In the latest episode of the Fret 12 series “The Sound And The Story”, ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello talks about harnessing energy through metal, touring with METALLICA, and the importance of work ethic in a nonexistent music industry.
Said Bello: “As we all know, there’s no music industry. That’s why ANTHRAX plays so much. I mean, every band has to tour more. We started this tour off with… Now we’re on a six-[shows]-in-a-row [schedule], and that’s a break. Six in a row is a break. This is the way it is now — you have to go out and make the money. As I say, the blue-collar thing comes into play, and that work ethic kind of works in your mind. You have to stay on the road. I don’t normally have this hoarse voice every say, but with this [kind of touring schedule], you do. Illegal downloading is alive and well. You put out a record, even the biggest of big bands don’t sell what they used to. You accept it, ’cause that’s just the way it is. You have to be on the road and package the bands together to get the most people in there.”
Despite this, Bello remains hopeful that the heavy metal genre will survive and produce quality new acts worthy of carrying the torch into the next decade.
“it’s a hard business,” he said. “If it’s not here [points to his chest] and you have to do it, then I would definitely get a degree. You know what I mean? But, look, I got lucky. It’s a lot of luck too. It was a different business back then, but somehow, if you really want it… I look at the early days of thrash — METALLICA, ANTHRAX, SLAYER [and] MEGADETH — I look at that… There was no real movement. We were creating this thing. So that was from the ground up. So I have hope that if you really want it, you can do that, because I wanna be positive about it. ‘Cause it’s been so good to us, I kind of wanna pass the torch. And it’s been so good to us, I wanna see it carry on. So I’m hoping that there’s these young musicians out there that have that fire and really fucking live it, like we did and still are. I want that and I acknowledge it and I wanna push it and I wanna promote it. So if it is out there, go for it.”