Frank Bello Reveals The Prank Anthrax Pulled On Slayer’s Tom Araya

In an interview with Ultimate Guitar, Anthrax’s bassist Frank Bello brought up a prank the band had played on Slayer’s lead vocalist, Tom Araya. According to Bello, pranks were a routine part of the band’s dynamics, a fact he explained by saying:

“My favorite prank of all time… For Anthrax, there’s been a lot because we’re ball busters. We’re New York guys. We’re sarcastic but in a fun way. We don’t wanna hurt anybody. But it’s called ballbusting to keep it fun. I guess that’s all that because we’ve been together for so long. That’s how we keep it fresh and keep each other on the toes and stuff.”

The bassist recounted the specifics of one particular prank that took place during a joint tour:

“My favorite of all time was: We’re on tour – Was it Clash of the Titans? – I think, with Slayer and Megadeth, Alice In Chains opening. This is on YouTube; you guys can look this up. Slayer was on, I think, their last song. I don’t know if it was ‘Angel of Death.'”

He revealed the setup and noted:

“You know, when they set up the lights, all these big things up. We had a line come all the way down, and we bought the biggest f**king fish we could. The thing was, with Slayer back then, you could never make them crack up on stage. It’s very serious and stuff like that. Our thing was to bust balls and make them crack up.”

Then, broke down how they pulled the prank off as follows:

“They were into the song. It’s f**king brutal, and I love Slayer. Some of the great friends of mine. It went through everybody’s – Riffing out and all that stuff. Tom’s at the vocal mic. Right in front of Tom’s mic. Slowly this huge fish comes right in front, like, out of nowhere. It looks like out of the f**king sky, right? It just comes right in front of them.”

The bassist remembered Araya’s reaction and said:

“He looks [up], and all of a sudden, you see him. He looks at the sides, he sees us. We’re f**king crying. He broke up [laughing]. If you know Tom, he’s got the best personality in the world. He’s hilarious. It was just one of those great pranks that worked really well, and it was just exactly what we wanted to happen.”

Anthrax and Slayer later joined forces for another tour, which was the latter’s farewell in 2018-2019. Talking about it to Revolver at the time, Bello expressed sadness over the band’s retirement and later added:

“I’m glad you’re doing something like this because, you know what? I think they deserve it. I don’t think they’ll ever not be a Slayer. And I’m hoping one day — this is my quiet hope — that maybe one day there’ll be another Big 4 show somewhere, and hopefully we’ll be able to pull them out of retirement for that.”

However, according to a recent interview with Dave Lombardo, a reunion for Slayer will not likely happen soon.

You can watch Frank Bello’s recent interview in the video below.