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JOEY BELLADONNA Says He Never Quit ANTHRAX, He Was "Sideswiped Out"

Despite his return 11 years ago, old wounds are still hard to heal.


Anthrax vocalist Joey Belladonna recently spoke with Beer Rum & Rock N Roll and reflected on his feelings about his exit from Anthrax in 1992. Belladonna was fired by the band as creative differences frayed the band's relationship. Though, Belladonna remains defiant he was not the root of those alleged differences.

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"I didn't quit… Like, I wanted to sit around for 13 years while these guys just kept [going]? People don't wanna hear it, but that's the truth. Why would I quit?" [via Blabbermouth]

"Forget about that record without me," Belladonna continued, seemingly making a reference to Anthrax's 1993 LP Sound Of White Noise, which featured John Bush of Armored Saint on vocals. "I could have been on that record regardless of what they came up with. Let's just pretend they didn't even write that record yet. That record would have been cool too regardless of what you're already familiar with. I'm not saying whatever was on there wasn't right. I was in that car that rode into that record. I got sideswiped out of there.

"So, yeah, I didn't quit," Belladonna added. "I didn't quit anything. I don't want anybody thinking that, 'cause I wouldn't even have the heart to do that." The singer has been question over the years about his return to Anthrax in 2010, with some wondering why he would want to return after an unceremonious departure.

"Some people are, like, 'Why the hell are you back with them? Why would you go back? That's stupid, man. You're an idiot. She cheated on you twice, dude. Don't go back with her. Come on, man. She's just gonna go out with that other guy tomorrow night.'"

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Belladonna also added that, "Every day I walk in their presence in the room knowing that these people felt that way, 'cause I never felt that way about them. I don't feel that way about those people. I respect and I highly recommend everything that they do. And obviously I'm back. And I dig what we're doing right now, I dig what we're doing. But it's hard. It's hard. You get a complex, you know?"

The situation was obviously difficult for all the members of Anthrax. The members opened up about that time in a 40th-anniversary video documenting the recording of Sound Of White Noise.

"There's never an easy way to talk about this stuff," guitarist Scott Ian said. "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.

"Obviously, things are meant to be," Ian added. "I am somewhat of a spiritual person. I've seen and done enough in my life to know that sometimes shit doesn't just happen randomly. 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. That doesn't make it any easier on Joey certainly; there's nothing I can say that ever would."

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Anthrax are currently on tour with Black Label Society and friends Hatebreed in tow. This week, they were forced to drop off the bill twice due to an unspecified medical issue within the band. We're wishing the band well and hope everything is OK.

8/12 House of Blues, Orlando, FL
8/13 The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC
8/15 The Andrew J Brady Music Center, Cincinnati, OH
8/16 Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN
8/18 The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD
8/19 Main Street Armory, Rochester, NY
8/20 The Fillmore, Detroit, MI (no Hatebreed)
8/22 StageAE Outside, Pittsburgh, PA
8/23 History, Toronto, ON CANADA
8/24 Amphitheatre Cogeco, Trois Riviere/Montreal, QC
8/26 Coney Island Amphitheater, Brooklyn, NY
8/28 The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA (no Hatebreed)

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Courtesy of Charlie Benante.