Anthrax Say Decision to Fire Joey Belladonna in 1992 ‘Was Never Personal’
In a new video looking back on Anthrax's 1993 album Sound Of White Noise, current and former members of the band reflected on the group's decision to fire original vocalist Joey Belladonna in 1992.
The video is part of a series in which the band and other members of the music industry discuss the thrash group's legacy in celebration of their 40th anniversary.
Belladonna was Anthrax's original vocalist from 1984 to 1992 when he was replaced by John Bush.
Of the decision to let him go in 1992, guitarist Scott Ian said it wasn't an easy decision, but the other members were united in the choice.
"There's never an easy way to talk about this stuff," he said [transcribed by Blabbermouth]. "Certainly when you're in the thick of it, when it's happening, it's horrible when you're having to make a decision like this. But it just really came down to, creatively, we all just felt like there was just no way for the band to move forward. We had just hit a wall. It was the heaviest decision in the history of the band, certainly. And even that I feel like doesn't give it the weight that it needs. And there was never anything personal with Joey — it was never personal with him. It just really came down to the creative ability for the band, honestly, to move forward. And I hate that it's something that happened."
Ian went on to say that while unfortunate, the way things went down were meant to be.
"The way everything worked out in the end, with Joey coming back in 2010, and the band, for the last 11 years, being creatively better than we've ever been and in a better place than we've ever been, I have to say that I really believe that it all worked out for some reason, he shared. "That doesn't make it any easier on Joey certainly; there's nothing I can say that ever would."
Bassist Frank Bello said that it's hard to talk about even now.
"It was a hard thing when Joey was out," he said. "It was a change, but I think it was best for the band 'cause of where we were going. It was a hard decision. I think we were going in a different way musically, and you could hear it."
And drummer Charlie Benante shared his thoughts on the situation, too.
"The 1991 me was more arrogant than I am now," Benante admitted. "Because the problem is I love Joey so much, and at the time we were different people doing it, and we felt this was the only thing for us to take us into the next level or the next chapter of the band. Yeah, it was tough."
Belladonna officially returned to Anthrax in 2010 and appears on their most recent album, 2016's For All Kings.
Check out the full Sound Of White Noise discussion below.
Anthrax 40 'Sound Of White Noise' Discussion
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