Rob Caggiano Leaves Anthrax

Rob Caggiano ESP

Wow, didn’t see this one coming. Guitarist Rob Caggiano has left Anthrax after two albums and a gazillion tours. Fans on Twitter are already calling for former lead guitarist Dan Spitz to return to the band. And Dan tweeted this a couple of hours ago:

“Now playing….
Caught In A Mosh….
With the lead break (I wrote) note for note perfectly executed. Anybody want to listen to it”

But back to Rob. He says:

“I’m extremely proud of my time in Anthrax. Actually, that’s an understatement! We accomplished so many great things together over the years and I shared some of the best times of my life with these guys. As a band, we also weathered quite a few storms along the way. It’s been a wild ride (to say the least) from Day One and I wouldn’t change one single thing about the last 12 years. This is an extremely difficult and emotional decision for me to make but my heart is just steering me in a different direction right now. Read More …

NAMM 2012: Samson signing schedule

Some great artists signing for Samon this year, including Geezer Butler, Glenn Hughes, Billy Sheehan, David Ellefson, Kerry King, Mike Inez, Stu Hamm, Rex Brown, Eddie Jackson, Nicko McBrain, John Tempesta, Charlie Benante, Scott Ian, Rob Caggiano, Frank Bello, Mike Portnoy and more! Stu Hamm will also be doing Hartke demos on each day. Full schedule below.

NAMM 2012: new ESP models

Lots of cool stuff coming from ESP in 2012, including an entirely new Kirk Hammett signature model shape, ditto for Slayer’s Jeff Hannemann, a Michael Wilton (Queensryche) acoustic, killer sigs for Suicide Silence, Whitechapel and Unearth, and some wild new finishes.

Here are some highlights from ESPguitars.com:

Whitechapel sigs

Nearly everyone in the entire band Whitechapel got new LTD Signature Series models for 2012. The LTD AW-7 (Alex Wade) is a 7-string model based on the M Series, with a neck-thru-body design, alder body with flamed maple top with a Blood Red Sunburst finish. The guitar also features DiMarzio pickups and a fixed bridge with string-thru-body and locking tuners. The LTD BS-7 (Ben Savage) is a 7-string custom version of the MH Series guitar, with a neck-thru-body design, a See Thru Black finish on an alder body with flamed maple top, a teardrop-shaped headstock, maple fingerboard, EMG active pickups, Floyd Rose bridge, and locking tuners. Zach Householderʼs new signature model, the LTD ZH-7, is also a 7-string guitar based on the MH Series. It features a mahogany body with quilted maple top with a See Thru Black Satin finish, large block inlays, EMG active pickups, a Tonepros bridge, and locking tuners. Bassist Gabe Crisp also gets a signature model with the LTD GC-4, a customized Viper bass with neck-thru body design, a mahogany brown finish, ebony fingerboard and an EMG pickup set.

New Kirk Hammett models

Celebrating his 25th year as an ESP player, Metallicaʼs Kirk Hammett has three new models for you. The ESP KH-DC and LTD KH-DC are a brand new double-cutaway body style based on the Eclipse/EC, with a set neck design at 24.75” scale, and an attractive STBC (See Thru Black Cherry) finish on its flamed maple top. Like other EC models, the guitar offers a mahogany body and mahogany neck, with a rosewood fingerboard. The KH-DC features gold hardware, including gold-covered EMG 81 (bridge) and EMG 60 (neck) active pickups, and a Tonepros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece. The ESP version of the new Kirk Hammett model includes Sperzel locking tuners, while the LTD version offers ESP locking tuners.

The limited-edition LTD KH-25 has black distressed finish and graphics designed to emulate Kirkʼs famous KH-2 Vintage model. The KH-25 has bolt-on construction at 25.5″ scale, with a basswood body, maple neck, and a Floyd Rose Special bridge. The guitar also features ESPʼs new ALH-200 active pickups.

