Ian was wondering for years how Anthrax would sound if Joey returned – and admits bandmate Caggiano is a better guitarist

Joey Belladonna and Scott Ian

Frequently wondered question: Belladonna and Ian

Scott Ian reports the immediate response to classic era singer Joey Belladonna’s return to Anthrax was so positive even the crew applauded him – and the guitarist says they usually “couldn’t give a shit.”

Once they started working on new album Worship Music, their first with Belladonna since the band’s time with frontman John Bush, the reunion also answered a question Ian had been wondering about for years.

He tells Music Radar: “There was pressure from myself over the matter of, ‘What’s Anthrax going to sound like in 2011 with Joey?’ Our album Sound of White Noise – what would that have sounded like with him?

“So this big question wasn’t new, but now I was finally going to know the answer.”

Their first hint of a response came the day before they played their first show with Belladonna last year. Ian explains: “We had a rehearsal with Joey and he was unbelievable. He was singing songs from the John Bush era and he just nailed it.

“The crew guys, who couldn’t give a shit, even started cheering once they heard him.”

The guitarist says the positive vibe rolled over into the studio: “He recorded the first track and the producer, Jay Ruston, sent an MP3 to everybody in the band. Within minutes we were all emailing one another going, ‘Holy shit – this is amazing!’”

Ian describes himself as “thrilled” with Worship Music, and reveals the guitar work on the album is led by bandmate Rob Caggiano.

“He’s also a producer for us, and to me he’s the greatest taskmaster. He makes me play better than I can play – because he’s in the band he knows how the guitars should sound.

“He’s very demanding and that’s fine. I want somebody to kick my ass. Honestly, he can play circles around me; I don’t mind saying that. But I do give him input and cheer him along. We each have our specific sound and role, so it works out.”

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