Anthrax Reunites With Joey Belladonna

When Anthrax plays this summer’s Sonisphere Festivals fans will see a familiar face up on stage – none other than vocalist Joey Belladonna. The thrash metal band officially announced today that the singer was rejoining the lineup for the third time in the last 25 years.

Belladonna handled vocal duties for the band from 1985-1992, performing on notable albums such as 1985’s Spreading the Disease, 1987’s Among the Living and 1990’s Persistence of Time. After parting ways with Anthrax he teamed up with the original members of the band for the 2005-2007 “Among the Living Tour.”

After being replaced by Dan Nelson and John Bush, Belladonna is ready to take over the mic once again.

“I had been in touch with Charlie and Frank, then I got a call from their manager who said that everyone wanted me back in the band,” Belladonna said. “I thought, ‘are you guys for real? You want me up there, fronting the band like it was before?’ I was thrilled. We’ve already started to reconnect with the old ways of having conversations. Everything is easy going and feels really good.”

Photo: Adam Bielawski
With Scott Ian leading the charge.

Guitarist Scott Ian says he’s “super excited” to have Belladonna back on the lineup.

“Joey and the rest of the band came to see me play at a club in New York, I hadn’t seen Joey for years, since the end of the reunion tour. Joey taps me on the shoulder, instant big hug, it felt like no time had gone by. The band dynamic is an interesting one – in Anthrax, Joey and I spent so many years of our lives together, we grew up together, we know each other so well, so it was like no time was lost.”

The Sonisphere Festivals will feature Anthrax along with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. The tour’s lineup is being dubbed “The Big Four” after the four founding bands of the thrash genre.

Sonisphere begins June 16 at the Bemowo Airport in Warsaw Poland and concludes Aug. 8 at the Kirjurinluoto Arena in Pori, Finland.

Additional stops include Degenaupark in Wil/Jonschwil, Switzerland (June 18), Terra Vibe in Athens, Greece (June 24), La Katarg in Bucharest, Romania (June 26), BJK Inonü Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey (June 27), and Stora Skuggan in Stockholm, Sweden (Aug. 7).

Anthrax is also performing a few solo U.K. shows including Arena in Vienna, Austria (June 20), Metropol in Hengelo, Netherlands (Aug. 3), and B-1 Maximum in Moscow (Aug. 5).

After wrapping up Sonisphere, Anthrax plans to hit the studio to write and rehearse the band’s new album, which is tentatively set for release in early 2011.

“There are five or six songs from a year ago that we don’t want to change, we love them the way they are, other than having Joey making them his own with his vocals,” drummer Charlie Benante said. “Then there’s another five or six that we may want to rework, and then there are a bunch of other tunes that are still in the early stages, that we want to finish.

“The band has been on an emotional roller coaster since last summer, but I think everything that we’ve had to deal with during that time was pushing us toward this, to Joey being back in Anthrax, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect or appropriate.”

Click here for Anthrax’s official website.