Podcast #4: Anthrax’s Charlie Benante

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charlie benante dave matthewsHe may not look like it, but Anthrax’s Charlie Benante is a huge Dave Matthews Band fan.

“You can’t judge a book by its cover, because musically, if something hits you or there’s some appeal in it, it really doesn’t matter to me how you look,” says Benante, the drummer for one of the biggest heavy metal bands of all time.

In this edition of the Podcast, Benante talks about being a DMB fan in the metal community, meeting Dave Matthews and the chances of Anthrax covering DMB. He also shares details on Anthrax’s upcoming live DVD and studio album.

You can listen to the podcast below, but we recommend subscribing on iTunes or other podcasting service. That way you’ll receive the latest episodes of our podcast as soon as they’re available.

Make sure to follow Benante on Twitter @skisum, and keep reading for some highlights from the podcast. Podcast #4: Anthrax’s Charlie Benante

How many Dave Matthews Band concerts have you gone to?

I don’t even know. The first time I saw them was back in Jersey in ’95, ’96. I’ve been following them for a long time. Something hit me right away with Dave Matthews, but I didn’t quite understand the … caravan that was traveling around with him, meaning his fans, because I did not really look like a Dave Matthews fan.

What’s the reaction when people in your band or other people in the metal community find out that you’re such a big fan?

It’s almost like they also come out of the closet and they’ll write me about it. “I love Dave Matthews. It’s so cool, it’s so refreshing to see that you appreciate that type of music.” And from a musician’s point of view, that is pretty much the thing that stands out with Dave Matthews Band, is the musicianship. If you’re a musician and you don’t dig some of that stuff, then I would question how good of a musician you really are.

How did your fandom evolve?

Getting a lot of those Warehouse CDs and Live Trax was something that I didn’t first jump on, because I didn’t quite understand what it was all about. But then I started to hear more and more about things like that, and then I started to get it.

I was really happy when Tim Reynolds became a fixture in the live shows. He’s so underrated. He is just amazing.

On Anthrax’s upcoming live DVD, recorded last year in Santiago, Chile:

I just came back from L.A. to look and see the mix … and it was just so intense. Those people are so passionate down there about their music. I think we’re trying to get this out in the next month or so, but it may go a little longer. I don’t have an actual street date.

On Anthrax’s in-progress studio album:

We have about 16 songs now, and I just want to keep writing more songs. My goal is to have 20 songs. When I had six and I was thinking about 20, I was like, “Oh man, I don’t know if that’s achievable.” But now that we have 16 songs, 20 doesn’t seem that far off.

When was the first time you met [Dave Matthews]?

The first time I met him was in the back of Alpine Valley, and I was just hanging out. I was kind of nervous to meet him, but then as soon as I met him, the nerves were gone, because he’s just so approachable.

Have you ever tried to get Anthrax to cover Dave?

Oh yeah. I’m still trying to get these guys to do a version of “Drive In, Drive Out.” I kind of have somewhat of a version that I actually did a bit of a demo to. But it’s just a question of getting everybody locked in and to do it.

We could pull that one off, even though it does have a little bit of an odd time signature during the middle section. But I’m trying to straighten it out a bit so it’s not in that time.

It’s not like we could go and do “Crash” or “Ants Marching.”

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