Original Anthrax Member Opens Up on Getting Fired, Says He Was ’Neglected’ After Writing Most of Debut Album

In 2021, Anthrax celebrated the 40th anniversary of the band’s formation. And in less than two years from now, it will be 40 years after the thrash metal legends released their debut album “Fistful of Metal.”

Anthrax - Deathrider

But although a great record with some of the band’s classics, most of the participants are no longer members of Anthrax. Apart from Scott Ian and Charlie Benante, there was Neil Turbin on vocals, Dan Spitz on lead guitar, and Dan Lilker on bass guitar.

Although later working with Ian and Benante as a member of Stormtroopers of Death, Dan Lilker was fired from Anthrax after the release of the debut album. And although drama during the early days of most metal bands isn’t uncommon, there have been some controversies surrounding former Anthrax members.

Stormtroopers of Death (S.O.D.) Live at Budokan 1992 DVD 1992

In a recent chat with Knotfest’s official outlet, bassist Dan Lilker looked back on these early Anthrax days and getting fired from the band. Discussing four decades of the band’s formation, he said (via Ultimate Guitar):

“I’m definitely proud of that whole thing. I think it’s great that those guys are still going… That was real good memories back then. I know people go, ‘Oh, they fucking threw you out after that,’ and blah blah blah.”

“But obviously, I got over that and formed Nuclear Assault. And next year we were doing S.O.D. So I’m not the kind of guy who stays bitter forever.”

“But yeah, the memories of those times, writing that record and recording it and everything was… ‘Cause there was no blueprint or anything; we just had influences and just tried to put our own stamp on ’em back then.

“So, yeah, it kind of sucks being thrown out three days before [it got] released, but it gave me an excuse to do something else.”

In 2021, Anthrax celebrated 40 years of their work with a video series going through all of the band’s eras and lineups. Lilker, of course, was also a part of it all. Looking back at it, he said:

“There was times in the past where I might have been a little neglected on some of the stuff. So I think they wanted to make sure to just have a nice, inclusive vibe and not forget any particular details. Like the fact that I wrote 75 percent of ‘Fistful Of Metal’. You know, a minor detail.”

Photo: David Tyler (Dan Lilker), Ozzy Delaney (Scott Ian (8167175501))

David Slavkovic

David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.

David Slavkovic has 363 posts and counting. See all posts by David Slavkovic