Nobody likes show cancellations. Fans miss out on the show, while bands, venues, and everyone that works alongside them lose money. Earlier this month, Anthrax was forced to cancel two shows due to an unexpected “medical concern.” And while their absence from their tour with Hatebreed and Black Label Society was short, it’s not like they had a contingency plan.

According to an Instagram post by former Anthrax guitarist Paul Crook, he’d been tapped by the band to serve as an understudy for Scott Ian, Jonathan Donais, and Frank Bello. If one of those members went down for a significant amount of time, say due to COVID, he’d be able to step in.

“I feel ok talking about this now… Back in early June, Anthrax asked me if I’d be willing to understudy [guitarist] Scott Ian, [bassist] Frank Bello & [guitarist] Jonathan Donais in the event one of them were unable to perform on their summer tour.

“A lot of tours/shows are getting canceled due to the obvious, I feel the understudy thing is going to become commonplace. The guys had a health issue that began in Texas… I joined the tour in Atlanta shortly after.

“That said, Anthrax is firing on all cylinders. The show is incredible. I’m heading home.”

Crook has a very close relationship with the band, having been a member 1995 to 1998 and performing on both *Stomp 442 *and Volume 8: The Threat is Real. He also played guitar for the late Meat Loaf, who was Scott Ian’s father-in-law.

Anthrax is currently on tour and co-headlining with Black Label Society, with Hatebreed also performing on the bill. You can catch them live at one of the following dates:

8/16 Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN
8/18 The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD
8/19 Main Street Armory, Rochester, NY
8/20 The Fillmore, Detroit, MI (no Hatebreed)
8/22 StageAE Outside, Pittsburgh, PA
8/23 History, Toronto, ON CANADA
8/24 Amphitheatre Cogeco, Trois Riviere/Montreal, QC
8/26 Coney Island Amphitheater, Brooklyn, NY
8/27 The Palladium Outdoors, Worcester, MA (with Municipal Waste, At The Gates, and Enforced)
8/28 The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA (no Hatebreed)