Read More …

INTERVIEW: Rob Caggiano of Anthrax


Anthrax will soon be winging their way down here to Australia to lay waste to the Soundwave festival. Despite the presence of Meshuggah, Trivium, Jane’s Addiction and Faith No Friggin’ More, all bands I would love to see (either for the first time in the case of the first two, or again in the case of the others), the prospect of seeing Anthrax is probably the most exciting thing for me about this year’s Soundwave. Oh, I saw Anthrax a few years ago when they reunited with their classic Dan Spitz/Joey Belladonna line-up, and that was pretty cool, but credit where credit is due: the post-Spitz/Belladonna line-up with Rob Caggiano and John Bush on guitar and vocals respectively is pretty bitchen. Now, Caggiano was a part of the Anthrax line-up which recently recorded the album Worship Music with new singer Dan Nelson. You heard about it, right? Yeah, it was supposed to take over the world instantaneously upon release. There was a huge buzz and big positive vibes surrounding the album. But somewhere along the way, Nelson was out and John Bush was back to help out on vocals for a few gigs. Well, with Soundwave rapidly approaching I caught up with Rob Caggiano to discuss the album, Soundwave, and the kind of geeky guitar stuff you’d expect me to talk about.

I Heart Guitar: I guess the big question people want to know the answer for is, is John Bush singing at these performances?

Rob Caggiano: Yes he is!

I Heart Guitar: Cool! I feel like a jerk asking this question because you’ve probably heard it a million times lately, but is he coming back on board for good, or is this an extended one-off?

Caggiano: Nothing’s really official right now. Honestly I can’t really give a definite answer on that. It’s looking really good. It’s feeling really good and the shows we played were amazing so far. And it looks like he’s going to sing on the record. So we’re just kinda taking it one day at a time and hoping for the best, but right now everything’s really positive and everything feels great!

I Heart Guitar: Cool! So what kind of stuff are you going to play at Soundwave?

Caggiano: I’d love to do some new stuff, maybe one or two songs off the new record, but I don’t really know. It’s really up to John. I know Scott (Ian) is getting together with John really soon to go over lyric ideas and vocal ideas and just talk about the record and all that stuff, and figure out a game plan. So it really depends on how that meeting goes, but I would love to.

I Heart Guitar: Yeah! There was such a buzz about the album when it was finished with Dan and I couldn’t wait to hear it. So how are you going to approach it – are you going to keep the music as-is, or change things with John’s input?

Caggiano: The music is all there. What we really need to do is to figure out what parts are going to stay the same and what parts are going to change.

I Heart Guitar: What’s it sound like?

Caggiano: In my opinion, it’s pretty much ‘We’ve Come For You All’ to the next level. The faster parts are way faster, the melodic parts are real catchy. There’s definitely some stuff that’s reminiscent of the ‘Among The Living’ era, which is pretty cool. It’s a really well-rounded record. It’s killer. We’re really psyched on it.

I Heart Guitar: One thing I’ve always wondered relates to when you first stepped into Anthrax. Now, I’m a big Megadeth fan and I’m used to seeing new lead guitar players join the band

Caggiano: Right! (laughs)

I Heart Guitar: And I’ve always thought ‘Man, I’d love to one day join Megadeth.’ What’s it like to be on the other side of something like that?

Caggiano: Oh it’s been a blast! For one thing, Anthrax has been one of my favourite bands forever, so when I first started playing with them it was a bit surreal. Looking over at bald Scott Ian is very Twilight Zone-esque. But it’s been great. It’s been a blast.

I Heart Guitar: How did it all come about?

Caggiano: Well, y’know, the band is from New York originally. Now everybody lives in different cities, but we have a lot of the same friends. The music scene and the circle of people in New York, it’s kind of incestuous, you might say. We just had a lot of the same friends and when the whole thing came up and they needed another guitar player, I just really pushed for it. It ended up being really cool.

I Heart Guitar: Okay, being a guitar geek, I’ve gotta ask: what gear are you using at the moment.

