Neil Turbin

Born: December 24, 1963
Brooklyn, New York, USA

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Emerging from the aftermath of the New York Rock Scene (post disco, punk and radio rock) in the late seventies, Neil went on to become one of the pioneers and originators of a new style of heavy metal music what is now widely referred to as "Thrash Metal" or "Thrash". Neil was the original lead vocalist for the group "Anthrax" which he spent over two years helping to get the band off the ground and up to number eight in the british charts when his first collaboration work with Anthrax came out in February, 1984. Anthrax went on to achieve notoriety and continued success, which included RIAA gold award status on a video release with Neil's song "Metal Thrashing Mad" which Anthrax helped him write. After a very mutual decision to leave the band in August of 1984, due to complete disenfranchisement and alienation with the band and its Record Company/Management.

The band went on to name its next release after one of Neil's songs "Armed and Dangerous" which Anthrax helped him write. The "Armed and Dangerous" EP basically included all of Neil's songs except for a Sex Pistols cover. The Anthrax release "Spreading The Disease" included 2 of Neil's songs "Gung Ho" and "Armed and Dangerous".

Neil toured with Anthrax in support of its first album "Fistful of Metal" and its first North American Tour, dubbed the Anthrax "US Attack Tour '84" opening shows for headliners Raven and Metallica.

In the early days before Anthrax, Neil had played in several bands, one of which was his first band called "The Newrace" which consisted of members of diverse origin. The band played the New York City circuit, CBGB's, Max's Kansas City, Great Gildersleeves, RT Firefly. Neil was 15 when he formed and sang for Newrace and was also working as a barback at Max's Kansas City and The Ritz.

After leaving Anthrax, Neil drove a cab day and night in New York in order to finance his relocation 6 months later to Los Angeles. A few months before leaving to Los Angeles, Neil found himself at Greene Street Recording Studios, singing over his buddy Rhett Forrester's vocal parts on "Restless Breed" in an audition for the band RIOT. This was one of his favorite bands growing up in New York. Rhett and Neil were good friends back in the days that Rhett was in Riot and Neil was in Anthrax. Neil used to hang with Rhett at his apartment in Astoria, Queens and then take the 7 train (NYC subway). Neil remembers going to hang out with Rhett at Great Gildersleeves and running into Ross the Boss from "Manowar". Neil says "Rhett Forrester was a whisky spittin', soul singin' hard ass, and he was and will always be a great inspiration to me". "I loved Rhett's attitude, he wouldn't take no shit from anybody, no fucking way". "Rhett was the real deal", what an amazing frontman, performer and singer/harmonica player. Rhett referred Bob Berry, a lead guitar player from Chicago, IL who did some shows with Anthrax and was in Anthrax for a short time". "I also made a copy of a tape of a show which Rhett did at "My Fathers Place" in Long Island, NY, which I taped off the radio, back in 1982. It was Killer, and he didn't have a copy of it. "He was grateful and gave me some of his personal customized Rhett/Riot shirts which I still have". "What was really weird is that years later, I never ran into him in Los Angeles, since he relocated out there. I did work for a very short time with Rhett's guitarist Jonathan Grell.

A week after leaving Anthrax, Neil was offered a spot as vocalist in Jack Starr's band, billed as Virgin Steele. It was not the original Virgin Steele, but Rhett was singing in the band and Jack was trying to have a back-up in case Rhett didn't end up doing this big outdoor festival gig in Paris, France. "Rhett ended up doing the gig and it was even bigger and more badass than any Riot gig that I ever saw Rhett do. Needless to say I didn't end up working with Jack Starr, but the promoters sent me to Paris for a few months, so I got a free vacation out of it and got to meet a lot of nice people over there. Some of the bands I met and hung out with who were very cool such as Sortilege, Venom, Der Kaiser, and Warning. I even ran into the guys from Metallica, when Cliff was still in the band, and I even had a few rounds with James and Lars."

Ronnie James Dio was headlining the 1984 Breaking Sound Festival and Claude Schnell was playing keyboards. What was interesting is that Neil would later end up working with Claude on a project from August of 1996 to 1999. "Claude Schnell is one of the nicest guys you could ever want to work with and certainly an amazing keyboard player. What most people don't know about Claude is that he is one of the most brilliant composers since Elton John, Billy Joel or Meatloaf, I mean this guy has written some serious material, that's why I worked with him for over 3 years."

Neil had also been on the phone with Mark Reale of Riot, when Mark was based in San Antonio, Texas and had spoken with members Dave McClain and Don Van Stavern. Dave was not all too happy with the Riot deal after awhile and eventually moved to LA to help form a band with Neil called "Turbin". Another contact that Neil made while touring with Anthrax was Lucy Forbes when she was booking the Country Club in Reseda under Heavy Metal Night Productions. Lucy sent Neil on auditions for Vinnie Vincent Invasion, Legs Diamond, Gregg Wright/Tim Bogert, Bloodlust, Black Sabbath (Geoff Nichols), Doug Marks, Driver (Rudy Sarzo /Tommy Aldridge/Kurt James), Andy Trueman (Yngwie Malmsteen's Manager at the time), Terriff (with Joe Holmes), Tygress, Warrior(with a different Joe Holmes), Spellbinder (Jeff Fenholt's old band), Warlord, Badlands, Jimmy Crespo (x-Aerosmith) & Tommy Dimitroff (x-Heaven) and Cary Sharaf (x-Billy Squier), projects with Bob Kulick, backup vocals for Kane Roberts, and Ward One (Bill Ward from Black Sabbath) - "Bill is one of the nicest guys in the world". Neil would later go on to form a band and record an unreleased album for Japan with Kurt James on Guitar and famed fusion guitarist Allan Holdsworth producing at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA.

Lucy Forbes was one tough lady, who had her shit together when it came to dealing with people and understanding the music business. Neil on the other hand was into art for arts sake and then later went on to tackle the business part.

Neil then met Kuni Takeuchi a Japanese Guitarist and friend of the band Loudness. Neil roomed with Kuni for 6 months (at "Kuni's Cockroach Palace" his first and last roommate) and went on to write an album with Kuni, but only ended up on one of the tracks on the record. Basically Kuni just needed someone to write some good lyrics in English, but wanted everyone and their brother to play on it. Neil later worked with Chuck Wright who he met while doing pre-production for the Kuni Masque LP. Chuck helped Neil 4 years later with his band "Wrecking Crew" with guitarist Bobby Pieper from "XYZ" (who wrote the song Souvenirs for "XYZ") and former "RATT" bassist Joe Christafanelli who wrote "Wanted Man" for Ratt.

Instruments Played / Skills:

Heavy Metal

Bands That Neil Turbin Has Played For:
Anthrax (1981-1984)

Neil Turbin Has Worked With:
Charlie Benante Scott Ian Dan Spitz Kuni Takeuchi
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