PIAZZA: I actually caught two of your shows the last time you toured here, one in Philly and one in New York.
BUSH: Yeah, those were good shows.
PIAZZA: How's "Stomp 442" doing?
BUSH: We're going through our struggling period. I wish it wasn't like that, but unfortunately it is because metal, at the moment, has become so underground that it will soon be "cool" again to like heavy metal. It may take a year or so, but the fact is, ANTHRAX has been around for twelve years, and if we got to wait till that happens again, then that's fine with us - We stick to our guns.
PIAZZA: The record business is like a big, corporate, political machine. The way certain record companies have been marketing their bands........ I personally think the whole thing is a joke. A lot of the label executives and the bands these days are putting down metal, I guess that's the "hip" thing to do. Yet these bands are blatantly copping metal riffs and the labels market these bands as "progressive" or "alternative". I mean, take a band like SMASHING PUMPKINS... I mean, they might throw in two or three ballads and mix it in with whining vocals, but the fact is, they're ripping off metal riffs. I give them credit, they've figured out what the record companies and the radio stations want to hear. They want that "Seattle sound", with a metal twist, like a SOUNDGARDEN; and they're selling a lot of records. Don't get me wrong...I love SOUNDGARDEN, I think they're a great band, but I don't understand why they put down metal. Like you said, I think that's why a lot of these bands become "underground". I actually saw that coming, because I believe it was the glam bands of the eighties that really gave metal a bad name. They commercialized it, with their big hair and make-up. And I think the whole reputation of metal was smeared because of that. Now you got to work your way up from the bottom.
BUSH: I don't know why bands like WARRANT and POISON were even called metal, because they weren't! Yet they were tacked in with bands like METALLICA and ANTHRAX. So Mike, tell the readers of SHOCKWAVES what were some of the albums in your record collection from when you were a teen?
PIAZZA: Let me think.... I had everything ranging from LIZZY BORDEN, VINNIE VINCENT INVASION, DOKKEN, KISS, and RATT, to KING DIAMOND, METAL CHURCH, MOTORHEAD, SLAYER, LOUDNESS, EZO.... I have all the ARMORED SAINT records.
BUSH: Are you serious?!
PIAZZA: Hell yeah. I remember back in High School, my good friend Tony was teaching me how to play the guitar riff from "Holy Diver". He showed me the "March Of The Saint" album and said, "You gotta hear this record, it's a new band called ARMORED SAINT. I was totally into that album, and I followed you from then on. I picked up your next record, "Delirious Nomad", that album kicked ass. As well as the "Symbol Of Salvation" record. Your music always inspired me, it gave me a mental edge to be relentless. It would make me drive even harder, especially the song "Another Day". I had always said "That singer rocks!" I didn't actually meet you until after you joined ANTHRAX. It's kind of amazing that I followed your career probably as much as you followed mine. It's true, I used to sing the song "Aftermath" all the time. I knew all your lyrics.
BUSH: You're kidding!
PIAZZA: (Sings the lyrics to AFTERMATH word for word) "It's too late now, to turn the clock around, Frozen World Outside, Made by Foolish Pride!...."
BUSH: That rules! You fuckin' rip! That freaks me out that you know all the words. That was over ten years ago, I can't even remember the words to that song!
PIAZZA: I was into all that... METALLICA, ACCEPT, RAVEN... When I saw James Hetfield at the MOTORHEAD show, for Lemmy's 50th birthday party, I told him that I saw METALLICA open for RAVEN back in '83 at the Tower Theater in Philly. He tripped out on that.
BUSH: I remember the Tower, I had played there once. Didn't that place turn into a strip club?
PIAZZA: You're right, it did.
BUSH: On the topic of strip clubs.... you must venture into a few of them while you're on the road...
PIAZZA: Yeah, I check out SCORES in New York, the CRAZY HORSE II in Vegas, Chicago, and Fort Lauderdale....SOLID GOLD, SHOTGUN WILLIES in Denver....
BUSH: I remember the first time I went to Shotgun Willies with ANTHRAX, there was a girl that was dancing to "Nothing". I remember thinking... "maybe this song could be a hit!".
PIAZZA: Strip clubs are really taking off now. It's a big money maker.
BUSH: Let me ask you a personal question...When you go to a strip club, do you ever go in there with the intention of taking a girl home?
PIAZZA: No. I think it's only on rare occasions where a girl will go home with the customer. Sure it happens, of course, but that's not my intention.
BUSH: There is obviously a fascination with giving away your money to some girl to show you her jugs. I'm just as guilty as anyone else...
PIAZZA: It's like a Playboy magazine that has come to life. When you were a kid, a Playboy Magazine did it for you, but now you got to have the real thing.
BUSH: That's a great way of putting it. What about you, Mike? You're an eligible bachelor....Is it difficult for you to maintain a relationship?
PIAZZA: Obviously our careers are very parallel. We do a lot of traveling so it's tough to sustain a meaningful relationship. You meet a lot of girls on the road, so the temptation is there. Also, a lot of these women like to be with "stars", so sometimes you become cautious and tend to distance yourself from women.
BUSH: It sometimes makes you wonder if they like you for who you are, or for what you represent.
Piazza and Bush Page 3