LivingForMetal.com recently conducted an interview with former ANTHRAX singer Neil Turbin. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
LivingForMetal.com: Me and my friends were huge ANTHRAX fans back [in the early days] and really liked your vocals and heavy style as well on "Fistful of Metal". So we were confused when [the split] went down, because we really liked you... It just seemed personal to me, kinda.
Turbin: "Well, they really tried to gloss over it, But that's fine with me. That was actually the best day in my life — the moment that I had the opportunity to leave ANTHRAX. I mean, these were people that were not nice — not the nicest people I could think of on the planet. I'm not trying to say anything bad about the band, but it was the best day of my life — a day of freedom, a day of being free of oppression, because that's what was in the band. I wasn't somebody who was gonna follow orders, you know? I'm just not. I have ideas, I have input and I have values. Although I'm the frontman of the band, they really craved the attention. For me, I was a part of the team. I believed there was strength in the team, I believed in the team. But that's not what other people believed. They believed in themselves coming first, and the management kinda set it up that way too. I was excluded from a lot of interviews. I mean, they brought someone else overseas (guitarist Scott Ian) to do all the promotion, so it kinda became this thing with Johnny Z (band manager) and Scott. So they basically tried to push me out of the picture and they didn't wanna hear what I had to say. I mean, I asked him for a long time, 'When am I gonna see some kind of money, anything?' I mean, the album was already out for six months. I was asking him, 'You must have recouped something by now, you're selling out shirts... we've been on the road touring, we've been selling out places... Can't I get 100 bucks? Can't I get 200 bucks?' You know what I got? A bunch of excuses. So it wasn't going in a good place with the band. So at that point they just needed to get someone who was gonna take orders...and it wasn't gonna be me."
LivingForMetal.com: How did you feel when you finally left ANTHRAX and maybe thinking about what could have been?
Turbin: "I was glad to be out of it. I already did what I did and wrote what I wrote, and played a lot of places...And yeah, it could have gone a lot further. And it would have gone in a heavier direction, it wouldn't have been so 'bouncy' or so 'fluffy' or so 'goofy'...with me still singing it would have been harder, angrier, faster and meaner and all of the elements of what I was about on the first album 'Fistful'."
LivingForMetal.com: I always wondered: have you ever met Joey Belladonna?
Turbin: "One time in the elevator at the attorney's in New York. I guess Scott brought him in to show me like, 'Look who I got' type of thing. The problem with Scott is he just didn't communicate. Another time was at a show here in California with a friend of mine and I'm in the lounge area, and Joey kept looking over like every two seconds. It was really weird. So one of the promoters said, 'Wait here, I'll go get Joey,' etc. Well, he wouldn't come out to meet me. She said to me that 'Joey said he doesn't wanna come out to meet you because it might confuse the fans.'"
LivingForMetal.com: Was this when he was back in ANTHRAX?
Turbin: "No, before. It was a few years ago. So whatever floats your boat, but that's fuckin bullshit. But you know what? It didn't hurt my feelings or anything. I would have just said, 'Hey, what's up?' I was just surprised he couldn't be a man, he couldn't be a man and shake my hand and go, 'How you doin', man?' Maybe he was intimidated because he wasn't in ANTHRAX at the time. Who knows? I was just gonna be courteous. It's like when you hold the door for the person you know or don't give a fuck about or you can take that door and slam it in their fuckin face. And I'm from New York, so I have no problem slamming the door in someone's face if they deserve it... It's just a common fuckin courtesy."
LivingForMetal.com: If it's the year 2009, and it's the 25th anniversary of "Fistful Of Metal". Any chance if you were approached would you play again at Roseland Ballroom [in New York City] again...for a reunion show of sorts?
Turbin: "I'd say keep dreaming."
LivingForMetal.com: That's what I thought, I was just curious though.
Turbin: "I'm not really interested, to be honest. What for? Nostalgia? To make money? I'm not desperate to make money or to work with people that are less than respectful or courteous people. I choose not to be around people like that. Simple as that."
Read the entire interview at LivingForMetal.com.