Hi reddit, Scott Ian here. You probably know me best as the guitarist in Anthrax. I am about to begin my “Speaking Words” tour (http://scott-ian.com/), a 15-city North American tour, kicking off in Chicago, IL on February 20th. “Speaking Words” is an honest look at my insane life that I've led for the last 31 years, and during each stop, I'm going to be taking part in a special Q&A session with the audience. Might as well get that started now, so AMA!


Comments: 451 • Responses: 75  • Date: 

Aerron258 karma

I teach biology and when we get to the bacterial diseases I talk about the different effects of anthrax and then ask if they'd like to see a picture. The next slide is you on stage.

Edit: It's an easy way to find out who the cool kids are.

Scott_Ian196 karma

You are the best teacher ever.

kevinthekevin64 karma

what was Cliff Burton really like? seems like he was a good guy #RIPCLIFF

Scott_Ian113 karma

He was an individual and an original. And a funny motherfucker.

acefrehley1200060 karma

Who is the law?

Scott_Ian142 karma


charoco53 karma


I was in the front (can't call it a row as there were no seats) at a show in '87 or '88 at the Cameo Theater in Miami Beach (opening acts were Exodus and Celtic Frost). All three bands were awesome, one of my favorite concerts ever.

In the middle of Indians, a bouncer got a little too rough for your tastes with a kid trying to stage dive (incidentally a friend of my brother).

You pounced on the bouncer, a melee erupted on stage and you guys took off for a couple of minutes. The dust settled, you came back out and picked up the song at the War Dance part. We always though it was cool how you stood up for your fans to the point of interrupting a show to protect one of them.

Anyway, my question is this: Why did you blow me off on the field at the Orange Bowl during the Monsters of Rock show in the summer of '88 (I believe during the Scorpions' set)? All I wanted was a high five but you had this big goon who wouldn't let me near you. It made me sad.

Scott_Ian86 karma

Wow, that's a long set up. I had a big goon? At least take solace in the fact that I'm high fiving you virtually right now!

Scott_Ian158 karma

Also, I was a total dick in 1988.

Scott_Ian51 karma

OK my friends I'm off to Chicago to start my talking tour. Thanks for all the questions and I hope to see you out there. Stay tuned for new Anthrax! Cheers, Scott

killersofsanity34 karma

What is your favorite band to tour with? And have you ever injured yourself while performing?

Scott_Ian75 karma

Maiden. Just aches and pains, cuts and scrapes.

MedicineMan8131 karma

Any chance of any more S.O.D. material ever being released?

Scott_Ian37 karma

There isn't any more. Except in my brain.

FarbrorWilly30 karma

Hey Scott. Isn't it time for Anthrax to do one more Stephen King inspired song? It's been awhile since the last one...

Scott_Ian38 karma


MedicineMan8130 karma

How do you and the rest of the guys in the band age so well? Is Flavor flav hooking you up with anti-aging serum?

Scott_Ian76 karma

Metal keeps us young

Acksull29 karma


Scott_Ian29 karma

Stay strong my friend. I'll give it a listen

ImAllOutOfBubblegum726 karma

The Metal thrashing mad man! thanks for doing this AMA Scott Ian. First I’d like to say thanks for all the great music of course! And the memories that have come with it, my first moshpit was actually during the song Caught In a Mosh.

I got two questions:

  1. From the rest of the big Four (Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica), who is your favourite guitarist? And why?
  2. What is the most “un-metal” thing about you? What is something people would not think of a metal guy doing?

Scott_Ian76 karma

James. He's the best. Everything about me is metal.

RolandTaverner24 karma

Who have you been "starstruck" by? Any funny stories of clamming up or eating the old foot?

Scott_Ian71 karma

I still turn into a sweaty 12 year old around Gene Simmons.

FordSVT122 karma

No question, just wanted to let you know that I had "Got the Time" stuck in my head from 1990 to 1994. Thanks for that, jerk!

Scott_Ian27 karma

Thank Joe Jackson!

heebhammer7020 karma

Hey Scott, not a question but anyways- When I was a teenager I saw you in an episode of I Love the 70s/ 80s (Can't remember). You said something to the effect of 'When I was growing up, I had no idea I'd be a big rock star. I was just a nerdy Jewish kid from Queens." I thought to myself, "I'm a nerdy Jewish kid from right across the river, and my dad's from Queens!" I've since joined a few bands. So, thank you from all the nerdy Jewish kids out there that jam along to Anthrax tunes.

Scott_Ian14 karma

You're welcome

Zach_Attack3319 karma

SCOTT FUCKING IAN! I just wanna start off by saying I was fortunate enough to see you guys live at the Big 4 show in Indio CA, and it was for sure the best concert I've ever been to. It was a shame you guys only got about 45 minutes of playing time, but you for sure made the best of it. My question is, why didn't you guys play Heaven and Hell in between Indians in the US like you did on the European tour? It sounded so good on the DVD and I was looking forward to Joey doing his killer Dio voice

Scott_Ian17 karma

I don't remember why. Sorry!

