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Anthrax guitarist lets his words, not his music, do the talking in solo shows

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Anthrax's Scott Ian is no stranger to the road. But usually he has a guitar slung over his shoulder.

The thrash metal pioneer's Speaking Words tour is, as the title suggests, a showcase for his mouth rather than his music. Ian began the storytelling shows last year in the U.K. and Europe. Admittedly apprehensive, Ian "just had a great time doing those shows. The show just kept getting better and better, and it was something I wanted to keep doing. If I have a window I'm gonna take it and go out and do more, 'cause I'm just still having fun dong it.

"I'm not really looking for more ways to elave home at this point in my life, but this is so much fun, and such a fresh challenge."

Ian, 50, adds that the shows have becoming learning experiences for the audience as well.

"Some of these are not just stories; they're epics that take, like, 45 minutes to tell," explains Ian, who's married to Meat Loaf's daughter Pearl. "You kind of have to stay with me on it. Sometimes I'll see people get up to go pee or grab a beer or something, and they come back and they're like, 'What?! How did the goat get in the swimming pool?' (laughs) You've got to keep up, dude.

"I think there's just a lot of really great stories. Even if you don't know who the people are or aren't a fan of metal, they're just really entertaining stories."

Ian filmed a 2013 show in Glasgow, Scotaland, for a DVD that he's funding through a PledgeMusic campaign and hopes to release in the near future. Meanwhile, Anthrax is "deep into writing for the next record," which he says the group hopes to release before the end of the year.

Scott Ian performs his Speaking Words show on Friday, Feb. 21, at the Token Lounge, 28949 Joy Road, Westland. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 734-513-5030 or visit www.tokenlounge.com.

Web Site: www.tokenlounge.com

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