Pique N Your Interest 

Quiet dignity or Quiet Riot?

Did somebody say Anthrax! They rule!

Or is this maybe the wrong time to loudly and proudly proclaim my fandom of one of the best heavy metal/rap fusion bands of the ’80s and ’90s?

(To tell you the truth, I listened to this group for years before I even knew Anthrax was a disease – I thought it was the mid-section of an insect, but that turned about to be the thorax.)

Although Anthrax has had its share of radio play and released a few videos – in the good ’ol days before boy and girl bands took over the satellites – the band has since slipped into a kind of cult obscurity where only true fans buy their albums and attend their concerts. And that’s enough for Anthrax, because the last thing they’re going to do is sell out their fans.

Suddenly they’re back in the spotlight, and it isn’t to celebrate the reissue of the Sound of White Noise album and their Winter 2002 tour with Judas Priest.

Cases of anthrax (the disease) have been reported in the U.S., and a number of letters have been found containing anthrax spores that could be fatal if inhaled and not treated in time. There’s even a B.C. connection – a ferry was docked after a cashier discovered a white powdery substance in a roll of coins.

Nobody is yelling the "T" word, yet, but everyone’s thinking it – even Anthrax (the band), who, although they may have offended some delicate sensibilities with their industrial grade of music, have never hurt anyone.

The band, I’m happy to say, is keeping its name, despite the threats and politically correct rhetoric that’s being thrown their way by people who can’t seem to put anything into context.

The band announced this in a letter on the Web site ( www.anthrax.com) , which has probably seen more traffic in the past two weeks than in the past decade.

In the words of vocalist John "White Taco" Bush, drummer Charlie "Martin Brody" Benante, bassist Frank "The Nephew" Bello, and guitarist Scott "Jewy Jewison" Ian:

"In light of current events, we are changing the name of the band to something more friendly, ‘Basket Full Of Puppies’. Actually, just the fact that we are making jokes about our name sucks.

"In the twenty years we've been known as ‘Anthrax’ we never thought the day would come that our name would actually mean what it really means. When I learned about anthrax in my senior year biology class, I thought the name sounded ‘metal.’ Everyone in my neighborhood had a band with an ‘er’ name, like ‘Ripper’ or ‘Deceiver’ or ‘Killers’ and I wanted to be different. ‘Anthrax’ sounded cool, aggressive, and nobody knew what it was. Until a few years ago most people thought we'd made it up. Even our album, ‘Spreading The Disease’ was just a play on the name. We were spreading our music to the masses.

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