Ribelin200019 karma

Have you seen "The Wolf of Wall Street" yet? If you haven't, you really should!!!

Scott_Ian119 karma


Seba55318 karma

Do you shave you're head because it looks cool or because your going bald?

Scott_Ian61 karma

I went bald.

ArmstrongsUniball18 karma

The video for 'we've got a situation here' is one of my favourite music videos ever. So thank you.

I realise that isn't a question, I just wanted you to know. However, I may as well ask something so... What one bit of advice would you give the younger self?

Scott_Ian34 karma

That video rules. Brendon Small did a great job directing. Advice....shave your head earlier

MechaDewbot18 karma

HUGE fan since the 80's! Although you're my favorite guitarist, I've only gotten to see you with S.O.D. on the Bigger Than The Devil tour in Spartanburg, SC.

All I want to know is how did you get that tone on Shenanigans?

Oh, what was it like on the set of Married With Children?

Scott_Ian16 karma

I think that was a Randall RG100 maybe. MWC was a blast.

Jswani17 karma

What is the best thing about playing with Anthrax? Also, what is your favorite song to play?

Scott_Ian54 karma

Getting to jam with my brothers in the band. Writing, recording, live. I'm a lucky man. Current favorite is In The End

pittsburgfan1716 karma

What are your proudest moments as a musician, and as a person?

Scott_Ian65 karma

Just making our first record over 30 years ago was quite an achievement. Playing Yankee Stadium. A 33 year career and counting. Being a good man, husband, father and I'm good at math and I can fold a fitted sheet. FTW.

molotovnic16 karma

what is the story behind the song BLACK LODGE? that is one deep song that is part of my lifetime playlist. it is an honor to communicate with you.

Scott_Ian21 karma

Unrequited love.

mikeymike14214 karma

Hey Scott, welcome to AMA!

I was wondering if you can talk a bit about your time in the show Supergroup. How was it working with the likes of Ted, Bonham and Sebastian. Is Bach really as crazy as he came off or was that all showmanship?

Scott_Ian14 karma

First and only time I got to be a "rockstar." Sebastian rules. Great singer and awesome guy.

alexobert11 karma

What are your thoughts on Eddie Trunk giving metal a proper outlet?

Scott_Ian20 karma


Veyrontarga11 karma

Thoughts on the Big 4 shows and the other 3 bands?

Scott_Ian19 karma

Love them and want to do more.

hooper36010 karma

Can we expect a new Damned Things album? Or will the new Anthrax album have more of a rock and roll vibe?

Scott_Ian21 karma

We're all busy with our day jobs so no new album in sight. New Anthrax is if anything, thrashier.

4straight2edge010 karma

You are a legend and i love you.

Scott_Ian90 karma

Thankee sai

N0rthside_Donutz9 karma

Hey Scott, thanks for bringing the fuckin' metal for all these years. I'm so glad you got to party it up with my other fav band, Pantera. Anthrax's new album rocks!

Anyways, I had 2 simple questions for you (my wife and I are looking to get a dog when we move into our house)

  1. What's your favorite kind of dog, and
  2. What's your favorite name for a dog?

Thanks, and keep up the great work!

Scott_Ian39 karma

Get a wolf and name it wolf.

thisiskate9 karma

SO, I'm super excited about this AMA, because I literally have listened to your music all my life. My dad is a super metalhead, and I grew up on Anthrax. My teacher in second grade asked us for our role models, and I was told that 'Scott Ian' is not an acceptable role model to write a paper of admiration about. Shows what they knew!!!

Anyways, my questions are:

1.) If you were an animal, what would you be?

2.) What was your favorite song you worked on? Not because it was fun to play, but actually putting it together and recording.

3.) What's the writing process like in Anthrax? Is someone bossy and writes most of it, or does everyone pull their weight? What happens behind the scenes, for real.

Again, thanks, this is probably the coolest AMA ever and I will have to ask my dad to post something too.

Scott_Ian14 karma

George The Animal Steele. In The End. Usually Charlie, Frankie and I in a room working on music. Words after.

csm878 karma

When will we see you in the walking dead?

Scott_Ian15 karma

I want to do it again. Trying.

amoviescriptending8 karma

Just wanted to say that I love your Dharma Initiative picks! Awesome to see you're a LOST fan. What are some other favorite shows?

Scott_Ian33 karma

Deadwood. The Wire. Sopranos. The Shield. Game Of Thrones. Seinfeld. Twin Peaks. BREAKING BAD.

astroskag7 karma

Do you have any tips on dying my beard? Anything I try seems to fade really quickly.

