works anymore."

"The business has changed so much now as compared to when we started," Ian told the National Student. "I wouldn't be able to give advice on a band as to how to do it, because I don't even know how the music business even works anymore."

The guitarist continued by saying that a group should always stick to their guns and do what they think is right. "The only advice I can give on a creative level, whatever music you love and whatever you love to play as a musician and song writer, that's what you have to do and don't ever listen to what anyone else has to say as to what you have to play or what's trendy because that's what we did.

"We only ever played the music that we wanted to play against everything at the time. If we had listened to what people were saying to us in 1981, we'd have just been a Van Halen cover band. We only ever cared about the music we wanted to play so stayed focused and on that path and never ever strayed from that."

The guitarist also stressed that simply playing the music you love is by no means a recipe for success on its own, but is definitely something that will make you happy. "That's the only reason why I've ever done this," Ian said, "it makes me happy."

The latest Anthrax reports say that the band is "getting the itch" to write new music, with most of the details still remaining unknown.

The group's current release, "Worship Music," dropped back in September 2011 via Megaforce/Nuclear Blast Records as the tenth Anthrax studio effort. With 28,000 copies shipped in the US within the first week, it peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 chart.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    My advice to a new band: Play music at as many shows as you can, if you're enjoying it and so's the crowd; keep doing it. Otherwise, change your direction or just end the band; perhaps it's not your thing. There's really no advice better than 'Just enjoy it!'.
    fast forward 10 years (maybe even now): the typical teenager never comes in physical contact with any of the music they 'own'. pirating is unavoidable. sales of digital music are pretty much hopeless. a band's only hope is through (in no particular order): 1)fan-based fundraising sites 2)live show tickets/sales 3)merch 4)skype-type lessons opt 5)leasing of your song(s) to tv-networks/ads/films if you need your music/art to make your living, these 'products' need to be able to sell themselves. otherwise stick to your day job and become a weekend warrior original band that doesn't tour except for when you can all get time off at the same time touring requires lots of gas and food. bands are going to have to find a way for fans to 'come to them' (online streaming, etc) to see them perform. interesting. the most efficient DIY'ers will "prosper", i suppose. good. luck.
    I have noticed alot of musicians giving skype lessons or showing up at someones house for a half hour while on tour to give lessons.
    Thank God someone's being honest and not claiming to know something he doesn't.