If things had gone to plan, Anthrax would be back home by now basking in the glow of their first major European tour since 2019. But instead the group were forced to cancel 20 dates on their 40th anniversary Euro jaunt, instead playing just 8 gigs in the UK before packing things up.
“When I saw the numbers, they were literally triple what they originally started at,” bassist Frank Bello told TotalRock‘s Neil Jones about the scotched shows. “We would be coming home at such a loss. You don’t mind a little bit of a loss just to play to the fans, but such a loss — we would have been really bad off for a while. So it didn’t make sense.”
When Jones asked if it was a “Brexit thing” that forced the cancellations, Bello said, “it’s a human thing at this point, my God. I mean, it’s a budgetary thing.” Bello explained that the group were excited to play for their “great big” overseas fanbase, but once they did the budget before the shows went on sale things were totally upended by the global pandemic. “After COVID, when everything went crazy, money-wise, financially it wasn’t feasible to do it anymore,” he said.
“When [we] looked at it, we said, ‘All right. There’s better times ahead.’ And that’s the way to look at it now. Look, heating costs and everybody’s gotta put food on the table. I get it right now. So it’s just a really hard time for everybody.”
Bello said he can’t wait to return to Europe “the next time around,” but at this point no new dates have been announced for the run that was slated to run from Oct. 11-Nov. 5. Anthrax played a run of UK dates from Sept. 27-Oct. 8 after announcing on Aug. 31 that, “sadly due to ongoing logistical issues and 2022 costs that are out of our control, we have no other option but to cancel the European leg of our upcoming 2022 tour.”
Anthrax are a month a raft of acts who’ve opened up about the financial and logistical hardships of touring right now. Recently Lorde said things are “at an almost unprecedented level of difficulty” out there on the road, while earlier this year a number of smaller and medium-sized acts told Billboard that “out of control” gas prices were seriously eating into profit margins.
Watch Bello’s interview below.