Scott Ian Recalls James Hetfield Looking For A New Singer Due To His Insecurities

The co-founder and rhythm guitarist of Anthrax, Scott Ian, appeared as a guest on the podcast No Fuckin’ Regrets and recalld an old memory from the early career of James Hetfield.

In their 40 years’ musical journey, Anthrax remains one of the biggest acts in the metal music world despite several lineup changes. This year, they have been celebrating their 40th anniversary with a series of events. For instance, back in May 2021, they released a documentary called ‘Anthrax 40 for 40,’ consisting of ten episodes and including behind-the-scenes stories.

Anthrax has enjoyed 40 years of success but they have also experienced many challenges and ups and downs during that time. Lineup changes were also one of the hardships they experienced, especially considering their lead vocalists. The band members had different personal tastes considering vocals, and thus, they tried to find the right vocalist for many years.

In the interview, Anthrax member Scott Ian talked about one of their previous vocalists, John Bush, and said that they were attentive while deciding on a new vocalist at the time, and Bush was the singer they were looking for. Ian actually recalled Bush after being asked about James Hetfield’s insecurities in his early years.

Hetfield initially thought that he wasn’t a good enough singer and just wanted to be the band’s guitarist. Thus, Metallica offered John Bush to work with them, but Bush declined the offer, a decision that would drastically change the history of music forever.

Scott Ian was asked by the interviewer that:

“What blows my mind is that James was so insecure that he wasn’t good enough that they actually considered asking John Bush, that blows my mind, the course of history would’ve changed forever.”

And then Scott replied:

“Yeah, and people were like, ‘John Bush is crazy, he said no to that?!’ Well, Armored Saint was actually bigger than Metallica at that point.

We loved John. We were friends with John for years, and we loved his voice. We thought – we were like, ‘He’s an amazing singer, but he also has an aggression that we were looking for, but still being a singer.’ Anthrax, we always wanted a singer, like I said, we were never going to suddenly make a left turn and have like a guy like Tom.

I love Tom, and I love Slayer, but that’s not what we were looking for, for Anthrax. There was that time when you think about it – when Kronos or Venom or Slayer were the most extreme thing, and then you put that in context with Cannibal Corpse 10 years later, it’s like, Tom sounds like Michael Bublé compared to that.”

You can watch the entire interview below.