Anthrax with a full calendar, covers EP

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Entertainment,Robert Fulton

When asked why Anthrax has so many tour dates scheduled, founding member Scott Ian had a very simple answer.

"We keep getting offers to go play shows," Ian said from a stop in Dallas. "It's something that you don't say no to. One of the reasons we do this is to get out and play our music for people. When you're afforded that opportunity to do it, I really don't see why we would say no."

Anthrax performs Sunday at the Fillmore in Silver Spring.

Ian and crew have enjoyed a resurgence of sorts over the last few years, as evident by the multiple sold-out shows on the current tour. But the rhythm guitarist has no idea exactly why. He did recognize that after some time away from the band, lead singer Joey Belladonna rejoined Anthrax a few years ago.

If you go
Anthrax
» Where: The Fillmore, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring
» When: 6 p.m. Sunday
» Info: $30; 301-960-9999; fillmoresilverspring.com

"Pretty much since 2010, when he rejoined, the best metaphor I can use is that balls were rolling downhill instead of us trying to push it uphill," Ian said. "Everything's just been going in the right direction. Things are moving the right way for us."

In other lineup news, lead guitarist Rob Caggiano recently left the band, replaced by touring guitarist Jonathan Donais. Ian said that he's still friends with Caggiano but that Donais has brought a new energy to Anthrax and the band sounds tight.

On this tour, Anthrax is performing its 1987 classic album, "Among the Living," in its entirety. The band doesn't play it front to back but mixes all the tracks in throughout its set. Ian said revisiting the album is a way to give fans something new.

"We just wanted to do something different this time around," he said. "It just seemed like a cool idea."

Anthrax will be on the road into September, first on the Metal Alliance Tour, then a summer tour that takes the guys to Europe. Ian said they'll see about some new material this fall. In May, between tours, Ian will do a short storytelling tour in the U.K. He said there's consideration to bring the storytelling tour, which features Ian talking about his life, to the U.S.

In the meantime, Anthrax has released an EP of cover tracks titled "Anthem," featuring "T.N.T." by AC/DC, Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak" and "Smokin' " by Boston. Ian said the EP was just a fun project.

Might any metal fans be put off that Anthrax covers the likes of Boston and Journey?

"I think if you know anything about this band, we've never really worried about alienating anyone," Ian said. "We do what we like to do."

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