“Frank [Bello, bass] and Charlie [Benante, drums] came out here to my house and we jumped right in in November,” he said. “Not to jinx anything, but things have been going pretty fast creatively, which normally isn’t the case. We’ve got a ton of material; I’m talking 12 songs now, musically arranged. I’m on my fifth and sixth lyrically, and Charlie sent over ideas for two more songs. He even wrote in an email, ‘Now the really good stuff is coming.’ And I was like, ‘Really? The shit we have right now is pretty fucking killer.’
“This could probably be the first time in this band’s history that we’ll go into the studio with more original material than we need. Normally we have nine or 10 songs then do a bunch of covers, but I can safely say this time, we’ll be recording about 15 of our own songs, if not more, which we’ve never had before.
“The vibe has been great. I think we’re all just happy to be doing it because we came off this great run with ‘Worship Music’, two years, 207 shows, and people all over the planet really love that record. It just afforded us the opportunity to do what we love to do, so we can’t wait to get back in and start.”
Asked when ANTHRAX expects to hit the studio, Ian said: “I’d like to think May, so we can get guitar, drums, bass done before we go to Europe. If we could get that done, live with it for a month, then finish the record in July or August, that’d be the perfect-case scenario, but it depends on if we really feel ready or not.”
Regarding whether guitarist Jonathan Donais (SHADOWS FALL) — who joined ANTHRAX in January 2013 following the departure of Rob Caggiano — has been involved in the creative process so far, Ian told Greece’s Metal Kaoz: “He hasn’t contributed to the songwriting at this point, but he’s writing leads, that’s for sure.”
ANTHRAX was nominated for a “Best Metal Performance” Grammy this year for its cover of AC/DC’s “T.N.T.” The track was featured on ANTHRAX’s eight-track EP that pays tribute to the classic songs by some of the band’s favorite acts from the 1970s. The CD was released in North America on March 19, 2013 (MRI/Megaforce), and on March 22, 2013 in Europe (Nuclear Blast).
“Worship Music” has sold more than 110,000 copies in the United States since its September 2011 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.