Scott_Ian19 karma

Stop dyeing it. Go natural.

ThisIsMarklar7 karma

Hey man, thanks a bunch for doing this. My question is this;

What are your thoughts on the traditional rock band working cycle (album, tour, break, repeat) nowadays?

Is it enough to keep fans interested and the revenue steady? Or in the age of digital distribution of music, is it more manageable to do a DOWN and release EPs amidst a hectic touring schedule?

Also, as we approach the ten year anniversary - have you got any Dimebag stories for us?

Scott_Ian18 karma

The cycle works for us. We just tend to take more breaks between tours if possible. We also don't work with a deadline when it comes to writing. We learned after State Of Euphoria to never rush an album again. Come see my show for a Darrell story. Or read my book when it comes out in October. PLUG.

patton666 karma

do you and Meatloaf ever jam? any chance for a duo project with you two? him singing over some of your riffs would be a trip for sure

Scott_Ian10 karma

Maybe some day

BushyDio6 karma

Hey Scott, I'd like to say first, you're the man and a total inspiration as a rhythm guitarist. I have two questions. 1) what got you playing guitar? 2) will there be a mandolin part at all on the new Anthrax album?

Scott_Ian11 karma

Pete Townshend. Yes.

WonkaKnowsBest6 karma

Just droppin' in to say sup. Keep on rockin'!

Scott_Ian14 karma


vinylsounds6 karma

Jewcifer! Thanks for doing this AMA. Do you have a favorite memory of touring/playing with Dimebag? Any thoughts on 'newer' thrash bands like Toxic Holocaust?

Scott_Ian26 karma

see my show or read my book re Darrell. PLUG. Municipal Waste is gonna fuck you up.

vinylsounds6 karma

I'm buying that fucking book.

Scott_Ian10 karma


alexobert5 karma

Does John Bush get free Burger King meals for life?

Scott_Ian11 karma

Yes. He weighs 450lbs.

scurvyshysterbastard5 karma

Seriously, no bullshit...Priest or Maiden?

Scott_Ian16 karma

Why choose?

SwedishMoosey5 karma

Hey, thanks for this AMA!

Favorite guitar?

What band would you most like to be on stage with?

Scott_Ian16 karma

My Jackson T-1000 sig model!

twojaguars6 karma

Really nice-looking axe, although I'm a little disappointed to find that it isn't made out of liquid metal.

Rikkety4 karma

Apparently, it doesn't really shoot lightning, either.

Scott_Ian31 karma

You're just not doing it right

urf_4 karma

Hey Scott, big fan of your music! Thanks for doing this.

2 Questions:

  1. When Rob left the band, was there any consideration to get Dan Spitz back and complete the 80's lineup again?
  2. What's Meat Loaf like as a father-in-law?

Scott_Ian16 karma

  1. No
  2. We jam Bat Out Of Hell every night.

ormomack4 karma

Hey, Scott. I'm looking forward to see you in Pittsburgh on Saturday. My question is, is it a curse or a blessing to be a short dude in music, especially in the metal industry?

Scott_Ian10 karma

Ask Angus and Malcolm

alexobert4 karma

Favorite Damned Things song?

Scott_Ian9 karma

Blues having The Blues

Stoltz34 karma

Little known fact about Scott Ian?

Scott_Ian33 karma

My beard is fake.

Venom20123 karma

Hey Mang, 2 questions dude; 1 are you bringing this tour to Aus? & 2 Are Anthrax returning to Aus? Was front barrier at Sydney soundwave & you guys still got it!!!! \m/ Cheers for the tunes over the years.

Scott_Ian3 karma

Yes and yes. Don't know when.

wabysaby3 karma

What's the least "metal" thing you've ever done, and would you do it again?

Scott_Ian23 karma

I'm made of metal, my circuits gleam...

acefrehley120003 karma

Hey Scott I loved the covers EP! Joey can sing some really mean Journey!

But my question is, how do you come up with what you do to your goatee?!

Scott_Ian11 karma

I don't. It does what it wants.

Davidle33 karma

Hi Scott! Any tips on playing guitar better? Nice meeting you last year.

Scott_Ian11 karma

Yes. Practice.

MedicineMan813 karma

Where is the strangest or most obscure place you've ever been recognized?

Scott_Ian30 karma

That'd be in the butt Bob.

ooolongjohnson3 karma

Hey Scott! I saw Anthrax in NY on the Big 4 tour and saw you guys last year in Worcester when you played the New England Heavy Metal Festival. You guys kick ass! Any cool stories about the early days with Metallica in NY?

Scott_Ian16 karma

being in the room with them while they rehearsed Kill'em All with Mustaine was very intense

DieWithYerBootsOn3 karma

Scott! Huge fan, saw you shred at Yankee Stadium!!!

I would love to hear your thoughts on Lemmy, his health, and his legacy.

