Anthrax’s Scott Ian Plays His Favorite Riffs
Anthrax may be known as one of the "Big 4" of thrash metal, but they also played a role in another key music movement; being among the first to marry metal with rap, teaming up with Public Enemy for their memorable rendition of "Bring the Noise."
In this edition of Loudwire's Gear Factor, powered by Sweetwater, The Music Experience's Squiggy chats with Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian not only about how that musical pairing came to be, but also about several other key moments in the guitarist's career.
Ian recalls setting up in the studio with Charlie Benante and Frank Bello, jamming out the song. The guitarist says, "I had to work with Public Enemy somehow. I had to work with Chuck [D.], and I just had an idea for a riff that came off the horns that they sampled for 'Bring the Noise.' That's what inspired the riff. I feel like I was just transposing the existing horn part, keeping things the same." The guitarist also showcases a bit of how the guitar part evolved for the viewing audience.
That's not the only demonstration you get in this edition of Gear Factor. Ian reflects on one of the first songs he played, giving viewers a sampling of "Wipeout," and also shares the riff he's most proud of. "I wrote the war dance riff in 'Indians.' I guess I'm pretty proud of that part. It was almost a riff I did because of the way it looked," says Ian, noting the placement of his hands on the fretboard. "I just liked the symmetricalness of that." Ian also credits seeing Pete Townshend famous guitar windmill move onstage for being the impetus for him to pick up the guitar.
Ian and Squiggy also discuss Scott's signature V guitars and the importance of making a model that was also affordable. "I started doing that ages ago, having a production model, because not everybody can run out and purchase an expensive, fresh out of the custom shop guitar. I understand that. So for me, it's always been important to have what they call the mid-price, but have it be something I would actually use," says the guitarist.
Anthrax Albums Ranked