Metal Music

Watch: ANTHRAX Plays First Concert With Original Bassist DAN LILKER In 40 Years

Anthrax recently made an announcement stating that, due to personal reasons, bassist Frank Bello will be unable to join the band for its upcoming South American tour, which is scheduled to commence on Saturday, April 13, at MXMF the Metal Fest.

Stepping in to cover those dates, as well as two US festival performances in May, will be none other than Anthrax’s founding member and original bassist, Dan Lilker. This marks Lilker’s return to the band after a 40-year hiatus. Notably, Lilker, who co-wrote and performed on Anthrax’s debut album, “Fistful Of Metal,” also shared membership with Charlie Benante and Scott Ian in Stormtroopers Of Death.

Anthrax have revealed the first new band photo with Lilker in a social media post.

The band writes: “Hola amigos!!! 🙌 We just finished rehearsal in Mexico City and WE ARE READY TO RAGE! Danny is killing on bass 🪓 – this tour is going to rip! You don’t want to miss this! See ya soon amigos!” 🔥

In an exclusive interview with Metal Mayhem ROC, as seen below, Lilker reveals the behind-the-scenes story of how long this Anthrax “reunion” has been brewing, and how he was approached about potentially stepping in for Frank Bello.

Metal Mayhem ROC: “Dan had agreed to appear on Metal Mayhem ROC several weeks prior to this week’s Anthrax announcement. Danny and co-host Bill Lander share a friendship within the Rochester, NY metal community, and the original aim of the interview was for two friends to reconnect and reminisce about Dan’s journey in heavy metal. There was no intent from Danny to exploit this interview platform in light of the recent Anthrax developments. We look forward to welcoming Dan back at a later date for a deeper exploration of his musical career.”

Danny expresses his enthusiasm for performing alongside Joey Belladonna and John Donais for the first time, as well as delving into the newer Anthrax material. He notes that this occasion marks the premiere of live performances of some of the material he contributed to in the early 80s.

The conversation touches upon setlist hints, personal reflections on his stints with Anthrax, Nuclear Assault, and S.O.D., as well as extensive commentary on the socio-political landscape surrounding “Speak English or Die” in the 80s.

Lilker recounts how he received the invitation to rejoin Anthrax:

“I received a text from Scott (Ian / guitar) while he was touring Japan with Mr. Bungle – late February or thereabouts – asking, ‘Do you think you’d be available for some shows with us next month?’ I glanced at my boss, who happens to be a metal enthusiast, and remarked, ‘I’ve just been asked to do some Anthrax shows next month…’ and he responded, ‘You’d be absolutely nuts not to.’ Recognizing the opportunity, I agreed. Everyone at my workplace has been incredibly supportive. I count myself fortunate in that regard.”

“As far as I’m aware, I’m merely filling in for Frank for the 10 shows I was asked to do. I want to emphasize that point. This isn’t some grand ‘Finally, after 40 years…’ scenario (laughs). I’m simply doing a favor for my friends. If circumstances change down the line, it won’t be due to any proactive steps on my part.”

Lilker has remained active over the past four decades, contributing his bass talents to a diverse array of bands. He notably served as the bassist for thrash/metal outfit Nuclear Assault and grindcore pioneers Brutal Truth. Additionally, he lends his skills to Exit-13, Malformed Earthborn, The Ravenous, Overlord Exterminator, Venomous Concept, and more.

With Lilker handling bass duties, the upcoming Anthrax tour dates are as follows:

13 – MXMF The Metal Fest – Ciudad De MĂ©xico, Mexico
15 – Cancha Diamante – San Salvador, El Salvador
17 – Pepper’s – San Jose, Costa Rica
19 – The Metal Fest – Quito, Ecuador
21 – The Metal Fest – Santiago, Chile
23 – Sala de Museo – Montevideo, Uruguay
25 – El Teatro Flores – Buenos Aires, Argentina
28 – Summer Breeze Open Air – SĂŁo Paulo, Brazil

9 – Welcome to Rockville – Daytona Beach, FL
17 – Sonic Temple Festival – Columbus, OH

(Top photo courtesy of Dan Lilker)

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