Where would thrash metal be without Dan Lilker? A native of Queens, NY, he was the co-founder of Anthrax, along with Scott Ian, as well as Stormtroopers of Death, Nuclear Assault and more recently, Brutal Truth. To use a cliche, if you looked up "metal lifer" in the dictionary, Lilkner's photo would likely be used as reference. Dude was all about it, but with his impending 50th birthday on the horizon, and after doing this for 30 years, Lilker is over it.
I imagine it can't be fun being 50 and doing 9 hour drives in a van, not that he's complaining, he's just done touring, and also disbanding Brutal Truth. Here is a message he just posted:
"A Message From Dan Lilker
I regret to inform Brutal Truth fans that as of October 18th, 2014, I will be retiring from being a full time recording and touring musician. That date is my 50th birthday, so I chose it symbolically as a significant milestone to make such a weighty decision. As a lot of you know, I've been an active member of the metal scene since the early 80s with the thrash metal bands I've been in before the formation of Brutal Truth in 1990, and I'm simply just tired of the rigors of touring mostly. Unlike some of my peers from the 80's who went on to sell millions of records I have always been drawn to extreme underground metal. I don't care about staying in 5 star hotels and having a big cushy tour bus but I am getting tired of squeezing into a van for 8 hours after all these years on the road. I have always played what I believe in and that is been priority #1, but the time has come to have a little bit more stability in my life.
Brutal Truth will still be active on the touring front until mid-October and will aim to do as much as we can in the next 9 months or so. After that, I will still have creative output with my 2 local bands in Rochester NY, Nokturnal Hellstorm and Blurring and do the occasional project tour, but yes, as of mid-October, Brutal Truth will no longer exist. I do realize that will be an extreme disappointment to all the grind freaks out there that have supported this band so rabidly all these years, and your enthusiasm will always have a special place in my heart, but I've made my decision, and I hope everyone can respect that.
Thanks, Dan Lilker"
It's a bummer to see Dan go, but something we hear too often. Playing underground music is not a profitable lifestyle. The guitarist of Aeon recently quit because he couldn't afford being in a band anymore. We hear it all the time.
Dan is a metal fan first, he was the furthest thing from a rock star. When we saw Brutal Truth at Maryland Deathfest V in 2007,as part of their reunion, moments after, Danny was back in the crowd hanging out and watching other bands.
We had a chance to interview Danny that night, and you can watch that below. (Warning: I look incredibly dorky, far more than I do now.)