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Scott Ian told Anthrax: Belladonna goes, or I do

Back together: Ian and Belladonna in Anthrax now

Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian has revealed he forced the band to choose between him and singer Joey Belladonna in 1992.

And he says they should have given the frontman a chance to prove himself as they moved towards a different sound, rather than deciding they needed a replacement.

John Bush took over from classic-era singer Belladonna, who returned to the band in 2010 and has since recorded two further albums with them.

Ian said last year that the lineup change was a result of his own “immaturity,” adding: “I never had a problem with the way Joey was singing the words I was writing. Once we got to Persistence Of Time it wasn’t working for me any more.”

He recently told WTF With Marc Maron: “I just truly didn’t have the patience any more. I was writing the words and I couldn’t deal with the fact that someone else was singing, but I couldn’t sing.

“I couldn’t stand it any more – ‘These are my words, these are my feelings, and you’re not me.’

“My solution at the time was turning around to the rest of the band and saying, ‘It’s either him or me.’”

He describes his ultimatum as “the same shit” pulled by former frontman Neil Turbin years earlier, but continues: “It wasn’t just me holding the gun. Everyone was on the same page.

“Musically we were going somewhere else. Joey, for us, at the time, felt like, ‘He’s not representing us any more.’”

Ian reconsidered his position while writing his book I’m The Man: The Story Of That Guy From Anthrax. “We should have given the guy a shot,” he says.

“I don’t really know why we weren’t able to. Even our manager was, ‘Are you sure? Are you sure this is the decision you want to make?’ ‘Yes, yes, yes.’”

Belladonna said last year: “Anthrax didn’t feel I was right for their band, which was shocking to me, because I thought we had a cool thing. You get confused – what I used to do and how it wasn’t right, at one time, for them.”

Anthrax are reaching the end of a North American tour in support of latest album For All Kings, which was released in February.

Anthrax remaining tour dates 2016

Oct 21: Portland Daze Of The Dead, OR
Oct 22: Sacramento Aftershock Festival, CA
Oct 23: Reno Events Center, NV
Oct 25: Flagstaff Orpheum Theater, AZ
Oct 26: EL Paso County Coliseum, TX
Oct 27: El Paso County Coliseum, TX

Charlie Benante: For All Kings is not final Anthrax album