John Ingrassia started Music Matters over 6 years ago with the vision to help the population with intellectual disabilities and families in need get instruments, supplies and events to express themselves musically. He has expanded his vision and is also helping Veterans in his local Cheshire community and continues to expand and reach more individuals throughout Connecticut and New England.
John does many interviews with legendary musicians, athletes and actors to name a few C. Thomas Howell, Leonard Marshall, Matt Sorum. The interviews are based on work ethic and staying inspired which you learn more about below.
Facilitated by John Ingrassia
Charlie Benante Interview Transcription Tied to the State of Euphoria Album’s 35th Anniversary
Question 1: Great to be celebrating 35th anniversary of SOE. How does it feel to create an album that inspired so many?
“State of Euphoria brings back a time for me when things were just so great, and the popularity of the band had grown so much since 1985 that we were on this trajectory and there was just no stopping it. You know, I always say good momentum, you cannot stop it. Same with bad momentum too, but things were going so great, and that time period for me was just very special. Coming off of a very successful record and a year and a half of touring on the Among the Living record. Yeah, State of Euphoria just brings back happy memories.”
Question 2: Anthrax did some great gigs on that tour with Iron Maiden, Metallica, Ozzy and others. Can you tell me a bit about that run and the excitement with the album ?
“On the State of Euphoria tour, we did some amazing touring off of that record. We did the Monsters of Rock Festival with bands like Iron Maiden and KISS, David Lee Roth, I mean this was such an amazing thing to have achieved this status, you know, playing on the same bill as these bands. And we felt like we had really achieved the goals that we set out to achieve. I mean there’s memories from those tours that I’ll never forget doing the first Headbangers Ball Tour which was a huge success, MTV sponsored it and that that in itself – you know the band was in such demand at that time, too and I don’t remember ever going home. We were just out, you know, traveling from finishing a tour in America, going straight overseas to Japan. I mean, it was just a whirlwind.
A few years ago, I worked on the State of Euphoria reissue. I had always saved stuff throughout the years, and I put together a really cool package of demos, rehearsals, and things like that. It really gave me a chance to revisit the record. In the past, I remember having been kind of down on the record because I always felt that we didn’t have a chance to let the record breathe a bit. But after going back and listening to it and spending a lot of time with it, I really enjoyed it. Me, personally, the drumming on the record is something that I totally forgot about. There’s a lot of drumming that you hear today, I mean I was doing it back in that period, 1987, 1988, and I was just shocked, that I had totally forgotten about this. So, I definitely benefitted from revisiting that record.”
Question 3: Can you tell me a bit how it was working w Mark Dodson?
“Working with Mark Dodson was, I mean, the guy is just, he felt like he was part of the band. Just an all around good dude and he had a lot of great ideas. And he helped us to achieve the sound that we were hearing in our heads, transferring that sound to tape and I just have fond memories of him. I always thought he was one of the best.”
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