Dear John,

The Internet is a funny thing. Fans of bands have always had unrealistic expectations of the bands they love, and the nature of the Internet has taken this to a whole new level, what with press releases and interviews being released daily and the fans having instant access to everything. Particularly, fans tend to forget that the musicians they worship are real people; they have families, personal lives, and sit on the toilet to take dumps just like the rest of us. All too often fans get caught up in the mantra that what they see of an artist — their albums, shows, interviews, etc — are all that exist for that person, and all too often fans demand musical output in a specific direction, or sometimes just musical output period, forgetting that the people behind this music are, well, just regular people too. It is with this understanding that I urge you to re-join Anthrax for a new album.

We’ve Come For You All is such an amazing album. Every song is solid, start to finish. To me this album represented the culmination of the evolution of Anthrax from the time you joined the band, on through the rest of the ’90s and into the new millenium. From The Sound of White Noise onwards, your writing, lyrics, and especially your voice amazing were a big part of this evolution, saving Anthrax from what would have surely ended up being musical oblivion had they continued on doing what they did with Joey Belladonna. You took Anthrax in directions they never would have imagined, and you managed to keep the band relevant, putting out an album in We’ve Come For You All that stands out as some of the best work the band has ever done.

I fully understand that you’re busy getting on with your own life now and that you aren’t ready to commit to Anthrax. Congratulations on your newly born son. I know that it’s not just as easy as agreeing to write some songs and jam with Anthrax; it’s a big commitment to write, record, promote, tour, etc etc etc, not to mention the monetary issues that I’m sure need to be hammered out. I also totally understand that you wouldn’t want to rejoin Anthrax unless your heart was in it 100%. I get it. It seems from reading this recent interview with Shockwaves that you’re at least open to some future possibility of doing so, but now is just not the time.

So, where all this is going is that I hope you take the time you need to do what you have to do (although personally I can’t imagine how doing voiceover work for Burger King can beat playing to 50,000 people at a summer rock festival!). Rest up, spend some time with the family, and I hope that at some point in the not too distant future you will be ready for another Anthrax record. I don’t think that any other vocalist could do it right. We’ve Come For You All was truly special and you’ve got an open invitation from the band to write a part two. Both Axl and I were shocked when the band announced plans for a reunion tour with Joey Belladonna, thinking it was a big step backwards. I get that you might have been, nay should have been, insulted by that. Now is your chance to make it right by proving the naysayers wrong! I have no doubt that what you can make with Anthrax will be truly incredible. Oh and while you’re at it, get Rob Caggiano to come with you too.


Vince Neilstein

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