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20 Questions With Charlie Benante, 9/19/00



Anthrax Drummer Charlie Benante

Frank & Charlie holding our Fancy Ass Shirt.
The photo is blurry because beer was spilled in the camera.  Pretty metal.

We’ll start this 20 Questions off with the photo to your left.  It’s Anthrax bassist Frank Bello and Charlie holding up our Metal Sludge Fancy Ass Shirt!  Neat huh?  We thought you’d enjoy that.

This is our second interview with a member of Anthrax, the first of course being Scott.  Well third if you count Paul Crook, but since he’s not a member, we can’t count him.  Sorry Paul.  

Anyways, Charlie emailed us a few weeks back so hit his ass up for 20 Questions.  Here they are, enjoy!

1. What are you currently up to? This is the only chance to plug your shit so get it out of the way now.
I’m currently writing music for the upcoming ANTHRAX record. I think it sounds MEAN, ANGRY, POWERFUL and BEAUTIFUL. I want anthrax to explore hip hop with this one, WORD BOOTY! I wanna jump on the hip hop bandwagon YO, cheez for all da boyz

2.  What’s the real reason why Anthrax left the Motley tour and who’s decision was it?
UHHHHHHHHHHHH… The drum riser we had was higher than motleys, so we left. I think it was because of the back up singers, they didn’t like our brand of MUSIC.

3.  What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?

4.  What do you think about Metallica suing Napster?
I’m split on this one. I think as an artist I don’t agree with it, but who doesn’t like free shit?? I also think metallica got a lot of press over it, that’s a good thing. I wonder … if college kids can afford a cd burner and recordable cd’s , why can’t they afford to buy a cd??

5.  Rate the following drummers on a scale of 1 to 10.  1 being somebody with shitty timing and 10 being a drum god.
Peter Criss = 8, big influence on me when I was growing up, great snare sound on R & R over
Samantha Maloney = 6, one of the best female drummers , fit well in HOLE
Tommy Lee = 8, good and solid, great showman, he dissed me at this years ozzfest, still wondering why???
Rikki Rockett = ?
Blas Elias = ?
Lars Ulrich = 7, he thinks really good but never plays all the stuff live
Vinnie Paul = 8, great drummer and a good friend. I love his approach on mixing drums with heavy guitars, so aggressive and you hear everything, SOLID!!!
Mike Portnoy = 7, good drummer and a good guy
Alex Van Halen = 8, He has one of my favorite snare drum sounds, GOD I LOVE IT!! he also does one thing that I love, he always rides on the crash, giving that "crash/wash" sound
Nicko McBrain = 8, great drummer and friend, I love nicko’s foot, one of the best

Peter Criss and Charlie

6.  How much was your biggest music related check for and what did you do with it? I
don’t remember and I probably paid too much tax on it anyway, FUCK THE IRS in the ass till they gush blood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7.  Scott and John do a majority of the talking for the band. Why do you and Frankie remain quiet? Is it on direct orders from Scott?
I think scott likes the sound of his voice and he is jewish (milano reference)  I think I just say what I need to say when I need to say it, I leave more to the imagination. I do most of the behind the scenes stuff anyway.

8.  Is Paul Crook a member of Anthrax yet?
soon… we’ve been talking about it again, we’re waiting for the right time, oh SHIT! he may read this, disregard everything I said

9.  What do you think of Dan Spitz’s new found spirituality and don’t you think he’s milking it to plug his projects?

10.  Which do you prefer:
Playing guitar or drumming = I feel safe behind my drums but love playing guitar, I play everyday
S.O.D. or P.O.D. = V.O.D.
Joey Belladonna or Dan Spitz = Help them JEEBUS. I feel weird answering this question… I’ll say NEIL TURBIN and that’s my final answer
Debbie Gibson or Britney Spears = I’d like to SPEAR both of them
Chuck D or Flavor Flav = If I want to sit down and talk?, it’s CHUCK, if I wanna party? it’s FLAVA
Slipknot or Sevendust = slipknot
Jani Lane or Mark Slaughter = who
Al Bundy or Homer Simpson = jeebus, how can you even ask?? HOMER DAMMIT!
Evan Seinfeld or Jerry Seinfeld = ELAINE BENES
Getting a quick blow job in the dressing room or full on sex in the back lounge = The dressing rooms too crowded, I’ll go to the back of the bus

11.  Is the only reason John Bush is in the band because he’s the only person you guy’s could find who Scott could dunk a basketball on?
UHHHHHH, danny spitz was in the band, HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12.  What rock star deserves a kick in the balls and why?
carson daly, he’s treated like a fucking rock star, why are his 15 minutes lasting so long??

