Former ANTHRAX and current ARMORED SAINT singer John Bush has slammed bands who re-record their most iconic songs, saying that he “doesn’t see the point” of “going back and trying to recreate” what they did 25 years earlier.
“It’s weird to me when bands go back and re-record songs and albums,” Bush told Ruben Mosqueda of Sleaze Roxx. “It’s like they’re trying to right a wrong. To me, it’s like who cares? When [ARMORED SAINT] made ‘March Of The Saint’, records were made and sounded like that sounds. Could we have made a better-sounding record now? Of course we could have. Why would we do that? It doesn’t matter. As an old-schooler, I’d be, like, ‘I don’t like it as much, I don’t like it as much.'”
Bush then singled out WHITESNAKE‘s ‘The Purple Album’, which was billed as “a re-imagination of classic songs from David Coverdale‘s time as the lead singer for DEEP PURPLE‘s Mark III and Mark IV studio albums,” as one record that didn’t need to be made.
“Why?” Bush said. “For starters, it isn’t [Ritchie] Blackmore playing on it. I don’t care who is in the band. Ritchie Blackmore has his own style of playing. It’s unique. Ian Paice also has his own style of play. I don’t know. I mean, even [David’s] voice sounds way different than it did then. I’m not saying it’s better or worse; it’s just different. I’d like to hear it live with WHITESNAKE; that’s great. To just redo a bunch of stuff; I just don’t see the point. I don’t like it. As a musician… No, wait — as a fan, I don’t like it. That’s just me. [DEF] LEPPARD did the same thing, I think. That might have been for a different reason or something. Going back and trying to recreate what you did 25 years earlier in a different studio with a different mindset? Sometimes even different players? I just don’t see the point?”
After he was confronted with the fact that he was involved in the making of ‘The Greater Of Two Evils’, a collection of re-recorded older ANTHRAX tunes with Bush on vocals instead of Joey Belladonna, the singer said: “When I recorded ‘The Greater Of Two Evils’ — ironically enough — it wasn’t too long there after that I left the band. In all honesty, knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have done it. The truth of the matter — when I sang those songs live, they were my muse and I gave them all the love I could and I enjoyed performing them. In retrospect, they didn’t need to be re-recorded. I feel the same about I just said about recutting ARMORED SAINT — just with these songs, it was Joey Belladonna singing these songs. I sang those live. I was the singer in the band. I didn’t need to recut them. I guess I’m telling people not to buy that record. [Laughs]”
Back in March 2010 — just a couple of months before Belladonna rejoined ANTHRAX — ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian and his wife Pearl Aday appeared on an episode of VH1’s “That Metal Show” and took part in the program’s “The Throwdown” feature, where the guests and the hosts debated who was the best singer for ANTHRAX: John Bush or Joey Belladonna.
Countering co-host Eddie Trunk’s point that ANTHRAX was in a unique position with Belladonna in the band of being able to “play incredible speed metal” while having “someone who could sing like a bird,” Ian said: “We didn’t need a bird; we needed a lion.”
After Pearl offered that she was a “huge fan” of ‘The Greater Of Two Evils’, Ian said: “And that’s the way we, as ANTHRAX, wanted to hear those songs.”