The early 90s were a curious time for metal. Some of the genre's biggest names, from Mötley Crüe to Iron Maiden, made the baffling decision to part ways with their iconic singers. Anthrax, fresh off the thrash masterpiece Persistence of Time and riding the "rap metal" wave with Public Enemy, joined the trend, leaving fans scratching their heads.
Their $10 million Elektra deal couldn't mend the cracks. Joey Belladonna, the band's fiery frontman, was out, replaced by Armored Saint's John Bush for 1993's Sound of White Noise, a record that took the band down a different sonic path. But did the band actually improve with the switch?
If you ask Belladonna, who reunited with Anthrax in 2010, he doesn't think so. Candidly speaking about the subject on the Chuck Shute Podcast, Joey offered his perspective. "I didn't see anything really… 'Oh my God, now they've really figured it out' or 'It's so much better.' It was different — I'll give them that. But it wasn't anything like, 'Holy cow, man. Boy, they should have done that a long time ago, forget it.' I mean, other than somebody going, 'Hey, it's different — I kind of like the different twist.' But it wasn't, to me, for the better."
And the timing? Let's just say it was about as smooth as a mosh pit after a power outage, according to Belladonna own opinion: "I mean, we were smoking. Right after Persistence of Time, we were going. Things were rolling there. You just said it right out of the box – you did this deal, and all of a sudden, now you're gone? Yeah, it's really wrong. I'm not a vindictive person – we tried to work things out to be able to say goodbye, just as well enough for, 'Eh, OK.' I'm just not into the whole fight of it all, but you know what? It's an ongoing battle just as well to try to keep myself on a level of fairness."
Despite the drama, Belladonna assures us there's no bad blood between him and his bandmates today: "We are a band that's tight, and it works great. And why not? Find a way, figure it out, try to do something that will be long-lasting, and enjoy what you have. And understand that this is a great situation to be in, where you got four out of five people that are really capable of doing everything they can do musically and live – it's quite good."