Caggiano: That’s an interesting question. As a record producer and engineer I have tonnes and tonnes of gear. So I’m always using different amps and different guitars, effects pedals and stuff in the studio. But live I try to keep it simple. I have a really simple pedalboard of the Boss tuner, the (Jim Dunlop) Slash wah, an old (Ibanez) Tube Screamer, uh, what else do I have in there… Boss DD5 delay pedal, ISP Decimater Noise Gate pedal. And every now and then I throw in the (MXR) EVH Phase 90, but just for some lead stuff, like as a boost or whatever. That’s pretty much it though. I’m running a Samson wireless. My favourite amp in the world is a VHT Pitbull Ultra Lead. The thing is, in Europe it just seems easier to rent Marshalls. I mean, I love Marshalls as well. When we’re borrowing a backline or renting a backine I like Marshall JCM2000 DSL. It’s just a killer amp.

I Heart Guitar: That’s what I use actually.

Caggiano: Brilliant amp.

I Heart Guitar: What about guitars?

Caggiano: I’ve been with ESP forever. All Custom Shop, kind of based on the Horizon but a little different. The model that I have, they don’t really sell. They’re not like stock models. My main Horizon’s a neck-thru. Shaved neck, string through the body. They actually just gave me one recently with a Floyd Rose on it and I’ve been really digging it. I haven’t played with a Floyd Rose in ages, but I use it quite a bit on the new Anthrax record. I love it. And I use all DiMarzio pickups. They make definitely the best pickups out there. I’ve been using the Tone Zone a lot. I love it.

I Heart Guitar: So back to studio stuff: what did you use on the new CD that you might not be using live?

Caggiano: Well for one, the way I recorded the guitars, especially Scott’s guitars, I told him, “I want you to dig up your old Marshall head that you recorded ‘Among The Living’ with. Go into the storage room, dust it off, get it fixed, whatever the hell you have to do with it, but I want to use that amp.” My idea was to split the signal and blend the sound of that old Marshall, which is the classic sound of Anthrax, and blend it with a killer new amp, which turned out to be a VHT. Actually, he changed the name of the company, and it’s now called Fryette Amps. He’s got a couple of amps, one’s called the Deliverance and the other is the Sig X, and they both just crushed. And the sound of the two of them together was just amazing. The Sig X is great. I’m gonna actually pick one up pretty soon, I think. I love that amp.

SOUNDWAVE DATES:

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

SATURDAY 20 BRISBANE, RNA SHOWGROUNDS
SUNDAY 21 SYDNEY, EASTERN CREEK RACEWAY
FRIDAY 26 MELBOURNE, SHOWGROUNDS – Sold Out
SATURDAY 27 ADELAIDE, BONYTHON PARK
MONDAY 1 PERTH, STEEL BLUE OVAL

FAITH NO MORE • MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE
JANES ADDICTION • AFI • PLACEBO • PARAMORE
HIM •ALEXISONFIRE • TAKING BACK SUNDAY • TRIVIUM • ANTHRAX
SUNNY DAY REAL ESTATE • EAGLES OF DEATH METAL
THE GET UP KIDS • MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK •REEL BIG FISH • MESHUGGAH • ALL TIME LOW
A DAY TO REMEMBER • IT DIES TODAY • ESCAPE THE FATE • CLUTCH
ANTI FLAG • ISIS • GALLOWS • SHINEDOWN • A WILHELM SCREAM • THE WEAKERTHANS
EMAROSA • ANVIL • ENTER SHIKARI • THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA• COMEBACK KID • THE ALMOST
DANCE GAVIN DANCE • FOUR YEAR STRONG • YOU ME AT SIX • WHITECHAPEL
THE AQUABATS • CLOSURE IN MOSCOW • ROLO TOMASSI • BARONESS • RX BANDITS
• THE CREEPSHOW

Thanks to Riot Entertainment for hooking up the interview!