Recommended Aussie Band:Tamerlan Empire | Sydney Symphonic Black Metal | Listen

Interviews : “It’s just me and a microphone”- An interview with Scott Ian (Anthrax, S.O.D.)

By on August 16, 2018

Scott Ian

Few in heavy metal are immediately identifiable to the casual fan and listener as Scott Ian, the long-time guitarist in Anthrax and S.O.D. Then again, very few have managed to forge a career as a thrash metal original over multiple decades producing razor sharp, wrist snapping rhythmic chops that have inspired a legion to pick up the guitar and hammer away at any one of Anthrax’s die-cast Ian powered riffs.

Over the phone one busy Wednesday, Ian talks about his September/ October Australian spoken word performance.

“I get onstage and I tell lots of stories, and they seem to make people laugh. I put words together in sentences, and then in the context of these tales, people seem to laugh in all the right places. And I’ve led a semi-interesting life over the past 35-ish years.

It’s not like I was looking to stand on a stage in front of people and talk about myself, because I understand most people really don’t give a sh*t, but I started doing these shows about five years ago, and I had fun doing them, and the audiences also seemed to have fun, so I got the opportunity to come down to Australia and do this. And when do you get the opportunity to go to Australia, in general? Not that often! I was very excited to be able to do it.”

Indeed, as Ian has referenced, many people are responding positively to his tales of truth about life on the road, in a band and the many friendships forged along the way.

As musicians who have become accustomed to performing within a group on stage may confirm, stepping out into the limelight as the sole focus of an audience’s attention can be a nerve-inducing affair. Not for Scott Ian!

As many who have read or listened to his books on Audible, Ian is comfortable standing within his own truth. He is equally keen to share his stories on stage, finding that he has more control over events.

“I actually find I have absolute, 100% complete control over everything going on when I do the talking shows. I’m not (one fifth) part of a band on stage, where yeah, I’m the guitar player in Anthrax, but I can’t control everything going on that stage. So much more could happen or go right or wrong or whatever in the context of being in a band.

For me, being onstage in the talking shows, look, I’ve never had any fear of being in front of people, or speaking, expressing myself in any way, shape or form. And now it’s just me and a microphone, and I’ve got all the control and all the responsibility, and I love it. I love that feeling of being up there and doing that.”

It all comes down to a man ready to perform in front of an audience, be that with a guitar or via words.

“You could say I’m a frustrated singer because I can’t sing. I couldn’t be the front man in Anthrax. I’m not a singer. But when I go tell stories, I’m expressing myself in a very similar way that I do in the band. On stage in Anthrax, I’ve got my guitar on and I’m up there giving everything I have, playing songs that I co-wrote with my friends in Anthrax. And I’m expressing myself.”

Listen to the full conversation here.

Catch Scott Ian on his upcoming performances in Australia this September and October.

For complete tour and ticket information, visit Dinner For Wolves.
Special Meet & Greet packages available from

Monday, 24 September- Adelaide- Dunstan Playhouse (LIC/AA)

Wednesday, 26 September- Melbourne- Goldfields Theatre (LIC/AA)

Saturday, 29 September- Sydney- Metro Theatre

Monday, 1 October- Brisbane- The Tivoli


Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith