Scott Ian

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Scott Ian
Anthrax, Scott Ian at Wacken Open Air 2013.jpg
Scott Ian performing with Anthrax in 2013
Background information
Birth nameScott Ian Rosenfeld
Born (1963-12-31) December 31, 1963 (age 55)
Queens, New York, United States
Genres Thrash metal, crossover thrash, hardcore punk, heavy metal
Occupation(s)Musician, guitarist
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals, bass
Years active1981–present
Associated acts Anthrax, Stormtroopers of Death, Damnocracy, Pearl, The Damned Things, Motor Sister, Steel Panther

Scott Ian (born Scott Ian Rosenfeld [1] ; December 31, 1963) is an American musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist, backing and additional lead vocalist, and the only remaining founding member of the thrash metal band Anthrax. He also writes the lyrics on all their albums. [2] Ian is the guitarist and a founding member of the crossover thrash band Stormtroopers of Death. He has hosted The Rock Show on VH1 and has appeared on VH1's I Love the... series, Heavy: The Story of Metal , and SuperGroup . Ian is also the rhythm guitarist for the metal band The Damned Things.

Anthrax (American band) American thrash metal band

Anthrax is an American heavy metal band from New York City, formed in 1981 by rhythm guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker. The group is considered one of the leaders of the thrash metal scene from the 1980s and is one of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands with Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer; Anthrax is the only one of the four from the East Coast, and often credited as one of the early thrash metal bands to emerge from there, along with Overkill and Nuclear Assault. The band has released 11 studio albums, several other albums, and 26 singles, including collaborating on a single with American hip hop group Public Enemy. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Anthrax sold 2.5 million records in the United States from 1991 to 2004, with worldwide sales of 10 million.

Crossover thrash is a fusion genre of thrash metal and hardcore punk. The genre lies on a continuum between heavy metal and hardcore punk. Other genres on the same continuum, such as metalcore and grindcore, may overlap with crossover thrash.

Stormtroopers of Death were an American crossover thrash band formed in New York City in 1985. They are credited as being among the first bands to fuse hardcore punk with thrash metal into a style sometimes referred to as crossover thrash. The band is also known for reuniting Anthrax members Scott Ian (guitars) and Charlie Benante (drums) with their former bassist Dan Lilker. The song "Chromatic Death" from their 1985 debut album, Speak English or Die, was the Headbanger's Ball intro anthem for many years.



Early life

Scott Ian Rosenfeld (his name has since been legally changed to drop his birth surname) was born to a Jewish family [3] in the Bayside section of the New York City borough of Queens; he has a younger brother named Jason (who was involved briefly with Anthrax) and a half-brother named Sean. Ian attended Bayside High School, with classmates (and future Anthrax bandmates) Dan Lilker and Neil Turbin.

Bayside, Queens Neighborhoods of Queens in New York City

Bayside is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. The neighborhood is east of Flushing and is part of Queens Community Board 11. CNN Money ranked Bayside as one of the most expensive housing markets nationally when analyzing comparable detached homes throughout the United States. Despite its large housing stock of free-standing homes, it nationally ranks high to very high in population density. These homes give the neighborhood a similar feel to other wealthy Queens neighborhoods such as Douglaston–Little Neck and Whitestone.

Queens Borough in New York City and county in New York, United States

Queens is the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City. It is the largest borough geographically and is adjacent to the borough of Brooklyn at the southwestern end of Long Island. To its east is Nassau County. Queens also shares water borders with the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. Coterminous with Queens County since 1899, the borough of Queens is the second largest in population, with an estimated 2,358,582 residents in 2017, approximately 48 percent of them foreign-born. Queens County also is the second most populous county in the U.S. state of New York, behind Brooklyn, which is coterminous with Kings County. Queens is the fourth most densely populated county among New York City's boroughs, as well as in the United States. If each of New York City's boroughs were an independent city, Queens would be the nation's fourth most populous, after Los Angeles, Chicago, and Brooklyn. Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. It is the most ethnically diverse county in the United States.

