During a new appearance on “The Fred Minnick Show”, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian was asked if he thinks heavy metal “got a really bad rap in the mainstream culture” in the 1990s. He responded (see video below): “Yeah. But even more so in the ’80s, when you had the PMRC — you know, Tipper Gore and housewives who decided that we were dangerous for the youth of America. That’s when Dee Snider and Frank Zappa went to Capitol Hill and testified in front of Congress and all that, because they wanted to put warning stickers on albums — that whole thing. And the best part about it is that at the end of the day, there was some compromise made and the labels decided they would put content warning stickers on records, and that enabled us to sell more albums because every kid wanted the record with the content warning on it. So, thank you, social justice warriors, for enabling us to sell more records to kids that you were trying to protect them from us. They bought more of ’em.”

Asked how he feels about the status of hard rock and heavy metal right now, Ian said: “I think it’s super healthy — as healthy as it’s ever been. You can’t judge things anymore by album sales, ’cause people buying physical [product], people buying CDs, vinyl, it isn’t what it used to be. And the streaming numbers for hard rock and heavy metal don’t come anywhere close to the streaming numbers for pop or rap. But as far as ticket sales go, and going out on tour and all that, and just in general…

“Look, we’ve been doing this a long time, and the fact that I can still do this now — [2021] will be our 40th year as a band — I can still do this now and make a living at it, all these decades later, at a higher level than we did even in the ’80s,” he continued. “I can only judge it by the health of my band, where my band is at professionally, and things are really good… So that, to me, is a good barometer for what’s going on with hard rock and heavy metal in general. So many new bands in metal have come through in the last 10 years, and then, of course, you’ve got the grandpas like us and — I was gonna say SLAYER, but they retired — us and MEGADETH and METALLICA. And even bands that I consider to be new bands, like SYSTEM OF A DOWN or LAMB OF GOD — all these guys who have now been around going on 20 [or] 30 years. I think it’s really healthy.

“There’s always gonna be a new generation of kids that are gonna look for an alternative to what’s on the radio or what’s on the television, and that’s hard rock and heavy metal,” Scott added. “It’s kind of like the death business — funeral homes are never gonna go out of business; I don’t think guitar-based bands are ever gonna go out of business.”

ANTHRAX has been writing new material for the band’s next release, expected later this year. The new album will follow ANTHRAX‘s 2016 release “For All Kings”, the critically acclaimed 11th studio album that became ANTHRAX‘s highest-charting effort in two decades when it entered the Billboard 200 at No. 9.