“When we parted ways back in 1984, they told me to stick around because they might need me in 40 years.” Original Anthrax bassist Dan Lilker will rejoin the band for US and South American tour

(Image credit: Press)

Anthrax will be rejoined by original bassist Dan Lilker for their upcoming US and South American tour dates.

The seminal New York thrash metal band announced today (March 28) that their current bassist, Frank Bello, will be sitting out their April and May concerts “due to personal reasons”.

Lilker co-founded Anthrax with rhythm guitarist Scott Ian, who’s gone on to become their sole constant member, in 1981. The bassist performed on the band’s 1984 debut album, Fistful Of Metal, but was dismissed from the outfit later that year.

Commenting on his temporary return to the Anthrax lineup, Lilker says: “I’m really looking forward to jamming with Anthrax again.”

He jokingly adds: “When we parted ways back in 1984, they told me to stick around because they might need me in 40 years.”

In his 2014 autobiography I’m The Man: The Story Of That Guy From Anthrax, Ian describes Lilker’s firing from Anthrax 30 years prior as “the worst moment for me in the history” of the band. The decision, according to Ian, was then-vocalist Neil Turbin’s.

“The biggest dick move Neil ever pulled was when he fired Danny Lilker behind our backs after Fistful… came out in January 1984,” wrote Ian.

“The main reason he did it, in my opinion, was because Danny is taller than him. He honestly didn’t think someone should be taller than the frontman onstage. He thought it made him look bad, so he tried to stand as far away from Danny as possible, which was hard when we were playing stages the size of Ping-Pong tables.”

After his dismissal, Lilker started thrash band Nuclear Assault in 1984, where he contributes bass and backing vocals. He, Ian and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante worked together again in the crossover thrashers Stormtroopers Of Death (S.O.D.), who were active on-and-off between 1985 and 2007.

In addition, Lilker was a part of grindcore supergroup Brutal Truth from 1990 to 2014.

The full list of dates Anthrax will play with Lilker is available below. Tickets are now on sale.

Anthrax tour dates with Dan Lilker:

Apr 13: Ciudad De México MXMF The Metal Fest, Mexico
Apr 15: San Salvador Cancha Diamante, El Salvador
Apr 17: San Jose Pepper’s, Costa Rica
Apr 19: Quito The Metal Fest, Ecuador
Apr 21: Santiago The Metal Fest, Chile
Apr 23: Montevideo Sala De Museo, Uruguay
Apr 25: Buenos Aires El Teatro Flores, Argentina
Apr 28: São Paulo Summer Breeze Open Air, Brazil
May 09: Daytona Beach Welcome To Rockville, FL
May 17: Columbus Sonic Temple Festival, OH

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.