Charles Lee "Charlie" Benante (born 27 November 1962, in The Bronx, New York) is an American musician best known as the drummer, main songwriter (and studio-only guitarist) for the heavy metal bands Anthrax and 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.
Tama Starclassic Bubinga in custom finish
18" x 22" Bass Drum (x2),
6.5" x 14" Charlie Benante Signature Snare Drum (CB1465),
8" x 8" Tom Tom,
8" x 10" Tom Tom,
8" x 12" Tom Tom,
9" x 13" Tom Tom,
14" x 14" Floor Tom,
16" x 18" Floor Tom,
6.5" x 14" Mike Portnoy Signature Snare Drum (MP1255ST),
Evans Drumheads: Evans St Dry/Hazy 300 (snare), G2 clear/G1 clear (toms), EQ2 Batter Clear/ EQ3 Resonant Black (bass drum)
16" RUDE Crash/Ride,
18" 2002 Mega Bell Ride (custom),
13" Signature Dark Crisp Hi-Hat,
18" Signature Crash,
8" Signature Splash,
10" Signature Splash,
10" Signature Splash,
19" RUDE Crash/Ride,
20" Signature Dark Metal Ride,
18" RUDE Crash/Ride,
14" 2002 Sound Edge Hi-Hat,
18" 2002 Novo China,
20" 2002 Novo China,
Power Tower System,
HP910LS Speed Cobra Single Pedal (x2),
HH915N Speed Cobra Lever Glide Hi-Hat Stand,
HT730 1st Chair Ergo-Rider Drum Throne,
Sticks: Vic Firth Charlie Benante Signature (SBEN) (Length = 16 5/8", Diameter =.625")
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