Joey Belladonna On His Vocal Longevity and That One Thing That Has Haunted His Career

Oswego native and Anthrax frontman Joey Belladonna was recently interviewed by Roy Turner of Trickykid Radio. In the interview, Belldonna talks about his one regret that has haunted him, how he keeps his vocals on point through the years, and being asked to perform John Bush era tracks.

Turner asked Belladonna how he can still perform at a high level today after decades of performing, and if he thinks that he’s better performer now than in the ’80s. Belladonna responded:

I just love music a lot. I strive on getting better; I work at it all the time. I’m real conscious of just elevating my vocals and just being in a band…I don’t want to go out there and not do it well. That’s why I’m always trying to do it better. I always try. I have a cover band too. I also do that on the side. We do four hours of classic rock.

I really focus. I really try. I’m not in fear of anything right now. Back in the day when I first started, I didn’t know the music so well. Vocally, it was really a challenge to just find a way to sing over that stuff. Because I like to sing so I’m not going to do something outside of all the new styles you hear now, it’s just finding a way to make it comfortable and legible and fun to sing as I can. You realize there’s a lot of words in our stuff and the keys and the speed…it’s real hard to sing over that stuff and make it work.

On being asked to perform John Bush era music when he returned to Anthrax:

Personally, I felt we had enough music. I was just trying to be a champ and try something. For some reason, when we get that rivalry crap that went on, it bugs the shit out of me. I have nothing against him or nothing against them. I don’t sit around and have a grudge, but I didn’t want to try… It’s hard enough when you do covers but doing something with the singer of the old [version] of the band. He had it rough, because for the sake [of it], he had almost to do older songs because then they’d really be fighting the good fight there. For me, I didn’t want to get too involved with doing that. I didn’t want to keep opening that door and what was I trying to prove? I’m glad I don’t have to. I just don’t really feel like it. I could, I’m sure, I always felt, nothing against those songs, forget you ever heard them, we could have done any of those records and I think they would have been cool. We don’t know because I never did them before other than that.

If he has ever thought about what would have happened if he never left the band, and lent his vocals to Anthrax’s sixth studio album Sound Of White Noise:

That will always haunt me. The fact that those 13 years went away and they’re gone. They’re just gone. Maybe I just feel good about it now, right? With all the crap… I could add to this, but at the end of the day, it’s all good. I’m really glad for the fans too, and even myself, I’m proud, but I also love that people are enjoying it and all of these new people are coming up and get to see what was there before.