“Most of these stories are centered around me being an idiot,” laughs Scott Ian. The co-founder of legendary thrash metal band Anthrax is talking about his new book, Access All Areas, which takes fans along for the ride to all the parties, hot spots, and behind-the-scenes shenanigans they will never hear about from anyone else.
During a visit to Build Series in New York City, the guitarist showed off his sense of humor, and addressed some more serious, timely issues that were less of a hot button back in the metal ’80s, such as misogyny and racism.
When asked about his groundbreaking work with the outfit Stormtroopers of Death, which included two of his fellow Anthrax members and frequently took misogynistic and racist lyrical slants for effect, Ian asserts that it was a deliberate choice, albeit one that might be difficult to successfully make nowadays.
“We were making fun of people who are that way,” he noted. “We were making fun of jerks. We were making fun of … what we considered poseurs in the ’80s.
“Anyone who knew me, knew we weren’t racist. That’s why back in the day, I refused to ever even answer any of those questions. ‘If you have to ask me that question, then I can’t even…’ Anyone who would take that seriously … you’re really not paying attention,” he asserted.
“We’re kind of living in this crazy time,” Ian continued. “On one hand, the political correctness thing is out of control. I’ve been having this conversation with many people now, especially with the sexual harassment [allegations in the news]. … Sometimes I think, has it gone too far?
“But at the same time, there’s a section of society now and in the media where I feel like there’s no political correctness, and certain people just get away with saying whatever they want — our president,” he offers up. “I’m not going to start a big political discourse here, but look — I grew up in New York City. I grew up in a city where we know who that guy is.”
Ian’s new book marks his second in his catalog. His first memoir, I’m the Man, was released in 2015 and detailed the history and rise of Anthrax and its various lineups and incarnations.