Dan Lilker American musician

Daniel A. Lilker is an American semi-retired musician best known as a bass player, but also guitarist, pianist, drummer and vocalist. He is the bassist for the thrash metal band Nuclear Assault and was a founding member of Anthrax with Scott Ian, and recorded bass guitar and co-wrote on their first album, Fistful of Metal. He also founded crossover band Stormtroopers of Death with Scott Ian and Charlie Benante, and Billy Milano. He also plays bass with Brutal Truth, Exit-13, Malformed Earthborn, The Ravenous, Overlord Exterminator, Venomous Concept, Crucifist, Nokturnal Hellstorm and Extra Hot Sauce.

Witnessing KISS live at Madison Square Garden in 1977 made a huge impact on Ian, who has been vocal about his love for the band (Ian appeared on an episode of Gene Simmons Family Jewels , in which he visited Simmons' home and spoke about the impact KISS has had on his life). Ian went on to be influenced by British heavy metal bands such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Motörhead and Judas Priest, as well as the punk rock band The Ramones. The musical style of his playing and songwriting including fast alternate picking was also largely influenced by the German metal band Accept.

Kiss (band) American band

Kiss is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley. Well known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 1970s with their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics. The band has gone through several lineup changes, with Stanley and Simmons the only remaining original members. The original and best-known lineup consisted of Stanley, Simmons, Frehley, and Criss.

Madison Square Garden Multi-purpose indoor arena in New York City, New York, United States

Madison Square Garden, colloquially known as The Garden or in initials as MSG, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in New York City. Located in Midtown Manhattan between 7th and 8th Avenues from 31st to 33rd Streets, it is situated atop Pennsylvania Station. It is the fourth venue to bear the name "Madison Square Garden"; the first two were located on Madison Square, on East 26th Street and Madison Avenue, with the third Madison Square Garden (1925) further uptown at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street.

<i>Gene Simmons Family Jewels</i> television series

Gene Simmons Family Jewels is an American reality television series that premiered on A&E on August 7, 2006. It follows Kiss bassist and vocalist Gene Simmons, his longtime partner and wife Shannon Tweed, and their two children, Nick and Sophie.


Scott Ian at Nova Rock 2014 20140614-084-Nova Rock 2014-Anthrax-Scott Ian.JPG
Scott Ian at Nova Rock 2014

As a founding member of Anthrax, Ian helped to create thrash metal in the mid-1980s alongside Megadeth, Slayer, and Metallica. Ian came up with the idea to collaborate with the rap group Public Enemy, covering their song "Bring the Noise" in 1991. This has been considered a foundational recording of the rap/rock genre. In 2005, Ian was invited by Chuck D of Public Enemy to perform "Bring the Noise" with them as part of their induction into VH1's Hip Hop Honors Hall of Fame. Ian also joined Public Enemy on the Rock the Bells tour in 2007.

Megadeth American heavy metal band

Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson formed the band in 1983 shortly after Mustaine's dismissal from Metallica. Along with Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer, Megadeth is one of the "big four" of American thrash metal, responsible for its development and popularization. Their music features complex arrangements and fast rhythm sections, and lyrical themes of death, war, politics, and religion.

Slayer American thrash metal band

Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman and vocalist and bassist Tom Araya. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's current lineup comprises King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Hanneman and drummers Dave Lombardo and Jon Dette are former members of the band.

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.

In 2009, Anthrax completed a run of European festivals including Metallica's Sonisphere festivals in Germany and Knebworth in the U.K., highlighted by the return of singer John Bush. Anthrax returned to Japan in October 2009 with John Bush to play at the Loud Park festival in Tokyo. Anthrax's next shows were in Australia in February 2010 as a part of the Soundwave Festival. Anthrax was a part of the Sonisphere Festival in Europe in the summer of 2010, where for the first time Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth performed together on the same stage. This historic performance occurred on June 16, 2010, at Bemowo Airport in Warsaw, Poland.

John Bush (musician) American musician

John R. Bush is an American metal vocalist. He came to prominence in the 1980s as the lead singer and lyricist of Armored Saint, a traditional heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. In 1992, he joined the thrash metal band Anthrax, with whom he remained until 2005 and briefly rejoined in 2009–2010. Bush has also been active with the reformed Armored Saint intermittently from 1999 to the present.

Soundwave (Australian music festival)

Soundwave was an annual music festival held in major cities around Australia. The festival originated in Perth, Western Australia and began travelling to the other Australian capital cities in 2007. It features a number of international and Australian music acts, from various genres including rock, metal and punk. The festival has been headlined by Deftones, The Offspring, Incubus, Alice in Chains, Bloodhound Gang, Nine Inch Nails, Faith No More, Jimmy Eat World, Jane's Addiction, Soundgarden, Iron Maiden, Queens of the Stone Age, The Smashing Pumpkins, System of a Down, Slipknot, Green Day, Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park, Blink-182 and Metallica. The festival was run and promoted by Soundwave Touring, who also run Harvest Festival and promote tours for bands and musicians each year.

Other ventures

Ian began working with music television channel VH1 in 2001, when he was asked to host the program Rock Show. During his 48 episodes as host, Ian interviewed guests including Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford, Ted Nugent, Stone Temple Pilots, Megadeth, 3 Doors Down, Sevendust, Tenacious D, and the Cult. Ian was a regular commentator on various VH1 shows including the I Love the... series, 100 Most Metal Moments, Awesomely Bad Number One Songs, When Metallica Ruled the World, and episodes of VH1's Behind the Music featuring Metallica, Pantera and Anthrax. Ian was prominently featured in VH1's History of Heavy Metal. In June 2006, Ian starred in the VH1 reality series SuperGroup with Ted Nugent, Sebastian Bach, Jason Bonham and Evan Seinfeld.

Ozzy Osbourne English heavy metal vocalist and songwriter

John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne is an English singer, songwriter, actor and reality television star who rose to prominence during the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, during which he adopted the nickname "The Prince of Darkness". Osbourne was fired from the band in 1979 due to alcohol and drug problems, but went on to have a successful solo career, releasing eleven studio albums, the first seven of which were all awarded multi-platinum certifications in the United States. Osbourne has since reunited with Black Sabbath on several occasions. He rejoined the band in 1997 and recorded the group’s final studio album 13 (2013) before they embarked on a farewell tour which culminated in a final performance in their home city Birmingham, England in February 2017. His longevity and success have earned him the informal title of "Godfather of Heavy Metal".

Rob Halford English rock singer

Robert John Arthur Halford is an English singer and songwriter. He is best known as the lead vocalist for the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest. He is famous for his powerful wide-ranging voice and his trademark leather-and-studs image, both of which became iconic in heavy metal. In addition to his work with Judas Priest, he has been involved with several side projects, including Fight, Two, and Halford.

Ted Nugent American rock musician

Theodore Anthony Nugent is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and political activist. Nugent initially gained fame as the lead guitarist of the Amboy Dukes, a band formed in 1963 that played psychedelic rock and hard rock. After playing with the Amboy Dukes, he embarked on a solo career.

Ian plays guitar in the group Pearl (with his wife, Pearl Aday), who toured with Velvet Revolver and Meat Loaf. Pearl's debut album was released on January 19, 2010, through Megaforce Records. Ian performed with Pearl on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on January 20, 2010.

In 2008, DC Comics asked Ian to write a two-issue prestige-format comics series for the character Lobo. Books one and two of Lobo: Highway to Hell were released in November and December 2009.

In 2008, Ian signed with UltimateBet, the third largest internet gaming site in the world, as one of their online professional players. Ian joined professional poker players Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke as one of Ultimate Bet's star pros. He won Ultimate Bet's premier Sunday 200K tournament and cashed in in 2010's WSOP main event by finishing 634th out of 6494 players.

In 2010, Ian joined the metal supergroup The Damned Things, which released their first album on December 14, 2010. On June 21, 2011, Ian's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, Revel, thus forcing Ian to briefly depart from Anthrax's tour. Andreas Kisser of Sepultura filled in for Scott on guitar during Scott's absence.

Ian provided voice work for the Adult Swim show Metalocalypse , as the character "Some Guy Who Snuck Into Dethklok's Trunk Last Night When They Were Pretty Hammered" in the "Season III: The Dead Man" opening episode "Renovationklok", as well as providing guest voices in the episode "Tributeklok".

Ian did a spoken word tour entitled Speaking Words, starting in May 2013, in the UK. [4]

In 2014, he joined former members of Mother Superior to form Motor Sister. They released their debut album, Ride, on March 9 2015.

Personal life

He was formerly married to his high school girlfriend, Marge Ginsburg, in the 1980s; [1] the marriage ended in divorce.

