"It's a very intense record..." - hmv.com talks to Anthrax's Scott Ian
Metal veterans Anthrax release their brand new album For All Kings today (you can preview and purchase it on the right-hand side of the page) and to celebrate we chatted with guitarist and key songwriter Scott Ian to find out all about how it came together, the effect new guitarist Jonathan Donais has had on the band and why this is a dark record for dark times...
When did you start work on For All Kings?
"We started writing in early 2013. We wrote all the way through until the end of 2014 and then we started recording so it’s a pretty long process but we don’t rush it."
How did you want the album to move on from Worship Music?
"We don't make any plans, to sound different or to ‘build on the last album’ or whatever we just get in a room and write music that makes us bang our heads and we want to hear."
This is your first album with Jonathan Donais in your ranks, what has he given you?
"Jon's solos on the record are incredible. His feel for the songs and what they needed was intuitive and the energy in his playing is intense. He writes songs with his solos so I guess that was something we didn’t have the last time round back with Worship Music… It’s added a lot."
You worked with Jay Ruston on the album, what did he give you as a producer?
"Jay has a way of working you as hard as you've ever worked in the studio without it feeling like you're working hard. He keeps everything cool. He also makes our records sound the best they have ever sounded."
Which of the songs on the album took the most work to get right? And which came together most instantly?
"'Blood Eagle Wings' took the most time and it was worth it. It's the centerpiece of the record. I think 'Zero Tolerance' may have been the song that came together the fastest."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Does it have a unifying theme?
"The unifying theme would be that all the lyrics come from something that moves me enough to be able to take that emotion and put it into lyrics. Whether it be anger, fear, love, happiness, sadness etc. etc., it has to be something I am passionate about. That being said, it's a very intense record lyrically about what I see wrong with the world."
Why did you decide on For All Kings as the album’s title? Were there any other titles in contention?
"No that was the one. It resonates deeply and felt right. It’s an intense record but there is a silver lining ‘For All Kings’ is basically saying that everybody could be a king it’s a message of hope amongst all the negativity."
What are your plans to take the album out live? Are you booked for many festivals?
"We start touring with Iron Maiden next week in Mexico, Central America and South America and I absolutely can’t wait to be flying in the Ed Force One with them between shows it’s gonna be incredible. After that we will play festivals in the USA, Europe and the U.K. until the end of the summer. In the UK we’re doing Bloodstock in August and we’re doing some Irish shows around that too because we didn’t get to play there on the last run with Slayer atthe end of last year. We plan on being on the road for this record until the end of 2017 at least so there’s plenty still to happen."
Anthrax's new album For All Kings is out now and available to purchase from our online store by clicking on the icon on the right-hand side of the page.