Charlie Benante

Charles Lee Benante (born November 27, 1962) is an American musician best known as the drummer for thrash metal band Anthrax, as well as crossover thrash band Stormtroopers of Death. Alongside rhythm guitarist and band leader Scott Ian he has composed the majority of the music throughout Anthrax's discography.[1]

Charlie Benante
Benante in 2010
Benante in 2010
Background information
Birth nameCharles Lance Benante
Born (1962-11-27) November 27, 1962 (age 57)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
GenresHeavy metal, thrash metal, speed metal
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, artist
InstrumentsDrums, guitar, percussion, keyboard, theremin, turntables, harmonica
Years active1982–present
Associated actsAnthrax, Stormtroopers of Death, Heavy the Fall, Metal Allegiance


Benante joined Anthrax in 1983, prior to the recording of the band's debut album Fistful of Metal, and has been the band's drummer ever since. He is known for having a very fast double kick technique and has been credited as one of the pioneers of double-bass, as well as with popularizing the blast beat technique with thrash metal.

He is also an accomplished guitarist, having contributed lead guitar to S.O.D.'s Speak English or Die album. Along with his musician duties, Benante is also a graphic artist and has created many of Anthrax's album covers and T-shirt designs.

Personal lifeEdit

Benante is the uncle of Anthrax bassist Frank Bello, whose mother is Benante's older sister. His other nephew, Bello's younger brother, Anthony, was murdered in the Bronx, NYC, on March 25, 1996. To the grief of Benante, the murder was never solved.

Benante has stated in most of the old Anthrax interviews and videos that his favorite fictional character is Darth Vader.[2]

Benante is an avid fan of the 1975 film Jaws, and owns a sizeable collection of the film's merchandise. He was featured in the documentary The Shark Is Still Working, which was included on the Jaws 2012 Blu-ray release.

Throughout the course of 2012, Benante faced several personal issues that forced him to miss several concerts with Anthrax. Early on in the year his mother died, which also resulted in Frank Bello (Benante's mother being Bello's grandmother) taking some time off during the band's tour in Argentina.[3] Benante stepped out again during the summer's Rockstar Mayhem Fest run after suffering a "minor hand injury".[4] Also during the summer, Benante was involved in a domestic dispute with his wife in front of his daughter which had them both arrested.[5][6] Benante later missed the band's UK and European tour in order to take care of "personal stuff" according to Scott Ian. In 2013, it was announced that Benante would be sitting out Australian tour dates, also for personal reasons.[7] Concern was raised in 2012 by MetalSucks over Benante's well-being and future with the band.[8] In March 2019, it was confirmed that Benante was dating Butcher Babies frontwoman Carla Harvey.

In 2020, Benante cameoed in the music video "Everything She Wants". A Wham!-Cover performed by Alien Ant Farm.[9]


Benante uses and endorses Tama drums and hardware, Paiste cymbals, Vic Firth sticks,[10] Evans Drumheads,[11] and Roland electronics.

Prior to switching to Tama's Speed Cobra pedals in 2010, Benante was one of the few drummers who used Tama's HP35 Camco chain-drive pedals, equipment he had used since 1984.[12]


Stormtroopers of Death albumsEdit

Title Date of Release Label Chart positions US sales
Speak English or Die December 1985 Megaforce Records
Live at Budokan [Live] October 24, 1995 Megaforce Records
Bigger than the Devil May 22, 1999 Nuclear Blast Records

Stormtroopers of Death videosEdit

Title Date of Release Label Chart positions US sales
Kill Yourself: The Movie (DVD or VHS) January 23, 2001 Nuclear Blast Records
Speak English or Live (DVD) September 25, 2001 Nuclear Blast Records
20 Years of Dysfunction July 26, 2005 Nuclear Blast Records

With AnthraxEdit



External linksEdit