Interview: Scott Ian of Anthrax & Motor Sister

Motor Sister at TGF L.A’s 5 year anniversary – by Ben Zales.

Since the formation of the band in 1981, Anthrax have been one of the biggest names on the trash metal scene and are still going strong nearly four decades later. Having been there since day one is guitarist Scott Ian, who at this point is somewhat a veteran of the game. We had a chat to him to find out more about bringing thrash to the younger generations, as well as getting an induction into all the other musical adventures he’s involved in.

To most people you might be known as a member of Anthrax, can you tell us a bit about your other musical project, Motor Sister?
Scott:Motor Sister was born out of Pearl and I being huge fans of Jim Wilson’s band Mother Superior (who at the point of our formation had been broken up for a couple of years.) Five years ago as a birthday present to myself, we put together a band of friends that also loved Mother Superior (and we included Jim!) and played a show of my favourite Mother Superior songs in the studio at our house. We invited about 20 friends that were also huge fans. The show was so much fun we decided we should make a record and that’s how Motor Sister came to be. Currently Motor Sister has an album’s worth of new songs and we’re hoping to get them recorded sometime this year. 

You’re also still active with Anthrax, decades down the line – did you ever think you’d still be going nearly 40 years down the line?
Scott: It’s not something I ever think about. We just keep doing our best to make records and play live and have fun. It certainly doesn’t feel like four decades. We’re privileged to get to do this on our own terms and are forever thankful to our loyal fans. 

Motor Sister at TGF L.A’s 5 year anniversary – by Ben Zales.

How does it feel to be a part of a band that helped create a scene for thrash metal, and to be able to pass it onto new generations?
Scott: We’re proud of everything we’ve done as a band. And if someone was influenced by something we did, that’s killer. We’ve always been very open about where we came from and who we were listening to when we started: Priest, Maiden and Motörhead.

We’re proud to have worked with you in the past to create the official TGF x Anthrax ring, besides that, what’s your history with our brand?
Scott: My first time at TGF was with Cliff Burton in 1984. I bought some kind of bird claw/talon holding an onyx ball pendant. I have it somewhere! I love that we have Anthrax/TGF rings. It’s so fucking cool!!!

Motor Sister at TGF L.A’s 5 year anniversary – by Ben Zales.

Motor Sister at TGF L.A’s 5 year anniversary – by Ben Zales.

A couple of months ago you played TGF L.A’s 5 year birthday party, how was that? Must be a quite the change from the venues you’re used to!
Scott: We were really excited to play because we never get to do Motor Sister. Thanks for making that possible!

We’re very much looking forward to seeing you back in the UK for this year’s Download festival in June and Bloodstock in August – what other exciting things have you got on the horizon musically?
Scott: Download is going to be great! And so is Bloodstock. Anthrax love playing in the UK. Right now I am out on tour with another side band, The Damned Things. We made a new record called High Crimes (our first album in nine years) and hope to get to the UK for some shows ASAP. And Anthrax are working on our 12th studio album. No timeline on that yet. 

Motor Sister at TGF L.A’s 5 year anniversary – by Ben Zales.

Words by Ella Stormark.