Anthrax’s Charlie Benante to appear at Days of the Dead Chicago

By Melanie “Sass” Falina

The world is full of monsters (‘…at the end..?’) – the ones who lurk under our beds and in our closets when we’re little, and the ones we seek
out as adults when wanting to be thrilled or terrified. And there is a plethora of reasons why the entire horror world is so fascinating to so many –
whether becoming enthralled by zombies or vampires because they’re frightening whilst also being quite cool, or for the process of cuddling up
closer to that special someone when you know the psycho with the sharp, gleaming knife is about to jump out from the shadows. We like to be
scared, we like feeling vulnerable from the safety of our movie seats or couches – – – and the satisfaction of dabbling in suspense, in the gruesome, in the macabre is primal at it’s core, just like that of music, and that’s exactly why the pairing of musicians and horror conventions goes hand-in-hand so beautifully.

From November 17-19, the Days of the Dead horror convention will be returning to the Chicagoland area for its sixth consecutive year – and for the second year in a row now, Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante will make an appearance each day.

“I go anyway, I’ve been going to [Days of the Dead] for all these years as a spectator.” explained Benante, a longtime fan of not only horror but the conventions themselves. “And I’ve been good friends with one of the guys who puts it on forever so we’d always joke about it, ‘You should do it one year…’ he’d say.”

And it was when scheduling for the 2016 Days of the Dead Chicago convention was going on that Benante finally came on board.

“And then [last] year my friend David Ellefson from Megadeth [was] going to do it so I said it’ll be a good time, I’ll do it too.”

With an array of merchandise available from his own line of Benante’s Blend coffee beans to custom designed t-shirts to autographed gear – Charlie Benante manned his table at DOTD with warmth and an approachable demeanor, much to the delight of both music and horror lovers – and he’s psyched to do it again this year too. Having just wrapped up a killer South American tour with his band Anthrax, Benante will be back on U.S. soil and ready for fans to come and say hi.

“I really get off on meeting people, talking to them, trying to hear what they really like about this whole thing. What inspires them? Just stuff like that. What makes you get out of their houses to come to these kinds of things?” explained Benante about what he’s looking forward to during the convention. “I enjoy the really good conversations. And some people don’t want to talk, they just want to present their stuff, have me sign it and that’s it, which is fine…it’ll be a fun time.”

Along with Benante, there will be other rockers on hand as well to meet at this year’s Days of the Dead including Twisted Sister front-man Dee Snider and Pantera/Down/Superjoint Ritual’s Phil Anselmo. And then there are the horror movie stars set to make appearances as well – Linda Blair of The Exorcist, Stranger Things’ Sean Astin, The Craft’s Fairuza Balk, Carrie Henn – “Newt” from Aliens, and many, many others, in addition to dozens of vendors, attendees in costume, and an all-round horror-loving time.

Check out the Days of the Dead Chicago official website for tickets and information on photo opportunities with some of this year’s guests. More details can be found on DOTD’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts as well.

And as we move into the holiday season, Days of the Dead attendees can easily help those less fortunate by bringing in non-perishable food items (for humans and/or pets) or a cash donation for the More Grains organization. With a mission to help in the cities where the Days of the Dead convention operates, contributions go 100% towards feeding families and pets in need. Look for the More Grains merch-booth at the convention while you’re there.

Days of the Dead Chicago will be held at the Chicago Marriott Schaumburg located at 50 N Martingale Road in Schaumburg, Illinois – click here for more information.

Days of the Dead Charlie Benante photos courtesy of Eric Bonano

Related Links: Anthrax @UnRatedMagazine