It’s thirty years now that Anthrax have been thrashing their way across the musical landscape – that’s a whole lotta thrashin!
Changing fashions haven’t affected them, switches in personnel haven’t softened them, and age cannot weary them – Anthrax is touring again.
An initial slew of 23 dates between April 24th and June 2nd sees them carving up the US and Canada alongside Danish rockers Volbeat. It looks like a marriage made in whatever the metal version of heaven might be.
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Through all the years, the one constant presence has been guitarist Scott Ian, who shows no sign of slowing down or losing his musical bite as the years roll by. But Ian has another, more cerebral string to his axe – and it’s not one that everybody knows about.
Ian is quietly establishing a profile for himself on the professional poker circuit, travelling around and playing the very popular game texas hold’em. He has recorded winnings of $32,454 in the ultra-competitive World Series of Poker – not bad for a man who has to fit his gaming around a day job that isn’t exactly 9-5.
What’s more, it turns out Ian sees the poker circuit as more “rock ‘n’ roll” than life on tour with the band these days. He told poker site bluff.com in 2009 “…poker players are way more over the top than most rock stars these days…. the shit that goes on and the retarded amount of money that gets thrown around on stupid shit is more than I’ve ever seen rock stars ever do.”
It turns out poker is the staple down-time activity for the band backstage.
You’d expect someone with Ian’s full on persona to be a raging bull at the card table, but by all accounts he is a cool and calculating operator – regularly winning praise for the intelligence and restraint in his play.
This is the Anthrax guitarist we’re talking about.
Obviously the thrash metal genre isn’t everybody’s first choice – easy listening it is not. But you have to admire the sheer dogged determination that has seen them crunch their way through the ups and downs of three decades in a business that is famously brutal – and that’s without the after show distractions.
There is no danger of anything as rose tinted as a nostalgia tour – Anthrax don’t do rose tints unless it involves a tattooist’s needle, and they most certainly don’t’ do nostalgia. Don’t expect anything other than the same crunching, full-in-your-face celebration of rebellion that they’ve always delivered as they stomp their way across the country. When the chips are down, Anthrax won’t disappoint!
5/01/15 – Grande Prairie, AB – Revolution Place
5/02/15 – Edmonton, AB – Rexall Place
5/03/15 – Calgary, AB – Calgary Stampede Corral
5/04/15 – Saskatoon, SK – SaskTel Centre
5/06/15 – Regina, SK – Brandt Centre
5/12/15 – Oshawa, ON – General Motors Centre
5/13/15 – Ottawa, ON – TD Place
5/14/15 – Quebec City, QC – Quebec Colisee Pepsi
5/15/15 – Montreal, QC – CEPSUM Montreal