It’s Like “Name That Tune,” Only Anthrax’s Charlie Benante Has to Guess His Own Songs

Hilarity ensues when the drummer has to guess a ballad B-side and early metal anthem

L-R:  Charlie Benante, Frank Bello, Scott Ian, Joey Belladonna, Jon Donais

Some music artists have released literally hundreds of songs over the years, to say nothing of the ones deemed too shitty to release. BlastEcho wondered if those involved in recording so many songs could remember them all. Enter Rockers’ Block.

For each Rockers’ Block contestant, we play five random songs from their catalog, each song from the beginning, to see how long it takes for them to guess (well, maybe guess isn’t the right word) the correct song. Then once they do (hopefully), they talk a bit about the song.

Our first contestant is Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante, who’s been in the band since it formed in 1981. Anthrax has released 11 studio albums over the years, including 2016’s For All Kings. Oh, and there’s that B-sides record, too. That’s a lot of Rockers’ Block ammunition:


“Born Again Idiot” from 1998’s Volume 8: The Threat Is Real

Benante got it in 4.4 seconds: I don’t have many memories of that song. I have really good memories about mixing it. That was fun experience. Overall that was a fun record to make. The downside of that record was it came out and the record company we were on was Tommy Boy. It folded the fuckin’ week it came out. That was a bad time.

“Medusa” from 1985’s Spreading the Disease

Benante got it in 4.7 seconds: One of my favorite songs that I came up with. I remember being really happy with the riffs in that song and writing lyrics in a hotel room somewhere in Connecticut. Like all of us around a bed with [Megaforce Records founder] Jonny Z writing stuff down. I have fond memories of that. It’s funny, on this Lamb of God tour, [LOB drummer] Chris Adler every night goes, “Are we gonna hear ‘Medusa’ one of these nights?”

“N.F.B. (Dallabnikufesin)” from 1991’s Attack of the Killer B’s

Benante got it in 15.6 seconds: I forget the actual title of it. It was on our Killer B’s record, I believe. I think it was “nice fuckin’ ballad.” [the parenthetical is “nice fuckin ballad” backwards, misspelled]. At the time we were so sick of these fuckin’ so-called heavy-metal bands making ballad songs just so they could get their fuckin’ videos on TRL. We’d had just about enough of it and decided to make a fuckin’ joke about it. Sebastian Bach always thought that it was meant toward him but it really wasn’t, but he was in that mix anyway. I hated all that stuff.

“Nothing” from 1995’s Stomp 442

Benante got it in 2.8 seconds: Love that song. I really have fond moments of making that record, too. It would have been our last record for what was Elektra records. They completely just fucked us over. I’m not saying that like I’m bitter. I’m just stating the truth. What happened was we signed to them and put out one record, which was White Noise, which did really well. And then the team that signed us had now been pushed out and it was basically a coup had happened. That whole regime was gone and moved out and a whole new regime was brought in. They didn’t really wanna inherit a lot of the signings that were there so they dropped a lot of bands including us. We couldn’t understand because our Sound of White Noise record sold over 800,000 records. So they contractually had to put out our record but they didn’t support it at all. And it just, boom, that was it.

“Metal Thrashing Mad” from 1984’s Fistful of Metal.

Benante got it in 5.3 seconds: That was always a real energetic crowd pleaser. That song would always be in our set list in the early days. It never left. I loved it. Still do. Our first album there was no way any of us at the time could get any real lyrics or song titles in because our singer at the time [Neil Turbin] was just very headstrong and they were his lyrics. He was very much in the school of Judas Priest and everything and those types of bands and imagery. I’m surprised every song on our first album didn’t have the word metal in it. It would have been like “Metal Rider,” “Metal Thrashing Mad,” “Metal Panic,” “Death From Metal.” It would have just been metal, metal, metal, metal… well, Jesus, what’s the name of the album? I rest my fuckin’ case.

Rockers' Block Scorecard

33 Seconds

0 to 10 seconds = Wow! You know these songs better than that guy who posts on your Facebook page every 19 seconds.

11 to 20 seconds = Ok, maybe you did actually help record these songs.

21 to 30 seconds = You sure these songs are yours?

31 to 40 seconds = Get this one an Electroencephalogram, stat!

41 seconds or more = Congratulations, you're no longer a professional musician!


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