September 18, 2014 Anthrax debut “Chile On Hell” film NYC 9-15-14
There is nothing like the live concert experience. Thankfully due to technology in the last two decades more people have had the opportunity get a little closer to that feeling from the confines of their own living room with DVD and most recently Blu-ray format. With the ability to bring fans a plethora of unique extras along with the live performances many artists discographies have been accompanied by multi-DVD/ Blu-ray as well. Thrash metal legends Anthrax are at the forefront of this fan experience and unveiled their fourth full-length live DVD titled Chile On Hell Monday September 15th at Cinema Village in New York City. A special event held on the same night in NYC and Los Angeles, the screenings were attended by industry representatives and some lucky fans who pre-ordered the DVD or Blu-Ray at Vinyl in Fords, NJ, Looney Tunes in West Babylon, NY, or Amoeba Records in Los Angeles, CA. Scheduled for release the following day, the sneak peek exclusive in NYC had longtime Anthrax bassist Frank Bello on hand presenting the film and partaking in a question and answer session upon its conclusion. As everyone took their seat, the lights dimmed and excitement ran high for what the viewing would have in store for the attendees.
Running approximately 119 minutes the film featured a variety of multi-angle live clips of the band’s broad collection of tunes ranging from “Among The Living”, “Caught In A Mosh”, “Indians”, “Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t”, and many more. Displaying some of the most intense crowd reactions ever caught on film it shows how passionate Chileans are about their music and how going to a concert is more of a life event than simply a brief form of entertainment. Adding a pleasant and fun touch to the film to ease the language barrier between themselves and Chileans the band playfully use the phrases “Me Gusta” and “Hola!” often. Mixing in footage of live shots from the band’s home state of New York from such venues as The Paramount in Huntington, Best Buy Theater in NYC, and Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale among others, Anthrax show their pride in being New Yorkers. Perhaps one of the most striking displays of pure adrenaline from an audience is during the live clip of “Indians” where fans lit two red flairs and started to march around on the floor in unison propelling the band into an even more blistering performance on stage.
Chile On Hell celebrates the thirty spectacular years of Anthrax since their debut Megaforce Records release of Fistful of Metal in 1984. Complimenting the above mentioned highlights, well established metal musicians such as Megadeth’s David Ellefson and drummer extraordinaire Michael Portnoy give their thoughts and expressed admiration for Anthrax’s music and band members as they reflected on years past. Other guest appearances speaking kindly of the band in the film are veteran rock disc jockey and That Metal Show host Eddie Trunk along with SiriusXM’s Jose Mangin showing that Anthrax reach is far and deep.
Upon the conclusion of the viewing, Bello took the center spotlight answering any questions from attendees in a gracious and humble matter. When CrypticRock asked how Bello and the band initially reacted to the scene where the audience broke out the red flares he stated “Honestly the flares scared the shit out of us. In no way was that planned. We were thankful that the crowd was respectful and didn’t throw them on us. I do not want to go up in a pile of smoke while playing. Overall the crowd was nonstop and so passionate and very respectful.” Bello went on to add “Coming off that stage gave us a major high, we wanted to keep playing for them, we all could have kept going. What made it even harder was, when the music stopped this crowd was singing lyrics from songs we used to play in 1987, it was such an amazing thing to me. That is why we decided to come back to Chile to do a live DVD.”
Indeed it is an emotional roller coaster of excitement for not only the band but the audience watching at home. When asked why the band decided to film the DVD in Chile as opposed to one of their North American shows, Bello stated “This was just as big as those, but honestly for us Madison Square Garden was the biggest. That for us made us feel now we really made, Yankee Stadium is right behind that. All of these shows were huge but it was something about the Chilean people that really made us go ‘Wow we really need to show the rest of the world what this is like’.”
Of course any production as large as Chile On Hell is extremely time-consuming and takes a large staff of people on the same page aiming toward the same goals. Bello said “We had a massive crew, there were times we would yell at them to get off the stage, not to be mean, but like hey we want our space to thrash. At times we got so nervous like when Joey went to grab cameras. We were like oh god do not drop it or else were screwed. There were time he would be so in the camera’s face he forgot what he was singing, it was so much fun though, we would laugh it off. We thought the go-pros would immediately fall off the guitars when we got into some heavy notes, but no that little sucker stayed on tight.”
Overall Chile On Hell is a must watch for any Anthrax, metal fan, or just appreciator of high quality filming and an electrifying look into another world. According to Bello Anthrax is in fact working on a new album but they are in no rush to force out material for the sake of it. Rising to the challenge of making an even better record than 2011’s Worship Music, fans will have to patiently wait for the next group of Anthrax thrashers to drop. In the meantime a massive Anthrax tour is reportedly in the works so do not miss out on Chile On Hell to gear up for the next mosh pit.