13.  Due to all the shit that the band has gone thru – label changes, lack of promotion, change of musical styles – has there been a time when you and/or the band has come close to calling it a day?
In my head? yes, only because of the business, not because of a lack of creativity or excitement. I have my doubts whether this whole thing will ever turnaround. The way the music business is structured, it’s become harder and harder to get your music heard. When something catches on, every label goes and gets one of the same, then they ruin it…oh well it is america

14.  Give us an example of how cheap Motley Crue is?
NIKKI wouldn’t lend me money for a pretzel outside the venue

15.  Give us a tour memory from the following cities:
Chicago =  I love chicago for more reasons than one. I remember it being like a second home for us. The best crowds, great people, great shows.
Detroit = My friend pablo was in town one night when  we were playing detroit, he had a rental car that we took to a strip club. I remember driving there and saying "you drive too slow, I’m driving back" , cut to me driving back with a packed car. I’m doing 95/100 in a 55 mph zone, OH SHIT! flashing lights behind us. A big state trooper  gets out and say’s the usual," license and reg." blah blah blah, comes back and say’s I have to give him 100.00  plus the fine on the spot or he’s going to "impound" the car (someone wants to make some money tonight). I don’t believe this! everyones flipping because we just spent everything at the strip club ( n booze) so… we scrounge up some cash and convince him to just take 100.00 and I’ll pay the rest later by mail, he agree’s and lets us go, I’ll never drive in detroit again
Atlanta = some skinheads came to the show, one threw a bottle on stage and hit scott, we ended the show
Tampa = hot
Los Angeles = no radio station for ROCK
Denver = can’t breathe
Seattle = I’ll have a cafe mocha half caff, love that town
Boston = good chowder
New York = home
Philadelphia = cheessteak and a bunch of good friends
Dallas = good town with some very good friends

16.  Who’s the most overrated band today?
metallica or korn

17.  Back in the day Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax all seemed to be sort of a movement of heavier music. Obviously we know who made all the cash. You guys got the short end of the stick as far as success goes. What are your old and newest opinions of these 80s metal bands?
Metallica = great band, but I wonder how they wrote those songs back then when I hear what they’re writing now?????
Megadeth = I like the first 2 records
Slayer = the ramones of metal, I love hell awaits and reign

18.  Why is Metallica afraid of taking you guys out on tour with them?

19.  Why is it that you come up with all the guitar parts for Anthrax?  Can’t Scott ever come up with any riffs?  What’s up with that?
back when we were writing "spreading the disease" scott took over the lyrics and I took over more of the music, it’s been that way since. I come in the body of the song, scott will change a riff here or there, frankie or john will add something here or there and the same goes with the lyrics. I love writing music, it’s the best thing, being creative, writing music always makes me feel like I’ve accomplished another chapter in my life someway.

20.  Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association.  We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.

Joey Belladonna = I always had a soft spot for him but after he pulled out of the tour this year that spot has turned to stone
Brent your webmaster = creative , witty, horny, smart and a great asset to our club
Dan Spitz = I misses him sometimes but after I found out that it was him who turned joey away from us I reconsidered
Vince Neil = never said one word to him
Dave Mustaine = We talked alot on that tour, he’s a smart man and knows what he wants, I think he has another side to him, but it never comes out with me
Kiss = I know people rag on them for milking it, maybe I did a bit too, BUT! I still feel like a kid again whenever I’m around them or see them perform, the hair still stands up on my arms, thats gotta say something
Dee Snider = A great guy and a great talent, he blew me away when we did that AC DC song together
Tommy Lee = THEN-good drummer, married a hot girl, had his own dvd, put a drum kit on a roller coaster- NOW-still a good drummer but doesn’t play much drums , splits with hot wife, doesn’t ride roller coasters anymore, goes hip hop and disses me at the ozzfest, still wondering why?? am I obsessing over this?
Sebastian Bach = my favorite broadway performer
Snake Sabo = A very good friend of mine, I’m happy to say that there are people in this business who remain on the ground, he’s one
Fred Durst = bought me dinner once

For more fun and games, you can visit www.anthrax.comScott Ian also did a Tour Diary for us over the Summer, okay it wasn’t over the Summer it was only for the month of July, but if you’d like to reminisce about that you can go to the Anthrax Tour Diaries!

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