BD Music caught up with Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian after the Yankee Stadium Big 4 show to discuss one of his biggest passions: zombies! Scott was lucky enough to become a zombie on The Walking Dead (description here) and he opened up a bit more about the experience as well as told us his favorite horror movie of all time! Want to know what it is? Check out the interview after the jump!
Don’t forget to check out our review of the new album Worship Music!
How’s it going?
Good, how are you?
Not too shabby! First of all, congratulations on Worship Music! I loved it and it seems like everyone is a huge fan!
Awesome man! Thanks so much!
I know that you just played the Big 4 show in Yankee Stadium and you’re probably sick and tired of talking about it, but can you tell me a little bit about it and what it meant for you?
For me, it was the biggest show of our career. It doesn’t get bigger than Yankee Stadium and as New Yorkers, and with most of us being Yankees fans [laughs], it was an experience that I can’t even say was a dream come true because I never even dreamed we would play Yankee Stadium. So, on just every level, it was incredible. The audience was amazing, they went nuts. It’s one of those things that’s going to take a little while for it to process for me and to even believe that it actually happened. I know we did it a week ago and it still seems so unreal!
Do you know if there are going to be anymore Big 4 shows?
I don’t know. It’s obviously something that was put together by Metallica and they’re very much the driving force behind it. Granted, we all love doing it. Us, Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica, it’s something that we all love to do. The best answer I can give is that we all love doing it so much makes me hopeful that we can do more shows. It’s not something that is industry driven or was put together by Live Nation. It was put together by the bands and is something we love to do. I hope that drive causes it to happen more.
Alright, I want to come to the main topic here: zombies! I know you’re a big fan of zombie movies. When did that start? Do you remember which movie turned you onto them?
It was Night of the Living Dead. I saw it as a kid and it just struck a chord with me. I got into horror movies early on, as a really young kid. I’m talking like six or seven years old. On Saturday mornings there was this show called Creature Feature and another one called Chiller Theater and they played horror movies. Most of my friends were watching cartoons while I was watching horror movies. I loved it! I don’t know why I connected so much with horror but it stayed with me when I grew up. It just really resonated with me, particularly those zombies. I’d seen zombies in crappy TV movies, like Haitian style zombies or ones that vampires created as henchmen, but I had never seen the Romero style zombie until Night of the Living Dead. It didn’t scare me but it resonated with me in a way that I hadn’t felt before. To me, it’s the most realistic. I don’t believe in werewolves, vampires, the supernatural. Granted, you have to suspend your disbelief for zombies but, for some reason, it just seems more possible than any other supernatural entities.
I have to say that I’m surprised you weren’t scared by Night Of The Living Dead. The first time I saw that movie it scared the hell out of me!
You know, I think it’s because by the time I saw that movie, I’d already built up a callous to horror movies. And that kinda sucks because I love that sensation. Like, when my wife jumps out at me in the house and scares the shit out of me, I love that feeling! I never get scared like that! It’s kind of a bummer that I can’t go to movies and have that experience. I certainly enjoy it but I never get scared watching them.
What is it like being a zombie on The Walking Dead?
That I can say was a dream come true! It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and something I felt like I would get an opportunity to do. Not specifically on Walking Dead of course. But someday I figured I’d get to be an extra in something and get made-up like a zombie. If I keep putting it out there enough and make myself available, it’ll happen. I just lucked out, the planets aligned. My agent got a call asking if I wanted to come down to a Walking Dead webisode shoot and Greg Nicotero was directing it and his team was going to make me up. So, not only did I get to do it, but I got to do it in the best possible way I could ever do it. Oh, and I get the best make up and FX guys in the business? Sure!
Without asking for too many spoilers, does your zombie have a bigger role than some of the “bit part” zombies?
I did get what is called the “full hero” treatment, which means I got the full treatment, not just a background. They did do a separate shot of me turning and following the living characters as they run past me. Whether or not it makes it into the thing, I don’t know, but they did do that shot.
What are some of your other favorite horror movies?
Pretty much it’s a list of classics. All the Evil Deads, number two being my favorite. The first Halloween, the first Friday the 13th, the first Nightmare on Elm St, Rosemary’s Baby, Dawn of the Dead, all of the old Universal movies. You know, I just did something recently where they asked me what my favorite horror movie of all time was and I said Evil Dead 2 and then about a day later I was thinking about it and I made a mistake, John Carpenter’s The Thing is my favorite horror movie of all time.
Thanks so much Scott! I’m looking forward to seeing you shamble for brains!
[laughs] Right on man!