Aidin Vaziri | It’s been more than 20 years since Anthrax appeared at a Bay Area amphitheater with lead singer Joey Belladonna. The thrash-metal greats will make up for it with an appearance at the Mayhem festival at Shoreline, on a bill that includes fellow stalwarts Slipknot, Slayer and Motorhead. Anthrax will appear on a side stage – by choice – playing a frills-free set revisiting material from its numerous gold and platinum releases from the past three decades, as well as its most recent studio album, “Worship Music.” We spoke with guitarist and founding member Scott Ian, 48.
Scott Ian of Anthrax
Q: While most bands fight for headline slots at festivals, you guys actually wanted to play the side stage at Mayhem. What were you thinking?
A: We’d rather headline a side stage than open a main stage. It’s simple math. One of the most thankless sets you can play is at 5:30 p.m. on a main stage to a bunch of empty seats.
Q: Singer Joey Belladonna quit the band in 1990 and rejoined two years ago. Were there any hard feelings?
A: There were no hard feelings. The decision was made in 15 minutes over coffee in New York. Once everybody committed to moving forward, I don’t think anyone had anything else to think about.
Q: Last year you did the Big Four shows with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. At what point do you think heavy metal will start taking its toll on your body?
A: It hasn’t yet. Metal has been good for me. I know physically I’m in better shape than I was 20 years ago.