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The Anthrax Baby

Scott Ian of Anthrax rocks out. Image by Zach Petersen.
Renowned Heavy Metal Icon Scott Ian Trumpets His First Skipped Shows With The Band He Founded

By Brad Hamilton
Modern Times Magazine

March 22, 2011 — Scott Ian, founder of the band Anthrax and a man who many think spurned the resurgence of the long chin beard, will break a string of thousands of concerts played with the group for the birth of his first child.

Aww, how sweet.

Sweet, yes, but this guy is a heavy metal legend. He is someone who pioneered the rap/metal genre as well as blazing new trails as a chin beard aficionado.

Hell, his band was named after the disease that he and co-founder Danny Lilker saw listed in a biology textbook, and used the moniker because it sounded "sufficiently evil.”

This on-stage madman and one-time “Soldier of Metal” has a softer side.

Will Anthrax soon be recording children-themed metal classics?

We take him at his word that this was a personal decision as he explained in his press release.

“I've been debating on whether or not to make a public statement about this as it really pertains to my personal life and I generally like to keep that personal. Because this is affecting my band life, I feel like you, my friends, deserve to hear from me personally,” he said.

He says this is a public statement rather than a personal one, then he calls all the fans his friends. Huh?

“This decision to miss these shows was a deeply personal one. I co-founded this band July 18, 1981 and for almost thirty years, I have been there for everything we've ever done. I have never been faced with anything that would make me even question being there for anything Anthrax related. Becoming a father is the biggest, best thing that's ever happened to me and it made the decision relatively easy. My priority is with my wife and the birth of our first child,” he continued.

He then went on to justify the decision by quoting the front-man of the band, Queen.

“As soon as I was faced with this decision, I knew, as Freddie Mercury so eloquently said, ‘the show must go on.’”

The whole thing was just weird.

No one can fault the man for being a grownup who wants to be near his wife, Pearl Aday, a singer and daughter of Meat Loaf, and new child. But the whole thing is just weird. Even though he might be there when the baby is first born, unless he plans on stopping touring for the next two years, he won’t see the kid much.

Maybe, what happened is some promoters and managers thought the upcoming Big 4 European tour might be more like the “Big 3” tour if Scott Ian did not trot out on the stage with Anthrax. His mug is synonymous with Heavy Metal and the band has been as much about his look and attitude than any other aspect.

By making a press spectacle of the whole she-bang, those fans throughout Europe who will see an Anthrax show without Ian will feel like there was a good reason why. They can tell their friends, “I saw one of the Anthrax shows without Scott Ian.”

They also will all know about his replacement, Andreas Kisser from the band Sepultura, before they even walk into the arena. The announcement probably got more media attention for Kisser and Sepultura than they have had in years.

“We chose Andreas [Kisser from Sepultura] because we feel he can do the gig better than anyone. He has the fire, the attitude, and the crushing right hand to do the gig. I've played with Andreas at the Roadrunner 25th anniversary show, and I've gotten up and played with Sepultura and we are kindred spirits. We both play every show like we're going to jail the next day, like it's the last show we'll ever play. He has what it takes and he has the experience and history to fucking bring it and make these Anthrax shows something special. I can't wait to see and hear it for myself!!” Ian said.

There he goes again. He plays like he is “going to jail the next day,” but is taking time off to be at home with his kid.

Must be more of the public persona.

All in all, though, a decent public relations stunt combined with a fatherly moment...even if it is just a little weird.

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