Although Donais joined Anthrax in only 2013, Ian has enjoyed one of the longest running careers in metal history as a founding member of the thrash act. He helped pioneer a musical revolution built on extreme tempos and punishing heaviness mixed with a very unique approach to playing and songwriting.
“Back in the ’80s, in interviews for guitar magazines, I said my style was ‘fascist guitar playing’—because there’s no room for improvisation, there’s no room for anything,” Ian told PG. “When you’re playing at speeds like that, it is what it is. It’s mathematical. There’s X amount of notes that you can fit into a measure and you’ve got to hit all those notes perfectly, and that’s it. There’s no room for anything else. Granted, the songwriting style has changed over the years. We’re not playing exactly how we used to play in 1987. But still, on the new record I’m playing exactly the same—especially on the thrashy stuff like ‘Zero Tolerance,’ ‘Evil Twin, or ‘For All Kings.’”
As for the gear he used on For All Kings?
Ian said he primarily reached for his white hard tail Jackson King V or his Rhoads model to “fill in the harmonies and alternate rhythm parts, just to get a different sound so all the frequencies wouldn’t start canceling each other out.”
And for those fans who have been asking whether or not Jackson will soon be adding to Ian’s signature models with a King V, the Anthrax axeman did provide some welcome news.
“As far as time frame goes, that’s still something that’s TBA—we’re figuring all that out—but it’s going to be my next signature model,” he revealed. “There will be a full-on USA version. There will be a mid-price of it as well. It’s coming, I would assume, either late 2016 or early 2017-ish.”