Thrash and heavy metal heroes Anthrax recall their roots in New York’s musical melting pot and how that inspired their famous collaboration with Public Enemy in a new mini-doc for the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
In the clip, Anthrax remembers the seedier New York City of the late-Seventies and the lengthy trips they’d take from the outer boroughs to see bands in Greenwich Village. When the group formed in 1981, guitarist Scott Ian noted “heavy metal was still a relatively new term,” and hip-hop was exploding around them in the Bronx and Queens.
Unlike most of their metalhead friends, Anthrax was immediately drawn to hip-hop. The group incorporated the new style into their own music (“I’m the Man”) and Ian wore a Public Enemy shirt onstage so frequently, Public Enemy’s Chuck D eventually saw and gave the group a shout out on 1987’s “Bring the Noise.” While the MC was initially wary of collaborating with Anthrax, he quickly changed his mind when they sent him their version of “Bring the Noise,” which was released in 1991.
The Anthrax mini-doc is part of the Smithsonian’s ongoing Places of Invention exhibit and research project, and specifically its Places of (Musical) Invention video series. Previous videos have explored country music and Nashville, the modern archtop guitar and New York and Slayer, thrash metal and San Francisco.
Anthrax will release their 11th LP, For All Kings, on February 26th via Megaforce.