Lilker opens up about tensions with the band’s former singer Neil Turbin and the fact that he was allegedly “asked to leave and had no choice” when it came to whether or not he stayed in the band.
While Lilker wasn’t in the band for a very long time, he’s still a household name in the world of metal and was a pivotal member of the band. It was he who initially formed Anthrax alongside Scott Ian back in 1981, and he also later reunited with Ian and drummer Charlie Benante to create Stormtroopers of Death and play some solid crossover thrash.
But that touchy feely reunion vibe was not always the case. Lilker got fired from Anthrax right before their debut album, Fistful of Metal, was released in 1984. Turbin also left that same year, and according to Lilker, there was drama there.
“I was asked to leave and had no choice. Let’s just say that Neil and I had different definitions of what professional meant. I was more into making sure that the songs were good and well-played and rehearsed. It wasn’t just about what you looked like and how you appeared.
“We all clashed with Neil a bunch back then. Because, remember, he [left] the band seven months after me. They realized they threw the wrong guy out, but by then it was too late.”
But he isn’t bitter, and he’s had a lot of time to reflect. He adds:
“Things happened for a reason. I went out to do Nuclear Assault. And then, in April ’85, which is about 14 months after, Scott called me and said, ‘Do you want to play in this little fun hardcore band with me and Charlie?’, and it ended up being S.O.D.”
He’s also able to reflect and get a 360-degree view on what happened:
“So, it was more like Neil had told the other guys, ‘I’m tired of dealing with Danny; it’s him or me.’ I would bust his balls because he had no sense of humor. And it was easy…”
“Obviously, I wasn’t thrilled when I was thrown out. And Scott was put very much between a rock and a hard place because I guess Neil’s pushing to have [me] thrown out and then nobody had done anything. So, Neil took it upon himself to call me up and just throw me out of the band himself.”
And in an interview a few years back, he also said he was proud of his time in the band, even though it was short-lived:
“I’m definitely proud of that whole thing. I think it’s great that those guys are still going… That was real good memories back then. I know people go, ‘Oh, they fucking threw you out after that,’ and blah blah blah. But, obviously, I got over that and formed Nuclear Assault. And next year we were doing S.O.D. So I’m not the kind of guy who stays bitter forever.
“But, yeah, the memories of those times, writing that record and recording it and everything was… ‘Cause there was no blueprint or anything; we just had influences and just tried to put our own stamp on ’em back then. So, yeah, it kind of sucks being thrown out three days before [it got] released, but it gave me an excuse to do something else.”
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