Anthrax recently announced they’d be reuniting with bassist Dan Lilker for the first time in 40 years. Lilker will take current Anthrax bassist Frank Bello‘s place on stage for a handful of shows until Bello returns.

In an interview with Metal Mayhem ROC, Lilker said he got the call about a month ago. “I was actually contacted, I guess, about a month ago… I had a lot more advance notice than when everybody just found out a couple of days ago,” said Lilker.

“It was just that’s when the press release went public. So, yeah, about a month, ’cause I needed some time to learn some of the material, obviously, to play it correctly and play it with authority, too. You don’t wanna just learn it; you wanna play it with confidence and look like you’re up there being metal and not tentative. So, yeah, you could say late February, early March, something like that.”

All we know so far is that Bello will sit out Anthrax‘s upcoming shows for personal reasons. Bello issued his own statement at the time, saying “Hey Everybody, I wanted to let all my friends know that I’m sorry that I won’t be coming to play the upcoming Anthrax dates in Mexico, South America, or the couple of U.S. festival dates in May. Everything’s OK, but for personal reasons, I won’t be able to make those shows. I want to thank my friend Danny Lilker for stepping in for me- he’s gonna rock it! Enjoy the shows , I’m sure they will be great , and I’ll look forward to seeing you all soon!!”.

Elaborating on getting the call, Lilker said he was actually on a smoke break at work when his screen lit up with a text from Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian. Which frankly, is the most “rock star is actually normal dude” story.

“I got a text from Scott when he was in Japan on tour with Mr. Bungle. And I was actually at work. I work in precision optics, because I’ve realized that playing the type of music I played for the most part wasn’t lucrative enough to not have a job.

“But point being that, yeah, I was just [having] a little smoke break at work at, like, 8:13 a.m. on a Monday or something, and I got a message from Scott going, ‘Do you think yo’d be able to do some shows with us next month?’ So, yeah, it would have been the very beginning of March.

“And it’s funny. I just looked at my boss who’s also a metalhead — that’s that’s how I ended up working for the company — and said, ‘Hey, I just got asked to be do some Anthrax shows next month.’ And he goes, ‘You’d be fucking crazy not to.’ And so I knew it would be cool there. And I said, ‘Sure. Sounds like fun.’ I looked at the tour dates and said, ‘I’ve never been to Uruguay before,’ so I can cross that off the list.’ Everybody at [the] company [I work for] has been really super supportive about that. So I’m very lucky in that aspect.”

Though perhaps the funniest part of the interview is when Lilker starts talking about playing Anthrax again. When talking about all the material he’s excited to play, Lilker added “the latter-day stuff from the ’90s is fun because it was actually really easy to learn because it was more kind of slow. So, obviously, for me, playing grindcore and death metal and black metal, some of this stuff is going to be nice and easy. I have to make sure I don’t start daydreaming.”

Lilker-thrax has the following dates lined up. Get your tickets here.

4/13 – MXMF The Metal Fest, Ciudad De México, Mexico
4/15 – Cancha Diamante, San Salvador, El Salvador
4/17 – Pepper’s, San Jose, Costa Rica
4/19 – The Metal Fest, Quito, Ecuador
4/21 – The Metal Fest, Santiago, Chile
4/23 – Sala de Museo, Montevideo, Uruguay
4/25 – El Teatro Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina
4/28 – Summer Breeze Open Air, São Paulo, Brazil
5/9 – Welcome to Rockville, Daytona Beach, FL
5/17 – Sonic Temple Festival, Columbus, OH

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