ANTHRAX recently canceled shows in continental Europe as part of its fall 2022 touring activities, citing “ongoing logistical issues” and “costs that are out of our control.” The pioneering thrash metal band had been due to play numerous shows across Europe following their run of dates in the United Kingdom, which still took place between September 27 and October 8.
In a recent interview with Neil Jones of TotalRockbassist Frank Bello elaborated on ANTHRAX‘s decision to scrap the European gigs and forge ahead with only the United Kingdom dates. Asked if it was “a Brexit thing” that caused the cancellations, Bello answered (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “It’s a human thing at this point, my God. I mean, it’s a budgetary thing.
“When we originally planned everything, as we do — ANTHRAX has been in the UK and Europe forever, we have toured there; we have a very big fanbase there, and we love playing for them — we did a budget, as we do, the year before and before we put the shows on sale. After COVID, when everything went crazy, money-wise, financially it wasn’t feasible to do it anymore,” he explained. “When I saw the numbers, they were literally triple — triple to what they originally started at. We would be coming home at such a loss — you don’t mind a little bit of a loss just to play to the fans — but such a loss, we would have been really bad off for a while. So it didn’t make sense. When [we] looked at it, we said, ‘All right. There’s better times ahead.’ And that’s the way to look at it now. Look, heating costs and everybody’s gotta put food on the table. I get it right now. So it’s just a really hard time for everybody.
“I know we’re gonna be back, and with a vengeance,” Frank added. “So it’s gonna be a lot of fun the next time around. I look forward to playing to all UK and Europe. We did a great UK run. I felt it was a little short, even though we did a lot of places. But I wanna come back and just play the way we should be playing.”
Prior to scrapping the European shows, ANTHRAX had just wrapped a US tour with BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. HATEBREED served as special guests.
When the European cancellation was first announced on social media, one fan in the comments section suggested that the cancellation could have been a result of low ticket sales. ANTHRAX replied: “Rest assured, there were zero issues with sales. Check out the news over there for a few minutes. We absolutely adore the European fans and love playing there and are very sad not to come. It doesn’t work ‘example’ when tour buses double and triple in cost.”
Bello previously discussed the decision to call off the European dates in September in an interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET. At the time, he said: “When was the last time we canceled a European tour? We’ve never done it. The god’s honest truth: Everything budgeting-wise is insane right now. We budgeted it last year and came back to this year with the gas lines and all the shit that’s going on. It was three times the budget. We would have gone into a bad deficit, horrible. And the promoters are saying, ‘It doesn’t make sense for you guys to do it .’ The buses, just life in general. It’s horrible. We were able to salvage the UK But people know us. They know we’ll be back. We love it there. I can’t wait to go back. It’s just a bummer that life is in the way of metal. [Laughs] What’s going on in the world is in the way of metal and making people feel good with our music.
“We’ve been away,” he continued. “We just did the BLACK LABEL SOCIETY swear HATEBREED tour and we got the taste back. We were looking forward to the next leg, the UK, then right into Europe. We’re used to touring a few months at a time. Then our manager comes, ‘We can’t do this with the accounting.’ It’s like, ‘What? How did this happen?’ Then you read the papers and you understand. It’s terrible.”
ANTHRAX‘s latest album, “For All Kings”came out in February 2016 via Nuclear Blast.
ANTHRAX celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2021 with a number of special activities and events. Formed by guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker in Queens, New York on July 18, 1981, ANTHRAX was one of the first thrash metal bands to emerge from the East Coast and quickly became regarded as a leader in the genre alongside METALLICA, SLAYER swear MEGADETH.
Active over the past five decades, ANTHRAX has released 11 studio albums, been awarded multiple gold and platinum certifications, received six Grammy nominations, toured the world since 1984 playing thousands of shows, including headlining Madison Square Garden and playing Yankee Stadium with the “Big Four”.
“For All Kings” was called by some critics ANTHRAX‘s strongest album to date. Its arrival followed a five-year period during which the group experienced a rebirth of sorts, beginning with ANTHRAX‘s inclusion on the “Big Four” tour, and continuing with the release of the comeback LP “Worship Music”.