Thrash legends Anthrax have revealed that it may have been they who persuaded Game Of Thrones to involve metal bands – and in the process, explained that the show is in part run by metalheads. Anthrax, along with Mastodon, Killswitch Engage, Mushroomhead, and a selection of hip-hop artists have all contributed original songs based around the show to the Catch The Throne II mixtape. This is the second compilation released by the show. The first was entirely based around rap, but this edition has embraced metal too. Scott Ian, Anthrax’s guitarist, has told Hammer that he may have had something to do with this decision.
“I think it’s so cool that they were willing to open the door to bands like us,” he says. “I’ve been saying since the beginning – like last year, when they put out their mixtape and it was all rap music – I was like, ‘Why are they doing a rap music compilation for Game Of Thrones? They should be putting metal out!’ It made no sense. And then when I met Dan Weiss, the showrunner – and he’s a total metalhead – I said, ‘Dude, you need metal on your show! What’s up with the rap music?’ So who knows? Maybe putting that bug in his ear helped get this compilation to be metal and rap music.”
Weiss, a co-creator of the show along with David Benioff, has a long history with metal and Anthrax in particular, it seems.
“[Dan]’s a crazy old school metalhead. He saw us for the first time on either Among The Living or the State Of Euphoria tour. He goes way back. He’s a crazy metalhead. So it’s cool to see a guy like that who is now basically running the biggest TV show in the world,” Scott explains.
It should be no secret, given the plethora of long hair and beards on screen, that there are plenty of metalheads involved in the creation of the show, but you could be forgiven for thinking that was just the cast of extras. But, when explaining how he knows Weiss to be a metal fan, Scott reveals that there are other headbangers within Game Of Thrones’ upper creative echelons.
“I’ve been out to dinner with [Dan Weiss] many times, and he came to see Anthrax in Belfast last year. He’s way into it,” he continues. “So is Ramin Djawadi, the composer for Game Of Thrones – he does the theme music. He went to Berklee School Of Music in Boston in the hopes that he was going to become a technical death metal shredder, and he started doing soundtrack stuff because he was working for [Batman Begins/Gladiator soundtrack composer] Hans Zimmer, like as an intern, and he [Zimmer] is one of the biggest movie composers in the world. [Ramin] started working with him, and Hans Zimmer heard some of Ramin’s demos one day and said ‘hey, that’s really good!’ And all of a sudden, he was fast-tracked, so he does Game Of Thrones and all kinds of movies now. I talked to him at the [Season 5] premiere last week, and his first ever concert was Anthrax in Essen, Germany in 1987. And all the sound people that he works with on the crew, too, they’re all metalheads – the whole show is filled with metalheads everywhere you look.”
Just when you thought the most metal show on TV couldn’t get heavier…