To say that the band Anthrax has had its share of ups, downs, and changes is putting it lightly, and now with over three decades under their belts Anthrax has undoubtedly stood the test of time. But when the naysayers of the metal world said that Anthrax was done the band threw Worship Music on the table in 2011 - - - and heads have been rolling ever since.
They've sold more than 10-million records, received a slew of Gold and Platinum albums, and multiple Grammy nominations - the most recent of which for the song "I'm Alive" - more than an entire year after its release.
Touring incessantly since the release of Worship Music, Anthrax has been everywhere a few times over and have decimated everything in their path - in a cool, heavy metal way, of course. There's even a new North American spring tour planned - The Metal Alliance Tour 2012 kicking off in March and running through April.
That's why today's news of lead guitarist Rob Caggiano leaving the band came as quite a surprise. Caggiano plans to pursue more of his studio and production work - something he's maintained throughout his 12 years as part of the Anthrax family. He's produced albums for the likes of Cradle of Filth, Bleeding Through, Anthrax - of course, and more - needless to say he's pretty good at it.
Caggiano released the following statement today about this turn of events:
"I'm extremely proud of my time in Anthrax. Actually, that's an understatement! We accomplished so many great things together over the years and I shared some of the best times of my life with these guys. As a band, we also weathered quite a few storms along the way. It's been a wild ride (to say the least) from Day One and I wouldn't change one single thing about the last 12 years. This is an extremely difficult and emotional decision for me to make but my heart is just steering me in a different direction right now. I've always been one to follow my heart in everything that I do and while this might be one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, it feels like the right one for me at this time. Scott, Charlie, Joey, Frankie (and John Bush) will always be part of my family and this decision doesn't change the way I feel about that in the slightest. I would also like to say thanks to all the amazing fans I've met and hung out with worldwide over the years. You guys always were and always will be the reason why I make music! In this day and age, being a musician isn't always easy -also an understatement- but the fans truly make it worthwhile for me. I hope to see each and every one of you again really soon. The fact that Anthrax is at the top of their game right now and totally 'out for blood' after all these years is a testament to this band's longevity and conviction! I'm truly honored to have been a part of their brilliant legacy."
He goes on: "I can't wait to get back in the recording studio again! Over the years, I've been blessed with the privilege of working with a wide range of great bands/artists from Anthrax and Cradle of Filth all the way to Bruce Springsteen, and I look forward to a hopeful continuation of that side of my career while I figure out my next move as an artist. BTW in case anyone was wondering after reading all of this, I do FULLY intend to get back out there on the road very soon in some way shape or form....it's in my blood! Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @RobCaggiano for any and all updates on what I am up to."
The Anthrax camp released their own sentiments about Cagianno's departure as well:
"Rob has been an integral part of Anthrax for so many years, as our lead guitarist, in a production capacity, but most of all, as our close friend. His contributions to the band have been enormous. While we are sad that he is leaving, we wish him nothing but great success going forward, and hope to share the stage with him again sometime down the road."
Then in a less formal method Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian Tweeted: "@RobCaggiano will always be my brother and friend. I only wish him the best on his mission." Anthrax bassist Frank Bello added: "@Rob Caggiano will always be family to me. I wish him all the best. ..peace & love..."
Good luck to Rob Caggiano on his future endeavors - I have no doubt we'll be hearing more from him very, very soon. And it'll be awesome.
Meanwhile, Anthrax will be coming to Chicago's House of Blues on their Metal Alliance Tour on April 5. Not sure who the lead guitarist will be on that tour just yet - but it'll be a killer show regardless.
The Metal Alliance Tour 2013
3/23 Las Vegas, NV House Of Blues
3/24 Tempe, AZ The Marquee
3/25 San Diego, CA House Of Blues
3/27 W Hollywood, CA House Of Blues
3/28 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom
3/29 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom
3/31 Seattle, WA Showbox SODO
4/2 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall
4/4 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
**4/5 Chicago, IL House Of Blues**
4/7 Cincinnati, OH Bogart’s
4/9 Dallas, TX House Of Blues
4/10 Houston, TX House Of Blues
4/12 Lake Buena Vista, FL House Of Blues
4/13 Charlotte, NC Tremont Music Hall
4/14 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore
4/16 Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
4/18 Philadelphia, PA Theater of Living Arts
4/19 Worcester, MA Palladium / New England Metalfest
4/20 New York, NY Irving Plaza