Ian is married to singer Pearl Aday, adopted daughter of singer Meat Loaf. Their first child, Revel Young Ian, was born in 2011. [5] Ian is a New York Yankees fan and enjoys snowboarding. He plays poker and is an online pro at UltimateBet; he finished 637th in the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event, taking home $21,365. [6]

He is a Battlestar Galactica fan and has posted numerous blogs about the show, even making an appearance for the red carpet series finale; he also played guitar on the soundtrack of The Plan, a made-for-DVD Battlestar Galactica film. He is a fan of the television series Doctor Who , as seen in "The Best of the Doctor," which aired August 13, 2011 on BBC America (numbered episode 166).

Ian is a fan of hip hop and rap music, particularly Public Enemy and Run-DMC. He was known to wear Public Enemy shirts while performing gigs in the late 1980s. He has also said Run-DMC came out with the same aggression that metal bands played with (that he was listening to at the time), and that Run-DMC was the group that put rap on the map.

He co-owned a hard rock bar called Dead Man's Hand in Las Vegas with Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains. [7]


With Anthrax

With Stormtroopers of Death

Date of releaseTitleLabelChart positionsUS sales
December 1985 Speak English or Die Megaforce Records
October 24, 1992 Live at Budokan Megaforce Records
May 22, 1999 Bigger than the Devil Nuclear Blast Records
August 21, 2007 Rise of the Infidels Megaforce Records

Stormtroopers of Death videos

Date of releaseTitleLabelChart positionsUS sales
January 23, 2001 Kill Yourself: The Movie (DVD or VHS)Nuclear Blast Records
September 25, 2001Speak English or Live (DVD)Nuclear Blast Records
July 26, 2005 20 Years of Dysfunction Nuclear Blast Records




Scott Ian uses his signature Jackson guitars and signature Randall MTS Series heads and cabinets. He is known to use Dimebag Darrell tribute Deans and previously endorsed Washburn. [9] [10] [11] During the mid 1980s, he used ESP guitars for a while, also getting Kirk Hammett his ESP endorsement. Scott uses a DigiTech signature Black 13 distortion pedal, and a DigiTech chorus pedal for his clean sounds. [12] Many of his guitars have been equipped with custom made Seymour Duncan "El Diablo" pickups, [13] but can also be seen using standard Seymour Duncan SH-4's and '59 pickups on several guitars, including his newest signature Jackson. He also recently began endorsing Evertune bridges. [14]

In late 2009, Ian ended his endorsement with Washburn and went back to Jackson guitars. He was seen using custom made Soloist and Randy Rhoads guitars during the 2009 Sonisphere Festival. On March 27, 2010, Ian announced the production of a new signature guitar by Jackson via Twitter and YouTube. He said it would be based on his Soloist from 1987. It has a silverburst finish, a single Seymour Duncan J.B. humbucker, lightning bolt inlays, and a string-thru/tune-o-matic bridge. A dual-humbucker version with a Floyd Rose tremolo will also be released. He stated, "I am so stoked to be back with Jackson." He was seen using this guitar while playing with Brian Posehn at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards and with The Damned Things at the 2011 Download Festival.



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  1. 1 2 "[Class of] 1982". Alumni News. The Bronx High School of Science. January 1989. p. 7.
  2. Songfact Interview with Charlie Benante
  3. Tablet Magazine: "Q&A: SCOTT IAN - Before the “Big Four” thrash metal show at Yankee Stadium, the Anthrax guitarist and lyricist talks Queens, Jews, and Louis Farrakhan" By David Samuels September 13, 2011
  4. Johnny Price (January 17, 2013). "January/February 2013 Digital issue: ANTHRAX". RockRevolt Magazine.
  5. "ANTHRAX Guitarist Welcomes First Child". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  6. " interview with Scott Ian". February 14, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  7. "Jerry Cantrell And Scott Ian Open Las Vegas Bar!". Metal Hammer . Archived from the original on April 6, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  8. "Anthrax's Scott Ian on New BSG: The Plan / Razor CD". January 21, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  9. Archived November 20, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  10. "BLABBERMOUTH.NET – ANTHRAX: New SCOTT IAN Signature Guitars Announced". Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  11. "Scott Ian Bio | Featured Artists | Artists". Archived from the original on January 28, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  12. Archived May 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  13. "Scott Ian of Anthrax/S.O.D". Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  14. "Scott Ian (Anthrax) | EverTune Bridge". Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Rig Rundown – Anthrax's Scott Ian". YouTube. Retrieved May 18, 2014.