There are some bands that you listen to now that you kinda cringe and go “it was a different time.” Songs like Korn’s “All in the Family” immediately come to mind, or literally any Iced Earth music after the January 6 insurrection, are just hard to listen to because of either their lyrical content or what they mean if the artists were particular shitbags.
One key example is Stormtroopers of Death, a badass crossover thrash band from New York City whose album titles Speak English or Die and lyrical content would be a bit…problematic in 2022.
Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian was in that band, along with drummer Charlie Benante, ex-Anthrax bassist Dan Lilker, and vocalist Billy Milano.
During a recent interview with Metal Hammer’s Dom Lawson, Mr. VH1 himself answered a bunch of fan questions and while many were about his beard and his relationship to Meatloaf, Ian was asked if S.O.D. would be canceled today. I think you know the answer to that question.
“If it had never existed in 1985 and we tried to put that out today, no matter how hard we tried to explain the joke, yes, certain sections of people would cancel it. It’d have a much harder time now. We didn’t have internet back then! If people don’t know, Sargent D is a character I created because I wanted to try and make a comic book. I didn’t know how to write a comic book, so I wrote songs about this character who’s dead! He’s unliving, and hates anything alive. We explained it a few times in interviews back then, but either people want to hear it or they don’t.”
Now, whether Sargent D was undead or not, I don’t know if it would have saved the band from scrutiny after putting out songs like “Fuck the Middle East” and “Speak English or Die” if the music came out this year. I mean, the songs literally have lyrics like:
You don’t know what I want
You don’t know what I need
Must I always repeat myself?
Can’t you fuckin’ read?
Nice fuckin’ accents
Why can’t you speak like me?
What’s that dot on your head?
Do you use it to see?
Fucking….. oof. Remember, this came out in in 1999 and it was barely acceptable then. There’s a whole lot of shit in their discography talking shit about all sorts of things. Ian’s not wrong that people would be up in arms about some of this shit.
As for the rest of the interview, you should absolutely head over to Metal Hammer to learn more about Scott Ian’s thoughts on hair plugs and the weirdest thing he’s seen at an Anthrax gig.