In a statement released March 17, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian announced that he will not play several mid-summer Anthrax appearances in Europe and the U.K., as he and his wife, Pearl, are expecting their first child in July.
Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser will sub for Ian at 11 Anthrax shows from July 2 to July 16, including three Big Four shows. After July 16, Ian will resume duties as Anthrax shredder-in-chief.
Ian said the “deeply personal” decision to sit out so many large festival shows was “relatively easy” given his impending parenthood, but nonetheless not one that was taken lightly, as he has been there for everything Anthrax has done for three decades (Ian is the band’s only constant member). Here is his statement in its entirety:
March 17, 2011
Hello my friends, how are you all? I hope you’re all kicking ass.
I know there’s been a lot of rhetoric out there regarding upcoming Anthrax shows, Big Four and otherwise.
I’ve been debating on whether or not to make a public statement about this, as it really pertains to my personal life and I generally like to keep that personal. Because this is affecting my band life, I feel like you, my friends, deserve to hear from me personally.
I will be playing the Big Four show on April 23 in Indio, Calif., as well as the shows in Manila, Bangkok and Japan that will follow the Indio show.
I won’t be playing the shows scheduled from July 2-16 in Europe and the U.K. My wife, Pearl, and I are expecting our first child, and she is due literally the day of the Big Four Sonisphere show in France.
This decision to miss these shows was a deeply personal one. I co-founded this band on July 18, 1981, and for almost 30 years I have been there for everything we’ve ever done. I have never been faced with anything that would make me even question being there for anything Anthrax-related. Becoming a father is the biggest, best thing that’s ever happened to me, and it made the decision relatively easy. My priority is with my wife and the birth of our first child.
As soon as I was faced with this decision, I knew, as Freddie Mercury so eloquently said, “The show must go on.”
I started thinking about guitar players I knew; guys that I am a fan of; guys that I respect; guys that headbang like Angus was watching them; guys that I listen to and who I thought had the spirit to enable the show to go on.
This wasn’t a hard decision at all. I asked the rest of the band what they thought, and we were on the same page.
We chose Andreas because we feel he can do the gig better than anyone. He has the fire, the attitude and the crushing right hand to do the gig. I’ve played with Andreas at the Roadrunner 25th anniversary show, and I’ve gotten up and played with Sepultura, and we are kindred spirits. We both play every show like we’re going to jail the next day; like it’s the last show we’ll ever play. He has what it takes and he has the experience and history to fucking bring it and make these Anthrax shows something special. I can’t wait to see and hear it for myself!
This year will bring our tenth Anthrax studio record, featuring the return of the one-and-only Joey Belladonna. We’re hard at work finishing it and I can say that from the tracks I have heard, it is going to tear your fucking heads off. I’m looking forward to getting back on the road with the band that is now better than we’ve ever been, and to seeing all your sick faces and banging heads.
Scott Ian will play the following Anthrax dates:
23 Empire Polo Club, Indio, Calif. (Big Four show)
30 Pulp Summer Slam Festival, Manila, Philippines
2 AP Parking, Esplanade, Ratchada, Bangkok, Thailand
5 O-East, Tokyo, Japan
6 O-East, Tokyo, Japan
7 Diamond Hall, Nagoya, Japan
9 Big Cat, Osaka, Japan
Andreas Kisser will play the following Anthrax dates:
2 Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany (Big Four show)
3 Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden (Big Four show)
5 Komplex AG, Zurich, Switzerland
6 Fiera Open Air Arena, Milan, Italy (Big Four show)
8 Sonisphere Festival, Knebworth, England
9 Sonisphere Festival, Amneville, France
11 Garage, Saarbrucken, Germany
12 Vega Musikkenshus, Copenhagen, Denmark
14 Slottsfjell Festival, Tonsberg, Norway
15 Dour Festival, Dour, Belgium
16 Zwarte Cross Festival, Lichtenvoorde, Netherlands