Anthrax - Persistence Of Time released - The studio sessions
When Anthrax finished their tour with Iron Maiden in 1989 they decided it was time to evolve with recording a new album. Not everyone in the band agreed on the new sound evolution, It started a rift with the band. After some arguments and disagreements the album Persistence of Time finally came out on 21st August 1990.
Scott Ian (Guitar) and Charlie Benante (Drums) wanted to write a darker album with mid-tempo riffs and lyrics about social discord and prejudice. Frank Bello (Bass) felt frustrated with the rejection of some of his song ideas. Joey Belladonna (vocalist) wasn't getting on the wave length of the more brutal and bleak sound Anthrax was heading for.
Anthrax wrote the songs for the album and Scott Ian showed the lyrics he wanted to Joey Belladonna. Belladonna took the the approach of the same melodic sound he smashed on previous albums. Ian tried to convince Belladonna to take a more venomous approach to the vocals.
Among The Thrash
â€œWe wanted to be taken as seriously musically as Judas Priest or Iron Maiden. It had not quite been three years since we put out Among the Living, which was totally thrash, but we already felt so far removed from that scene. I think we also felt that we were bigger and better than just a thrash band.â€ Said Scott Ian
He continued â€œWorking on that record was just not fun. We busted our balls to get those songs right, and to get Joey to learn them, and of course, he learned them. He sang them, but they donâ€™t sound like theyâ€™re supposed to sound. If you listen to that record, and you just listen to the music, itâ€™s much deeper, denser and darker than anything weâ€™d ever done, and it has more in common with Sound of White Noise, musically, than it does State of Euphoria.â€
The rift between Ian and Belladonna grew as the two were on different wave lengths. â€œMy marriage was ending and suddenly everything seemed very different in the world to me than it did before,â€ Tells Ian. â€œIt quickly got to the point where I couldnâ€™t stand listening to Joey sing my words. I hated what he was doing and at the same time it was like we were pulling teeth to even get that out of him.â€
The frustrating studio sessions
The band entered A&M Studios in Hollywood producer Mark Dodson. The band also co-produced the album so they could have more of a say. Finally in February 1990 they left the studio feeling tired and frustrated. Although Joey Belladonna didn't know it at the time, Scott Ian and Bello were already discussing replacing Belladonna with a new singer.
â€œWe worked our asses off and we did great,â€ Ian said. â€œWe had another gold record, and everything was going awesome. The shows were packed, we were selling out everywhere. We did Clash of the Titans and actually made money for the first time in our career. Before, we had always put everything we made back into the production. This time, we spent a ton of money on our stage show because we wanted to be like Iron Maiden and we still made money. So, from a business standpoint we were fine. But inside everything was falling apart.â€
In 1992, Anthrax appeared on the then very popular sitcom Married with Children. The band played the song "In My World" and strangely only the start of the song was performed, where Ian sang a a few lines but Belladonna's verse didn't even come up on the song. Check out the (gritty) footage below
Scott Ian has said he regrets asking their then manager Jonny Zazula to give Belladonna the boot. It was done with a quick phone call, I guess it would have been a text if done today.
Vocalist John Bush of Armored Saint replaced Belladonna and recored four albums with the band. Bush quit in 2005 when Anthrax had a reunion tour with Belladonna for the Among the Living lineup. Belladonna left the band in 2007 and then came back in 2011.
See video below where Charlie and Scott talk about the album