Scott_Ian5 karma

He's the best.

tonymajin3 karma

What is your craziest moment to happen while on stage?

Scott_Ian11 karma

I won the Publisher's Clearinghouse thing and they walked on stage in the middle of Madhouse with that huge check.

saltstryder3 karma

Hi Scott!

What is your favorite Anthrax album? (choose one)

Scott_Ian4 karma

Worship Music

hooper3602 karma

Can you give us a little tease as to what will appear on the new season of Blood and Guts, That show is absolutely AMAZING!

Scott_Ian2 karma

More of everything!

hooper3602 karma

Thank you so much for this AMA! I was wondering if there is a special story you can share with us about Dimebag?

Scott_Ian7 karma

see my show or read my book in October. PLUG. I don't have the ability to type a story that long in this amount of time.

Kknowsbest2 karma

Who was your role model as a kid?

Scott_Ian3 karma

My dad

Betterwithfetter2 karma


Anthrax is great keep up the good work. I saw you guys with Motorhead, Slayer and Slipknot. Amazing show!

What is your favoraite song that you haven't played in a long time?

Also, Volbeat is one of my favorite bands. How was it playing with them?

Thank you for doing this AMA!!

Scott_Ian5 karma

Keep It In The Family. I like Volbeat!

Liies2 karma

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Scott_Ian7 karma


AmongTheLiving2 karma

Hey Scott big fan here, did you see the new judge dredd movie? Also do you know why anthrax shows were age restricted? I wasn't able to see you guys in saskatoon 2 years ago. thanks.

Scott_Ian6 karma

Yes, liked it a lot. Age restrictions are the venue, not us.

penismightierthan2 karma

Scott, I love your work with Anthrax! You guys have been one of my favorite bands since I first got into metal. I was ridiculously psyched when I got to hear about your supergroup side project of The Damned Things though (I still can't go a day without listening to a song from that album).

I actually saw you guys in Madison, WI back when the CD released and absolutely fell in love with the live performance. I just wanted to bring up that when Fall out Boy came to Madison spring 2013, I got the opportunity to meet Joe T and ask if you guys were planning to do anything with The Damned Things anytime soon, he mentioned something along the lines of you all entertaining the idea but nothing solid yet because of each band's respective touring schedule. I was wondering if there were any updates on this? It'd be truly awesome to see the band swing through again or to hear some new TDT songs.

Dude, all of your art rocks and I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and that I'm psyched for this AMA. \m/

Scott_Ian2 karma

Thanks! No updates. We're all very busy. At least we see each other socially.

Spiffigous2 karma

What's your favourite guitar riff you jam out to?

Scott_Ian5 karma

Riff Raff

SinisterIntent2 karma

Scott, thank you for doing this ama, I first saw Anthrax 22 years ago opening for Iron Maiden. Had only heard Got The Time and that was it, walked out a huge fan, still am to this day….just saw you play Eds in Edmonton last year for the 3rd time still amazing.

Question, How was it parting ways with Joey and then having him come back after John Bush, do you regret the time with John?

bonus question: Ive read that Dan left to make watches …what up with that?

Thank you for being one of my biggest influences.

Scott_Ian9 karma

No, I cherish it. I'm just lucky to have been in a band with both of them.

KellyP1231 karma

Hey Scott! Do you like to read? If so, what is your favorite book and/or current read? THanks! You rock!!!

Scott_Ian6 karma

Currently reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. Hard to pick a favorite all time book.

MedicineMan811 karma

No question, just thanks for so many great songs over the years. I met you and Charlie in San Diego about 15 years ago and you were both cool to me.

Scott_Ian3 karma

Nice to meet you again.

[deleted]1 karma


Scott_Ian3 karma

Do what makes you happy.

hestonkent1 karma

What was your favorite memory between you and Dimebag Darrell?

Scott_Ian2 karma

see my show or read my book in October. PLUG. I don't have the ability to type a story that long in this amount of time.

ZoinksSpookyGhosts1 karma

Hey brother, did you guys decide on a title for the new album?

Scott_Ian14 karma

It won't be 11.

Doades1 karma

What are some groups that you like?

Scott_Ian14 karma

The Beatles. AC/DC. Iron Maiden. Judas Priest. Sabbath. Kiss. Motorhead. Sepultura. Pantera. Thin Lizzy. UFO. Cheap Trick. Ramones.

rem0825831 karma

Have you ever gotten scared while on stage or on tour?

Scott_Ian7 karma

Only when we play spooky venues.

ImagineIfBaconDied1 karma

Are you and Anthrax making a new album anytime soon?

Scott_Ian7 karma

Writing one now.

Who_dis_be81 karma

Being a zombie fan, what do you think of The Walking Dead? and if you had to choose, which character would you team up with?

Scott_Ian2 karma

Love it. I'd be a zombie.