Mayhem 2012: Interview with Rob Caggiano of Anthrax

Posted on November 11, 2013

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Mayhem: Anthrax inperson interview with Rob Caggiano “Anthrax” 

I Interview Rob Caggiano of Anthrax at Mayhem Festival at Klipsch in Noblesville, Ind. on Sunday, July 18, 2013. (Photo taken by Steve Noppenberger)

I Interview Rob Caggiano of Anthrax at Mayhem Festival at Klipsch in Noblesville, Ind. on Sunday, July 18, 2013. (Photo taken by Steve Noppenberger)

By Rachael Mattice

Q&A

Question: You are now toward the middle of the tour, you played a show each day this weekend, how have you kept up the intensity so that each set of fans gets the best experience?

Answer: A band like Anthrax, we kind of feed off the energy of the crowd, obviously the music as well. That is one of the reasons why we chose the second stage, it is more of a rowdy, chaotic vibe over there. It just suits our music better then if you were just playing in front of seats, you know what I mean? That has a lot to do with it. 

Q: Why did Anthrax choose the Jager stage for Mayhem?

A:This is the hottest tour in the States right now for the summer, it was a really good opportunity for us, we really felt like the Jager stage fit out set, if we were headlining the Main stage that’d be different.

Q: Anthrax has been around for a long time, what has been the most memorable experience for you playing with Anthrax?

A: The Big 4 tour – which happened recently. More specifically playing at Yankee stadium. For us, that is like the dream venue, the dream gig, we never thought we would be playing at Yankee Stadium.

Q: What has changed for Anthrax since the release of “Worship Music?

A: I’m not sure if much has changed. We’ve been working really hard for almost three years now, even before the album came out. We’ve been on the road constantly, we tour more right now. A couple of us might be a little more crazy then when we started.

Q: As a producer, tell me how producing “Worship Music” was different from other albums and other artists you’ve worked with?

A: “Worship Music” is a really unique, weird record. We started recording in 2007, unfortunately the lineup wasn’t stable at the time. We got all the way up to the mixing stage, the mixing process and we had to stop and put the record on ice because we had no singer. We didn’t know if the record was ever going to get done or if the band was even going to continue. It was such a dark period for the band, definitely an emotional roller coaster.

“I think Metallica really had a lot to do with Anthrax getting our sh*t together. They asked us to do the Big 4 tour and it gave us a kick in the a**. We were doing nothing basically. We asked Joey to be a part of that, just made sense, he was in the band back in the day when the Big 4 was coined originally. It wasn’t about us asking him to join the band or sing on the album, it was about ‘hey come out with us, do these shows, let’s have a good time and see what happens.’ We had a great time and everything happened organically after that. He expressed an interest singing on the record, as soon as he gave us the green light everything happened really fast. 

“Worship Music” was a weird record, I never really stopped working on something for years and picked it back up. When I am in producer mode, I get very focused and into the mindset and the vibe of the whole album, and just to stop that and pick it up again a few years later was weird.

Q: Have you had to cater to a younger audience? How has the 21st century impacted Anthrax’s music?

A: We are seeing more and more really young kids showing up at signings, that means we are doing something right, we are connecting with a huge fan base for metal.

We try to talk to as many fans as possible. Sometimes they are kids that are introduced to Anthrax from their dads or Moms or whatever. A lot of it just seems like they are getting into it. I think Anthrax has a history and a legacy behind it. There is that ‘coolness’ factor, there is something about it that kids are relating to and connecting with and I think that’s great.

Q: Life as a metal star must be pretty exhausting, how have you and the rest of the band fought burnout?

A: I’ve been in the band for a long time now, I don’t remember ever touring as hard as we are touring right now. It is almost getting to the point where we are burnt out, I’m starting to get a little burnt out. We do what we do, we are making music, that is what it is all about. From album to album, Anthrax has always been a band that has pushed the envelope, trying new things, branch out from what other bands are doing in the genre, that also keeps it fresh and interesting as well.

Q: What is a typical day like for Anthrax on Mayhem?

A: Wake up around 10 or 11, try to eat something quick, then we have press. Then we do a signing at the Rockstar Mayhem tent out there in the crowd at 3 p.m. every day. We are out there for an hour, out there shaking hands, signing posters, hanging out with everybody. Then we play at 5:20 every day. It is a pretty full day.

Q: What is in store for the Mayhem Cruise?

A: I’m afraid of boats. Not really afraid of boats, but I get sea sick. I’ve never been on a cruise. I don’t think any of us have actually, we are all kind of nervous about it. Someone is going to go overboard definitely.

Mattice is a producer and music journalist for the Journal & Courier. She can be reached  on Twitter @RachaelM_JC.

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Posted in: 2012