Riffs & beards unite as Anthrax launches 40th anniversary tour with Black Label Society

ABC Audio

Anthrax officially turned 40 in 2021, but the thrash metallers are finally getting to properly celebrate the milestone on a tour kicking off Tuesday in Phoenix.

As guitarist Scott Ian tells ABC Audio, he and his bandmates had plans to mark the big 4-0 with a tour last year, but the COVID-19 pandemic got in the way.

“We knew we would get to do a tour eventually and go out and blow up our 40th like it needs to be, it just so happens we’re doing it in our 41st year,” Ian shares. “But we very much consider it our 40th anniversary celebration.”

That celebration will include a set list with “some surprises,” as well as the “biggest production” in Anthrax’s history as a headliner.

“Even bigger than when we were out on Persistence of Time, which was pretty big production for 1990, ’91,” Ian says.

Most of all, though, Ian’s pumped for the tour’s bill, which also includes Black Label Society and Hatebreed.

“I think us and Black Label and Hatebreed is a super exciting night out,” Ian says. “That gets me excited as a fan. I see the poster and I see the names and the logos and I’m, like, ‘F***, this is awesome!'”

The tour also marks the first time Anthrax and BLS have toured together, though Ian and company did open for Ozzy Osbourne during a fresh-faced Zakk Wylde‘s first tour as the guitarist for the Prince of Darkness back in 1988.

In those last 34 years, both Ian and Wylde have been cranking out the heaviest of riffs while also growing two of metal’s most famous beards.

“I don’t know that [Wylde] had any idea he was gonna become the guy that eventually I would have beard envy of,” Ian laughs.

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