Interview - John Bush

It's looong way to the top if you wanna rock and roll...

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Sam: How is the new album coming along?
John: "It's going good actually, obviously we took a break to do this tour, but we've got all the drums and guitars, rhythm guitars done and most of the bass. We've gotta finnish a little more bass and the obviously the vocals and then some overdubs, things of that nature, and then mix it. So that'll take place throughout March and into April, plus we're also taking a little break to go to South America, we just got an offer to do 2 shows in South America, one in Chile and one in Sao Paulo, Brazil so that'll be cool. We're stoked about that, we haven't been down to Brazil since '93. So it'll be killer, we're looking forward to that. But it gonna be great, we think the material is real strong, and it sounds like an evolutionary process of growth for the band, it's all good."
Sam: When did you guys decide to just do a break and start touring?
John: "Well, we originally were supposed to do this in September, this tour, and it it kinda coincided with the re-release of the first 2 records that I made with the band on Elektra, Stomp (442) and (The Sound Of) White Noise with all the bonus tracks and stuff, that's kinda why there was a reason to do it then. Otherwise, in a weird way you're right, there was not a real reason to tour, especially since we are trying to finnish our record and get it out by summertime. But, obviously..needless to say, everything changed in September, but the goal was to do it, we wanted to do this tour, we're excited about playing with Judas Priest and stuff so, we're here, and we're having a great time, the tour is awesome, we had alot of fun and we're glad we did it."
Sam: The album is being recorded in NY?
John: "Yeah, we're actually working with Rob the guitar player who's playing with us, touring with us, Rob Cogiano and his partner Eddie, they have their own production company and they are doing a great job. It's gonna be fun, I feel really good about the record, we're gonna play a new song tonight, we've been playing it throughout the tour, it goes over good."
Sam: Now that Stomp 442 has been re-released do think it'll actually get the promotional push that it should've gotten originally?
John: "haha, probably not because the label we are associated with is just kinda viewing it as a catalog record, but at least it's out. There were a few years where it wasn't even out, the record was...3 or 4 years of it almost, being know I kept watching the soundscan numbers drop, drop, drop to the point where I was like, you know it's gonna be zero pretty soon, mainly becuase there's no records out there. So, you know, for my own personal ego, strictly a basis, a reason to just get it out so people have the opportunity buy the record. You know there's alot of people that just didn't know about that record. Now we're going through the same situation with the Volume 8 record because that record, the label folded, we're trying to work it out where we can license the record through another label, but the guy who owns the rights to it, is for whatever reason, not co-operating very well with us. I don't know if he has some animosity or some anger towards Anthrax, I don't know why, but the logic is that he would make money for us to have that record out, so that's real frustrating, it's beyond disheartening for me that that record is...the only ones that are available are the ones that were printed, they aren't making any new ones. We're gonna get it eventually and we'll get it sorted out but it really is just mindless. I don't really understand how somebody in the music business, again this is a person who could make money from this, we're not asking... he owns the rights so...I donno, that's the kind of stuff that makes me want to, well I won't say it, but, frustrated needless to say."
Sam: I've noticed you guys have been hopping around to different labels over the past few years, how is this one working out so far?
John: "Well, we'll see what happens, you know, I mean this label Beyond, we put out the record thru them, the greatest hits record, Return Of The Killer A's, and they also re-released the 2 catalog records, so we'll see what happens. We're not sure, I mean they've been in danger of folding, and they've been talking about being a catalog label only. So we'll see what happens, we're in this weird position where we almost don't want to give somebody a record of all this material that we've worked so hard over just so they can fuck it up, quite frankly. You know the next few months we'll hopefully figure something out and we've got our fingers crossed it'll actually be for the best of the band. To have to go through all this stuff is... and obviously you know, some of the decisions were made by us so, we're obviously partially to blame, it's not like we're just pointing fingers, we made some bad decisions, but hopefully we can get a whole new positive karma going and just...and have a positive feeling about the new records Anthrax makes from here forward."
Sam: All these labels have been merging and going under and bands are left with nothing.
John: "Yeah, I mean that part is a drag because what happens is that, you're getting fewer and fewer people, it comes down to the power it just kinda shifts to a smaller amount of people and what that happens, you don't have as much versalitity, you have as much diversity, because you have fewer people in power and they are making the majority of the decisions, and I think that's bad for anything. I think it would be bad for music, I think it's bad for any kind of art, I think it's bad for politics, I just think that you don't want that, you don't want a handful of people making those kind of decisons. I mean you could even compare it to the situation with Enron. you know what I mean? You need to have independent labels, lots of record labels, lots of people that can contribute to the record buying public, or the movie buying public, it gives alot of different potential things to see and hear and that's a good thing. If everthing starts shifting into one...evenutally I wouldn't be surprised if it was one label, I mean it's 3 or 4 now, major labels. I think it's bad, I think it's bad for the consumers I really do. But hey, try to fight the system as best you can."