By: Kathleen Johnson
Think you can kill ANTiSEEN?! YOU CAN’T KILL ANTiSEEN. They keep going and going, like a bloody energizer bunny of rock.
Guitarist Joe Young passed this spring, but the unit soldiers on. And after a recent string of hot Southeastern shows with the Meatmen under its belt, the re-grouped group is set to make it’s hometown debut by tearing the roof off the mutha at Tremont Music Hall on December 6th.
First up, let’s set the record straight: replacement guitarist Russ Ward was hand-picked by Young as his replacement.
Jeff Clayton: “We never discussed it in terms of either of us dying, but Joe said if anything ever happened, like if he had a stroke or got injured, Russ should be the one to take his place.”
If it had to happen, it’s happened the right way, dig?
“Fans are telling us we haven’t missed a beat, and that Russ and Gooch have breathed new life into the band,” Clayton said, noting that new drummer Ironhead Gooch only got to play three shows with the band before Young passed. (Youtube videos totally confirm this.) The band’s been breaking out the deep cuts, too – “Wife Beater,” “Jail Bait,” “Hammer Head,” “Masters of the Sky.”
Russ Ward: “It’s getting better every night,” he says on the phone as the band traveled across Texas in October.
Ward’s been tight with the ANTiSEEN family for 20+ years. Has it been super emotional, given your longtime close connection to the band and Joe, being onstage? “It hasn’t really been that way yet,” (“MadBro”) Ward says.
“But I think it’s gonna be a lot heavier for me when we play Charlotte.”
See ANIiSEEN at www.TremontMusicHall.com on the sixth of December.
More info: www.ANTiSEEN.com
Photography courtesy of Tarri Hannibal