John Bush (musician)

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John Bush
John Bush, Evolution Festival 2006, Italy.jpg
Background information
Birth name John Bush
Born (1963-08-24) August 24, 1963 (age 52)
Los Angeles
Genres Heavy metal, thrash metal, groove metal, alternative metal
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1982–present
Labels Metal Blade, Roadrunner, Spinefarm
Associated acts Armored Saint, Anthrax

John Bush (born August 24, 1963) is an American metal vocalist, currently the lead singer and lyricist of Armored Saint, a traditional heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California and formerly of thrash metal band Anthrax.


1982-1992: Armored Saint[edit]

Since their formation in 1982, Armored Saint has released six full-length albums, one EP, a live album, a greatest hits compilation and two DVDs, all with John Bush on vocals. In the early 1980s, Bush was invited by Metallica to join them as lead singer. Even after the release of Kill 'Em All, Metallica vocalist James Hetfield felt unsure about his singing abilities. Hetfield wanted to concentrate on his guitar and personally asked John Bush to join Metallica. Bush was the only vocalist that the band considered as a potential frontman. He turned down the offer as he wanted to stay with Armored Saint. Bush states that part of his loyalty to Armored Saint came from the band being made up of his closest childhood friends.[1]

In 1990, original guitarist Dave Prichard died of leukemia during the recording of Symbol of Salvation. Jeff Duncan replaced Prichard and the band finished the recording of Symbol of Salvation, going out on tour afterwards. Despite rave reviews from the metal press,[citation needed] the band decided that they just didn't want to continue without Prichard, and amicably disbanded.

1992–2005: Anthrax[edit]

After returning home, Bush received a call from Scott Ian of Anthrax, who offered Bush the chance to fill the spot left behind by singer Joey Belladonna, who had been fired from the band. Bush accepted and joined the band, adding alternative rock sensibilities. Anthrax recorded Sound of White Noise, Stomp 442, Volume 8: The Threat Is Real & We've Come for You All with Bush in the 90s & 00s. In 1999 during an Anthrax hiatus, Bush got together with Armored Saint bassist Joey Vera. Together they decided to bring back the Symbol of Salvation lineup for an Armored Saint reunion.

The resultant album Revelation was released in 2000 and a short tour followed. The following year, Armored Saint released a collection of demos, live tracks and other rarities in the two disc package Nod to the Old School. Despite its recent activity, Bush had not left Anthrax. Returning to the band, Bush recorded vocals for the critically acclaimed We've Come for You All in 2003. The successful WCFYA tour was documented with a live album/DVD titled Music of Mass Destruction. In 2004, Anthrax released The Greater of Two Evils, a re-recording of several of the band's more popular songs from the pre-Bush era with the then-current lineup.

With the departure of Dan Nelson, Bush stepped in to play the Sonisphere Festival on August 1, 2009. Since this performance there have been many calls for him to return.[2][3] John Bush also performed with Anthrax at the Loud Park '09 Festival in Japan on October 17, 2009.[4]

2005: Departure from Anthrax[edit]

In early 2005, Anthrax issued a press release stating that the band's Among the Living lineup was reuniting. Anthrax stated that Bush had not been fired, but with Joey Belladonna's return and talk of a new album in the works, it was unclear if Bush would record with them again. However, Joey Belladonna's exit from Anthrax in January 2007 fueled reports that Bush would return. However, Anthrax chose to recruit a new vocalist, Dan Nelson. In June 2007, John Bush was interviewed by Rock Hard Magazine, and on the subject of whether he was bitter about the split:

"No. Bitter is not the way I wanna be about anything," Bush replied. "I'm not bitter at all. There was probably not a perfect way to do that, what they did. It was like, how are they gonna say…? I mean, they asked me to do it — the tour with Joey (Bush was asked to take part in a '25th anniversary' tour that would see him and Belladonna splitting vocal duties) — and it just wasn't right for me, I couldn't do it. So, whatever… If they felt they had to do that, I understand. It wasn't like I was going, 'Yeah, do it. That's great.' But once it happened, I was like, 'OK.' It was like a book ended. It's OK. I mean, it's much better to look at it that way than to be angry or frustrated, 'cause I really don't feel that way."

Asked if he was approached to rejoin the band once Belladonna left the group, Bush said, "I was asked to write [with the members of Anthrax] and it just wasn't right for me. I couldn't go back and say, 'Here I am...' It would be like coming in with my tail between my legs, and that's not right for me. I just couldn't do that. It just didn't feel right to do that. It was about soul, your gut. How does that feel? Does it feel right? Good enough. Sold. Answer."

2005-2011: Side projects[edit]

Bush has done commercial voiceovers for the fast food chain Burger King.[5]

In April 2011, German instrumental rock band Long Distance Calling released a self-titled full length album, which features John Bush performing vocals for the track "Middleville". "Middleville" is the only track with vocals on that album.

In December 2011, in honor of their 30th anniversary, he joined Metallica onstage to perform "The Four Horsemen", a song from Kill 'Em All where he sang for James Hetfield, as Hetfield wanted him to do almost three decades prior.

2009-2010: Temporary reunion with Anthrax[edit]

In August 2009, after Anthrax parted ways with their replacement singer Dan Nelson, Bush rejoined his former bandmates in Anthrax for a live performance in Knebworth, England. Bush also joined them for a performance at Loud Park Festival on October 17, 2009, followed by five concerts on the Soundwave tour in Australia in February 2010.

On December 14, 2009, it was announced that the "Big Four" Thrash bands would play Poland and Czech Republic, among several other shows during the Sonisphere festival. It was expected that Anthrax would continue with Bush, but the other members ultimately chose to reunite with Joey Belladonna, as Bush was not up for recommitting to the group full-time.


with Armored Saint[edit]

with Anthrax[edit]

Main article: Anthrax discography

Personal life[edit]

He is married and has a daughter and a son.


  1. ^ Bush interview discussing his chance at joining Metallica
  2. ^ "Anthrax Splits With Singer Dan Nelson; John Bush To Fill in For U.K.'s Sonisphere". July 21, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2009. 
  3. ^ Bezer, Terry (July 21, 2009). "John Bush Rejoins Anthrax For Sonisphere". Metal Hammer. Retrieved July 22, 2009. 
  4. ^ "ANTHRAX Featuring JOHN BUSH To Perform at Japan's LOUD PARK Festival". September 3, 2009. Retrieved September 3, 2009. 
  5. ^ "ARMORED SAINT Plays Viper Room in Hollywood; Photos Available". May 22, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 

External links[edit]