John Bush has once again admitted that he is “open” to the idea of embarking on a special tour during which he would perform material from his time as the singer of ANTHRAX.
Bush fronted ANTHRAX between 1992 and 2005 but was sidelined when ANTHRAX reunited with Joey Belladonna for a twentieth-anniversary tour. When that collapsed, and relationships disintegrated with next frontman Dan Nelson, Bush returned for a time before Belladonna took the job back in 2010.
During a recent appearance on the “Mars Attacks” podcast, Bush was asked if he would be open to the idea of going out and playing some of Bush-era ANTHRAX songs live again, with with a new band or with some of his former bandmates in ANTHRAX. He responded (hear audio below): “It’s not like I would go out and do a long tour playing these songs, because I haven’t wanted to do anything like that with ARMORED SAINT. I haven’t wanted to go out on any long tours, really — that’s the starting point, I’ll say that — and I feel the same. If [the tour offers] come up and it’s the right scenario, then I will embrace it. I think it could be time to do that. I don’t know what yet, but I’m open to it, because the timing seems like it’s right. Next year is twenty-five years since [ANTHRAX‘s 1993 album] ‘Sound Of White Noise’ came out, so I guess you can connect some kind of an anniversary to it.”
He continued: “I’m 53, I’ll be 54 in a couple of months. I feel great vocally, I feel great physically, but I’m also honest about my age. I’m not 25. When I did all those ANTHRAX records, I was in my early 30s, late 20s, and those songs are demanding. So I don’t wanna say, ‘Yeah, I’ll do that in five years when I’m 60.’ [Laughs] So the timing… It could be now. But it has to be right, it has to feel right, it has to be the right scenario. And it would probably just be me. Not me acoustically going out there and [playing those songs by myself].”
Bush added: “The guys in ANTHRAX and their band is rolling, and they should keep rolling, and I don’t wanna do anything to stick a spoke in the wheel, ’cause that’s not my objective, and I think it would be bad for them. And that’s not my goal, to create any kind of havoc there, because I don’t wanna do that. But if something comes up and it could be cool, I’m open to it. I’m more open to that probably than I ever was, because of just the realities of life and what’s happening. But it has to be right, it has to feel right, it has to be something that… I’m certainly not going out there to do it ’cause it’s a cash cow or anything like that. The primary reason should be the most important reason that I do anything, and that is still for fun, quite frankly. So that should be the goal. And if that happens, and if everything else kind of aligns, which [means that] you can do it and you can not lose money and you can make a little money, and it feels like the right combination of musicians and there’s a story, then I think that it will happen.”
Bush also spoke about his belief that some of the ANTHRAX albums he sang on didn’t get their just due as a result of less-than-desirable market conditions and the band’s struggle with bad record deals.
“I do think sometimes in the ANTHRAX world, in my twelve and a half years, I do feel like some of the business dealings were a giant albatross around the band’s neck and they really hurt us,” he said. “And they probably didn’t give a complete fair and true assessment of how those records were. Because I think if I explain to you what was associated when those records came out, I think it just wasn’t a proper view of how it would have been if everything was consistent in terms of the business. In the ’80s, everything kind of rolled along. But that’s life. And I’m not making excuses for it. I just think that it probably would have been different if everything would have been handled better. But that’s life. It’s the way it is. It’s not something that keeps me awake at night. I’m still really proud of all those records that I made. People still bring them to me all the time to sign them, and I’m always grateful that people have them. And I hope that this interview propels somebody to go purchase one of those, if they never did, and I think they’ll be happy. ‘Cause I think the records are cool.”
Bush temporarily rejoined ANTHRAX for a number of shows in late 2009 and early 2010 but stepped aside in May 2010 in order to make room for the permanent return of Belladonna.
Although Joey did perform the John Bush-era song “Only” live with ANTHRAX on a couple of occasions, the track has since been dropped from the band’s set. “We’ve got enough songs [that were originally recorded with me on vocals],” Joey explained in a 2016 interview. “We’ve got enough material; I don’t need to go back. I’d just as soon leave that alone. I mean, once in a while I get people complaining, and then after a while, it got really old too. I hate that whole thing, ’cause we’re not even the same… We happened to be in the same band, but it’s a completely different thing.”