Half of heavy metal's Big Four team up in Michigan this weekend

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STERLING HEIGHTS (WJRT) - (09/07/2016) - "I'm a dad, I have a son and my wife, so before we leave for seven week tours we have to make sure everything is done, so it's kind of doing that batten down the hatches before you leave for two months," Anthrax bassist Frank Bello says with a laugh from his home last week. "So i'm finishing up painting my deck as we speak. I'm doin' press and having paint all over me. I think there's more paint on me than the deck!"
Now that his Honey Do list is taken care of, Bello and his bandmates Scott Ian, Joey Belladona, Charlie Benante and Jonathan Donais can move into work mode as they hit the road with their old friends Slayer for a fall tour.
"Obviously we're good friends with Slayer, I mean Kerry King is probably my best friend in this business anyway. So we hang a lot, we have a good time. It's just a good vibe. And if you think the shows are gonna be fun, imagine the backstage on this tour. It's gonna be quite the traveling party backstage and I'm lookin' forward to it."
The second stop of that traveling party hits Freedom Hill Amphitheater in Sterling Heights Saturday. And Bello says he can't wait to hit the Motor City, but not just for the big following the band has here.
"That's gonna be an insane show to begin with, but then I have a lot of great friends around there, and we have some great eating places. Cause let's face it, touring is about eating also, great shows and eating good food around the world. For me that's what it is anyway, and I love it."
Anthrax has plenty of experience of both over the last three and a half decades. And neither has slowed them down a bit, as evidenced by their highly successful new album For All Kings, which gave them just the second top 10 album of their career earlier this year. And Frank says it's incredible to still experience this kind of success in the band's 35th year.
"It's a great thing just to be around, but to be relevant and around. And then For All Kings, for people to be saying 35 years in that this is our finest work, number one it's humbling and number two it just gives us that fire man. Cause I have to say, Anthrax right now as a band is hungrier than we've I think ever been."
For All Kings has gone over so well with fans that Frank says finding room in the setlist for the new material has become a bit of a challenge.
"There's this thing called social media now, where people ask you to play, and we're getting a lot of this, people want to hear the newer songs. And the hardest juggling act is to mix that in with the stuff that you've played and the classic songs that other people wanna hear. It's a balancing act, it's a juggling act, it's a good problem to have."
Speaking of good problems, after such a long career, the band has had to figure out how to continue performing up to the intense level their fans have become accustomed to. And the 51 year old says his doctor may have saved his job a few years back.
"A little over 5 years ago I had a chiropractor that said, 'Look, I can't do anything for you anymore, you need to start doin' yoga.' And not to sound like a guru, I'm no yoga guru at all, but to be quite honest I don't think I'd be able to do anything on stage that I do without yoga."
After all these years, Bello says he's happy to still have the chance to do what he loves, and that the music he helps create still has an audience willing to listen to it.
"At the end of the day, we're just fans who are lucky enough to be able to write music to connect with other fans. I mean that's why you still do it, that's what you live for, that's why you go on the road for seven weeks for that hour, hour and a half up on stage. People ask us why you still do it, are you kiddin' me? I couldn't not do this. I'm havin' more fun than I've ever had."



 
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