Anthrax fans, Scott Ian wants to meet you. He wants to hang out with you, chat, and listen to you tell him how much you love him and his music. He also wants to charge you for that experience. For an additional fee ($40.00 for his upcoming UK tour), you too can come face to face with a man who wouldn’t give you the time of day or even acknowledge your existence (unless you’re Eddie Trunk or Carrie Brownstein from Portlandia), get a banner for him to sign, and a fake backstage pass. Mr. Ian has his reasons for charging fans for the awesome experience of meeting him. What would that reason be you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked. Before we get into that, let’s start off by saying that, as you all know, this whole concept of bands charging their fans to meet them really chaps my hide. At what point does meeting the very people that have afforded you the ability to make a living playing music become a fucking hassle and a chore? I recently tracked down Scott on Twitter.
I called Scott Ian out on charging the fans to meet him. I had this to say:
Pretty rational thing to say right? Well, here is what he had to say:
Pretty IRRATIONAL thing to say right? So what he’s saying is that because people have “stolen” Anthrax’s music over the years via Internet downloading, he’s now going to charge the fans to meet him so that he can pay for his Spoken Word tour. If you need to have your fans pay for you to do a Spoken Word tour, you probably shouldn’t be touring in the first place. I mean, how much fucking overhead to you have to pay when doing a Spoken Word tour? It’s not like Mr. Ian needs a back line, pay a band, and a full road crew. It’s just him riding around in his big ass tour bus, standing on a stage and talking. There are plenty of bands out there that make 1/3 of the money Mr. Ian makes and you don’t see them charging fans extra to meet them in order to fund a tour. All that aside, Scott Ian still thinks you should pay for the opportunity to talk to him and fluff his ego. Scott has never been known for being Mr. Nice Guy when it comes to meeting the fans. Let’s go back in time a little shall we?
Back in 1991 or so, Anthrax did an in-store appearance at Turtles Record Store in Morrow, GA which was just about 5 miles from where I lived. Me and my broke ass friends walked five fucking miles in the sweltering, summer heat and stood in line with our brand new copies of Attack of the Killer B’s. We were also really pumped that the Clash of the TItans show was that night as well. Anyways, when we finally get to the table to meet Anthrax, we are blown away by how nice everyone was… except for Scott Ian. They were all super nice and smiled and took photos but not Scott Ian. He just sat there, didn’t make eye contact with me, signed my album and pushed it to Joey Belladonna. We asked him and Frankie Bello for a photo. Frankie was all for it and Scott goes, “Make it quick.” As we walked the five miles back to my parent’s apartment, we all reflected together on the moment and came to a consensus: Anthrax rules but Scott Ian is a dick.
Since then I have crossed paths with Scott Ian about two or three other times, one of them being while I was backstage preparing to interview Shawn Drover of Megadeth on the Anthrax/Megadeth/Slayer tour a few years back. While waiting in the hall, Joey Belladonna walked by and gave my buddy props for his King Crimson shirt and was really nice to us. Hell, even Dave Mustaine who looked like he was on the brink of death raised his hand and nodded his head to us as he walked by us. Here comes Scott Ian walking towards us. We both said, “Hey Scott! Have a great show tonight” and you’d think we had the plague as he flew right by us not even making eye contact.
I love Anthrax and I would love nothing more than to tell Scott Ian thanks for all the years of
great music and memories but if the guy won’t even look me in the eye as a fan, why would I pay him to pretend to like me? Here’s a guy who has made a great, long career out of playing music and has his fans to thank for it. Instead of coming out after shows and meeting the fans and thanking them for their years of support, he wants you to pay for that priveledge. I’ve seen Henry Rollins doing these spoken word tours for years and the man ALWAYS comes out and greets the fans, takes time to talk with them and to show them his appreciation. I find it hard to believe that Mr. Ian will be doing shows at the same caliber is Mr. Rollins so don’t tell me that it’s impossible to do.
At the end of it all, Scott, just be honest. Don’t try and put the blinders on everyone and try and justify charging fans to meet you. Just be honest and say, “I have no desire to meet my fans for free. I want to make extra money so if you want to meet me, it comes with a price tag.” Again, I’m a huge Anthrax fan and have been for years and I can honestly say KISS you are not. It’s not like you guys have 20,000 people waiting to rip your clothes off or anything. How hard is it to just step off the bus, engage the fans, and just show them that you appreciate all that they do to keep you from having to get a job at Caribou Coffee? Obviously, for $cott Ian, it’s very hard.
Scott, I thank you for being a part of a band that has been the soundtrack of my life for many years. You are easily one of the greatest rhythm guitarists in metal, you are an awesome songwriter, and you kick ass live. The music of Anthrax got me through many highs and many lows and at nearly 40 years old, the music still moves me and speaks to me. I will always be an Anthrax fan and I will always support the band. I just wish you would be a bit more humbled and appreciative of the fans that have afforded you the very life that you live to day. One last thing, please don’t charge me $40.00 via PayPal for this paragraph.