In honor of this year’s Record Store Day, Anthrax have announced an inspired piece of merch: a 3″ miniature turntable, complete with several tiny Anthrax singles to play on it. But not content to simply shrink their discography, the band have released their classic singles in limited-edition sleeves that were exclusive only to Japan. The entire project is a throwback for Anthrax — and, for drummer Charlie Benante, a serious labor of love.
“I started working on this thing about a year or so ago,” explained Benante while talking to The Pit about his covers album, Silver Linings, out now. “Our record company approached me, because I’m always involved in the Record Store Day things that we put out, because I have so much fun with them. And this opportunity came up, and I thought, That is a fucking great idea, let’s do that! It’s such a great thing to put out.
“But I also wanted to have the singles going along with it to be different,” he added. “And back in the day, when the Japanese singles would come out for certain groups, they would have totally different covers, and they’d be these really interesting live pictures of the band that I’d never seen before. KISS and Iron Maiden were the ones that always stood out for me. And that’s how that came about.”
As one of the guys behind much of Anthrax’s art and design concepts, Benante has a penchant for cool packaging (he worked together with artist renowned rock poster artist Brian Ewing for the Silver Linings cover). But while he’s seen plenty of awesome stuff in his day, the drummer admits that some of the material circulating on the web blows even his mind.
“The art that I see online, and some of the art I see kids doing, is really making me excited,” says Benante. “Tattooing — some of the tattoo artists I see now, it’s like looking at paper, but it’s skin. The realism, the colors, I’m totally blown away by it. Things have really changed, and I think it’s become easier, too, to learn how to do it. You can just go to YouTube and type something in and there’s a hundred tutorials.”
Anthrax’s turntable will have two drop dates, June 12 and July 17.
Words by Chris Krovatin