Crime & Punishment: Scott Ian

You grew up in 1970s New York City. Was that a dangerous place?

Sure, if you were stupid. If you were riding a train alone late at night, or walking through Central Park late at night, odds were you’d probably get jumped.

It’s a totally different place today, isn’t it?

I don’t know where in Manhattan you could go to get mugged now. You would have to walk around with hundred dollar bills hanging out of your pocket and a big sign saying, ‘I’m from Oklahoma’.

Is music the greatest saviour of young people from crime?

Absolutely. I know plenty of guys in bands that without music they probably would have ended up in jail.

Where do you stand on gun control?

I’m not against gun ownership in any way, shape or form. What I find amazing is that some gun owners think they have a right to bear arms. That makes no sense in 2014. That amendment was written when you people [the Brits] were invading us, that’s when we had a right to bear arms.

What do you make of metal music being blamed for school shootings?

It’s ridiculous because no one will ever address the real issues of parenting and the issues with schools and the lack of jobs in America. If politicians ever addressed these they would never get re-elected.

_As a father are you worried about crime levels in America? _

Until I had my son, stupidly it was something I didn’t give a shit about. I’m not going to make him stay in the house until he’s thirty years old, but my greatest fear is something happening to my son while he’s in school and I’m at work. I will be nervous until the day I die.

Rich Chamberlain

Rich Chamberlain has written for Classic Rock,, Total Guitar, Nuts, FourFourTwo, Billboard, Classic Rock Presents The Blues and Classic Rock Presents Country.