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Phil Ehart of Kansas Says He’s ‘Impressed’ and ‘Flattered’ by Anthrax’s ‘Carry on Wayward Son’ Cover

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Anthrax recently covered Kansas‘ classic “Carry on Wayward Son,” which comes from the expanded edition of their latest album, For All Kings.

Almost immediately, Kansas drummer Phil Ehart, a founding member of the group, began hearing about it. “With the internet today, I’ve been sent like 500 different emails with it in there,” he tells us. “It came from everywhere.”

“I listened to it and I was very impressed,” he says. “And flattered that those guys would do that. It’s pretty cool. We’ve had a lot of covers over the years. A lot of people have covered ‘Dust in the Wind,’ and a lot of people have covered ‘Carry on Wayward Son,’ and it’s always flattering.I even got a rap version of ‘Dust in in the Wind.’ I listened to it and thought, ‘Someone put in a lot of work to do that.’ We just always appreciate people thinking our music is worth covering.”

While the New York-bred thrash metal group — no strangers to turning out killer classic-rock covers — put a harder edge on their version, they also made sure that they got the well-known musical moments in the song right.

“We always appreciate that. I mean, we always appreciate them staying somewhat close to the original,” Ehart says. “But that’s up to them. I just had a lot of fun listening to [someone else] interpret it, and man, they rocked right through it. They’re a great band, so it’s not like it would have been anything less.”

The band even went as far as to create its own version of Kansas’ iconic Leftoverture album cover, Anthrax-style, something Ehart was also a fan of. “They’ve got a sense of humor, and they’re not taking it too seriously,” he says. “That’s us all of the way.”

Listen to Kansas’ ‘Carry on Wayward Son’

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Reflecting back to the experience of recording the song for Leftoverture, Ehart notes that it was one of the more complicated moments of the album sessions. “It was the last song written,” he explains. “It was actually a song that Kerry [Livgren] wrote before, right at the time we were breaking down all of the gear to go record the album.

“We had already chosen the songs, we had already rehearsed the songs, and these were the songs that were going on Leftoverture,” he continues. “And as we were breaking down the gear, Kerry mentioned that he had written another song. Rehearsals were already over, so we just told him, ‘Let’s listen to it when we get down to the studio,’ which we did. So we didn’t have a whole lot of time to rehearse. What you hear on ‘Carry on Wayward Son’ is not a whole lot of takes and not a whole lot of rehearsals, because we had to start recording the album, so we kind of just learned it and played it, I think within a couple of days, with all of it going down and going on there.”

Ehart says Kansas “captured some magic there.” “It was just kind of learned — everybody got it? Yep? Okay, let’s record it!” he recalls. “We still kind of listen back to it at times and kind of go, ‘Well … ’ But hey — we recorded it as we felt it and it’s been fine. We’re very proud of that song.”

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