Anthrax Guitarist Scott Ian chats with Entertainment Reporter Whitney Ullman about their new “Indians” single barrel bourbon and other random facts. Check it out:
Whitney: Anthrax was nominated six times for a Grammy, and now you’re working on a new album. Tell us about it?
Scott: It’s not much to say. We’ve been in the recording studio on and off since early December, tracking songs and finishing them. So, it’s still very much a work in progress.
Whitney: Cool, so then how did the Bourbon brand come about?
Scott: It’s just something that came across our plate. We got an offer to do this and it just seemed like a good idea. I like to drink bourbon so it just seemed like something fun to check out. They sent me little barrel samples, and I actually got to taste all these barrel samples and see which one I like the best. And, then, we took it from there. It was very much spearheaded by the brother of the woman who heads our record label. He has a place down in Atlantic City and it’s a pretty fancy pants bourbon bar. He’s the guy that put it all together, so, I picked the sample and, then, you know, we got it done. And, we only did like a hundred and fifty bottles or something in the barrel; we did one barrel just to see how it would go, and it sold out. So, I guess people were into the idea.
Whitney: Yeah, I mean it’s a great idea. And, of course, I know Mark from the Iron Room and the Atlantic City Bottle Company. So, it’s really awesome that you guys went that route and sold out right away.
Scott: Yeah, I mean a lot of bands have, kind of, opened their door and are either doing beer or wine, or, things like that, and, we just kinda felt like if we were ever gonna do something like that we just didn’t wanna do the same thing, you know. Or, just stick our brand on a really crappy bottle of wine, which is what most people are doing or, in the case of Iron Maiden, they did their Trooper Ale in England, and it’s, you know, it’s massive. I mean, we didn’t have any expectations like that. So, I figured, let’s do something that I would drink, and I like to drink bourbon. I just wasn’t sure, you know, if a sixty dollar or seventy dollar bottle of bourbon was gonna be something that our fans would gravitate towards but they did. People were into it. So, it’s nice to see that people like to drink good booze.
Whitney: Of course! So, how did you decide on “Indians” as the final name?
Scott: It’s from one of our songs, we were just trying to think of something that sounded like classic Anthrax without calling it Anthrax Bourbon, or Anthrax Whiskey, or, you know, instead of just putting our name on it. Indians just sounded classic to us, and at the same time it would remind people of Anthrax without just sticking our name on the bottle.
Whitney: That’s really cool. You have a lot of fans in our area and one of the big questions people wanted to know was, “How did it feel to be the first metal band to do a collaborative song with Public Enemy?”
Scott: How did it feel?
Whitney: Yeah, I mean, at that point in time it was very rare for a metal band to merge with hip-hop, so what was the inspiration for that? Who’s idea was it? How did it come about?
Scott: We just were fans of Public Enemy. There really wasn’t much thought behind it. I only ever look at music in two ways: it’s either good or bad. So, the genre difference had never meant anything to me. I had already been listening to rap music since 1981, so, for me, it was just that. I just wanted to work with Chuck D. It was just as simple as that.
Whitney: Okay, wow. Let’s talk about a recent interview you did where you stated that you’re not a big fan of the Internet. Can expand on that? Now-a-days it could really help you in terms of promoting you, and getting you to the next level.
Scott: There was no problem with promoting ourselves before the Internet. I’ll leave it at that.
Whitney: So, you don’t even like social media?
Scott: I have fun with it sometimes, yes. But, I don’t see it as the great promotional tool that maybe other people see it as. Things were much better pre-internet for the music business, and I don’t think I need to– I think the facts speak for themselves.
Whitney: Yeah, okay. What about right now, in the news? Is there anything going on that you’re really passionate about?
Scott: No, I don’t watch the news.
Whitney: No? Okay. Wow! Alright. Talk to us about going on tour this year, do you have any plans to come to Atlantic City?
Scott: I don’t know. As far as I know, not yet but that doesn’t mean we won’t be, you know we’ll be starting a touring cycle at the end of April, and the record will be out later this year, probably. So, we may get there at some point.
Whitney: Have you ever been to Atlantic City before?
Scott: Yeah, yeah, many times.
Whitney: Yeah, what do you like best about it? Or, do you have a place you like to go?
Scott: I’m looking forward to going to Mark’s bar.
Whitney: Yeah! Okay, well that’s good. I’m sure he’ll be happy to hear that. I’ll make sure to tell him you said that.
Scott: I mean– I would– maybe I should just keep my mouth shut, but– hopefully, people in Atlantic City have a sense of humor about their city, but I find it to be pretty bleak. I mean– the only Atlantic City I know is the crappy casinos ‘cause that’s all I’ve ever seen or been to. And, you know, compared to Vegas, it’s just– it’s kind of a bummer. But I don’t know anything else.
Whitney: You should come back. I can understand where you are coming from, but there’s so much to do in Atlantic City, a lot of entertainment and food and nightlife and the casinos. So, it IS fun, you just have to give it a chance next time you’re here.
Whitney: Can you tell me about yourself, like who were some of your heroes growing up?
Scott: Just all the music I was listening to: from KISS, ACDC, I don’t know, Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin, The Ramones, just all of that kind of stuff.
Whitney: One of your fans wants to know more about your first time drinking with Lemmy story, are you still friends? Do you have any projects with him?
Scott: Yeah, we’re still friends. No, we don’t have any projects.
Whitney: Nothing. Okay. Another fan wanted to know how did the “Storm Troopers of Death” come about?
Scott: I was drawing a comic book, but didn’t know how to get a comic book published so it became an album.
Whitney: Okay, great. Is there anything else you want to share with your fans?
Whitney: Well, this has been–
Scott: It’s all out there on the Internet. They can find everything they want out with Google.