Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian is playing songs from the band's 1987 thrash metal masterpiece Among The Living and their new covers record Anthems on tour right now. He's also taken on a second gig hosting Fangoria's Blood and Guts, a YouTube series on The Nerdist Channel in which he meets with masters of horror movies. Ahead of Anthrax's show at House of Blues tonight, we talked with him about films that get his skin crawling.
What is your favorite horror movie scene ever?
My favorite horror movie is John Carpenter's The Thing. My favorite scene ever is the scene when the guy is on the table, and the doc goes to put the paddles to him. The Thing jumps out of the dude's chest and bites his hands off. That whole scene is just so insane. There's probably half a dozen scenes in that movie I could see as my favorite scene ever.
What do you think of the rise of zombie culture, and the success of television programs like The Walking Dead?
I just think it's because the team behind "The Walking Dead" are making a great television show and it happens to be about zombies. If it was a great show about werewolves, people would be checking it out. It's just well-done and well-written. If you give people something worth watching, then they'll flock to it.
What are your thoughts on the rules of zombies (i.e. geek arguments over "slow zombies" vs "fast zombies")?
It's all bullshit. Who makes the rules? Zombies don't exist in real life, so there are no rules. Whether you're a fan of slow zombies, fast zombies, rage virus zombies...I don't put too much weight on that mythology. People that are arguing over that stuff have way too much time on their hands. I don't think there should be any rules. If there were rules, there wouldn't be zombies, because the first rule would be "Zombies aren't real, what are you talking about?" I'll probably be eating those words when I see zombies crawling around the hills.
What are some of the things you've gotten to do for season two of Fangoria's Blood and Guts?
I spent two days with [Academy Award-winning makeup artist] Rick Baker. That was incredible. He gave us two days of his time to check out his paintings and visit his shop. I spent time with the guys at Spectral Motion, who do all of Guillermo Del Toro's stuff. They're doing all of the monsters in Pacific Rim, which comes out this summer. They have this huge veil of secrecy. I tried to pry some images out of them, but they wouldn't let me see anything. I also shot with Ron Trost, who is a physical effects guy. He's the guy you go to when you want to blow shit up. I had a blast with him literally, getting shot at and blown up and getting to shoot a flame thrower.
Why do you think so many heavy metal fans also love horror movies?
The attitude of heavy metal music and the attitude of antagonists in a horror flick, there's a lot of similarities. When you see Michael Myers running around stabbing people, it's not that far off to me from the same attitude and aggression when you listen to a Slayer record. It all just fits hand and hand.
What do the bands that are covered on Anthems mean to Anthrax?
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These are all bands that we were listening to before Anthrax was even a thought. We've jammed forever on these songs in our spare time, either on tour or in the studio. Especially on tour, it's fun to break the monotony of playing your own stuff at soundcheck since you're going to be playing it two hours later. You could also call it "Anthrax Breaks The Tension In The Studio Greatest Hits Vol. 1."
Anthrax performs at the House of Blues in Hollywood tonight
Follow Jason Roche on Twitter @JasonRocheLAW.