The New York thrash metal pioneers formed on July 18, 1981 and over the past three and a half decades, Anthrax has made some incredible contributions to the music industry. Credited with starting the thrash metal revolution alongside Metallic, Slayer and Megadeth (“The Big Four), Anthrax has sold millions of records, received several platinum and gold certifications and earned six Grammy nominations.
Guitarist Scott Ian reminisced on his achievements in a statement on the band’s official website.
“Thirty-five years have passed since that day and my life has changed profoundly,” he said. “I am a husband, I am a father. I am a long way from the 17-year-old soon-to-be-college dropout who co-founded a heavy metal band. The only thing that hasn’t changed in 35 years, the one constant, is that I am still the rhythm guitar player in Anthrax. It’s what I get to do. I get to play in a band and I never take that for granted.”
Some notable highlights include a mention in Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series, a cameo appearance on Married… with Children in 1992, and when NASA played their song “Got The Time” on Mars in 2012 to wake up Curiosity, the Mars Rover. More infamously, the group considered changing their name following the 2001 U.S. anthrax scare to avoid the PR hassle.
But the most memorable event for Ian personally was on September 14, 2011 — officially known as “Anthrax Day” in the Bronx. On the occasion, the Big Four held a show at Yankee Stadium.
“My ONE thing of thousands of things I’ve done in Anthrax that stands out the most in the world would be playing Yankee Stadium,” shared Ian. “For me that is the pinnacle. My mecca. The most NY thing a NY band could ever do. I got to play on stage on the field, in the building where so many of my heroes since I was a child played. It was surreal and overwhelming and I was in tears almost the entire first song; I had so much emotion pouring out of me. Like the words to the song say, I was ‘King of the hill, top of the heap.’”
Ian ended his reflections with a quote by Scottish poet Robbie Burns.
“Here’s to us; who is as good as us? Damn few, and they’re all dead.’ Thank you my friends…35 and counting.”
Watch an impressive tribute video compiled by Anthrax fan David Taylor in celebration of the 35 year milestone below.