Charles Lee "Charlie" Benante (born November 27, 1962, in The Bronx, New York) is an American musician best known as the drummer, main songwriter (and studio-only guitarist) for thrash metal band Anthrax, as well as crossover thrash band Stormtroopers of Death (S.O.D.).
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 to the present day. 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, contributing lead guitar to S.O.D.'s Speak English or Die album, as well as the majority of the music for Anthrax. Along with his musician duties, Benante is also a graphic artist and has created many of Anthrax's album covers and T-shirt designs.
Benante is the uncle of Anthrax bassist Frank Bello, whose mother is Benante's older sister. His other nephew, Frank'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.
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, Charlie 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 (Charlie's mother being Bello's grandmother) taking some time off during the band's tour in Argentina. Benante stepped out again during the summer's Rockstar Mayhem Fest run after suffering a "minor hand injury". Also during the summer, Benante was involved in a domestic dispute with his wife in front of his daughter which had them both arrested. 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. Concern was raised in 2012 by Metalsucks over Benante's well-being and future with the band.
Benante uses and endorses Tama drums and hardware, Paiste cymbals, Vic Firth sticks,Evans drumheads, and ddrum 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.
13" Signature dark crisp hi-hats
13" Signature mega cup chime
8" 2002 splash
8" Signature splash (x2)
10" Signature splash
16" RUDE crash/ride
17" RUDE crash/ride
18" 2002 crash
19" RUDE crash/ride
18" 2002 mega bell ride (custom)
22" Signature dark metal ride
14" 2002 sound edge hi-hats
18" 2002 novo china
20" 2002 novo china
Original 1987 setup:
13" 3000 hi-hats
14" 3000 reflector hi-hats
14" 1000 RUDE crash/ride
16" 1000 RUDE crash/ride
16" 2002 crash
17" 3000 RUDE crash/ride
18" 3000 RUDE crash/ride
18" 3000 reflector power crash
18" 2000 sound reflections crash
18" RUDE crash/ride
10" 2002 RUDE splash
12" 3000 RUDE splash
20" 2000 RUDE ride/crash
20" 3000 RUDE ride/crash
20" 2000 sound reflections ride
8" 3000 RUDE splash and 18" 3000 novo china (stacked)
20" 3000 reflector novo china
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