During a brand new interview with Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian offered an update on the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's follow-up to 2016's "For All Kings" album. He said (hear audio below): "We didn't think we were touring this year. We thought we were just gonna do that 'Killthrax' run [with KILLSWITCH ENGAGE] we finished a couple of months ago. And then the idea was we were gonna start writing and spend most of the year writing — maybe doing one-offs. But spend the year writing and then get back in the studio. And then SLAYER called. [Laughs] [And the first U.S. leg of the SLAYER tour] went so well, and then everybody's clamoring for more shows. So they booked the second leg. And then they said, 'You wanna do Europe?' And we have Europe in November and December. That's as far out as we know we're a part of it at this point. Of course, if they wanna do more, if they wanna do more, if they ask us to do more in 2019, I'm sure we would."
He continued: "But, yeah, obviously, that's kind of changed the plans as far as what we're doing about writing. Maybe we'll get together at some point this year after the second leg — we have a pretty good break between that and Europe — so it'll be nice to maybe get in a room and see if we couldn't get three or four things arranged. 'Cause there are a lot of killer ideas that have been going back and forth… There's some killer, killer ideas that Charlie [Benante, drums] has sent around — very, very exciting-sounding. And it assuages all my fears of, 'Can we do it again?', 'cause I always have that feeling when a record is done, you go out on tour and eventually you start to realize, 'Are we gonna do this again? What if the riffs don't come? What if?' And I can safely say the riffs are here. So it's an exciting feeling to know that we're gonna get back in and start hammering some of that stuff together."
ANTHRAX's upcoming 12th studio disc will be the follow-up to "For All Kings", which was widely hailed as one of the strongest efforts of the band's career.
Benante, who is ANTHRAX's main songwriter, confirmed that there are several tracks left over from the "For All Kings" sessions which did not make the final cut. However, it's unlikely that any of that material will surface on the upcoming record.
Benante told "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" last year that the new ANTHRAX music he has been writing is "sounding very pissed off and angry again. I think maybe it's just a reflection of the world and everything in general in this so-called business," he said. "I don't know why it's coming out like that, but it's coming out very — like I said — angry and pissed off and just very aggressive."
ANTHRAX's upcoming disc will be the band's third full-length release since the return of singer Joey Belladonna, who came back into the fold for the "Big Four" shows, in the process helping inspire a new wave of creativity.