Shalom Life | March 09, 2014

Anthrax's Scott Ian Recalls His Mother's Disappointment At Becoming A Thrash Metal Rocker

While speaking to the New York Daily News, the leader of the infamous metal band discusses his Jewish mother screaming at him upon hearing of his decision

By: Daniel Koren

Published: March 5th, 2014 in Culture » Music » News

Anthrax's Scott Ian Recalls His Mother's Disappointment At Becoming A Thrash Metal Rocker

Scott Ian is one of the only two consistent members in the infamous thrash metal band Anthrax, which he helped create way back in 1981. Anthrax proved to be one of the most popular and iconic metal bands of the era, alongside metal rockers the likes of Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth.

The Jewish-born Ian, who grew up in Bayside, Queens, recently spoke to the New York Daily News on what he's been up to, providing a melancholic look at growing up, particularly the difficulties he experienced during his teenage years.

None of those, of course, prepared him for the shear unadulterated drama that ensued when his Jewish mama learned that it was his dream to become, rather than a doctor or lawyer as she had always encouraged him to pursue, a musician.

But of course, not just any musician, as perhaps her reaction would have been less severe had he said he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Bob Dylan. No, Ian was planning on becoming a real rockstar, shortly after, forming the thrash metal band known as Anthrax alongside Danny Lilker.

During the interview, Ian admitted that his mother apparently 'screamed' at him upon hearing the news.

“At 5-foot-4, I wasn’t going to make the New York Yankees, my other dream. So being in a band just became my complete focus from the age of 14 in the late 1970s,” the 50-year-old rockstar explained. “I dropped out of St. Johns University my first semester because I wanted to work full time at my father’s office to make money to buy equipment.”

“For a long time I couldn’t tell my mother I’d dropped out because she’s a Jewish mom who felt the only thing good enough for her son was being a doctor, lawyer or dentist. Well, maybe not even a dentist,” he said. “When I finally got the nerve to tell my mother, the scream that she let loose is still traveling through space and time at speeds unheard of by science, I’m telling you.”

According to Ian, it took a decade for his mother to 'really' forgive him. During which, Anthrax had already put out five albums, the last three of which went gold.

Ian is currently on a spoken-word tour, as he's obviously garnered quite a few stories over the years. He'll be performing tonight at the B.B. King Blues Club in Times Square.

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