Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian is kicking off his North American 'Speaking Words' tour tonight (Feb. 20) in Chicago. The trek will feature the metal veteran standing onstage telling intriguing stories about his life, and answering questions from fans.

Ian embarked on a European leg of the trek last year, and plans to put out a DVD of one of those performances. He's going the direct-to-fan route, setting up a Pledge Music campaign to raise money for it.

Meanwhile, Anthrax are in the midst of working on the follow-up to 'Worship Music,' and Ian tells Loudwire the thrash legends have much more material than usual. "Put it this way, we've already got 12 things arranged and I know there's a wealth more material, musically, happening," Ian says. "I wouldn't be surprised if we've got 20 songs written before we start recording this album. We've never, ever, in the history of this band done that. I think the most we've ever had was maybe one more song than we needed going in. If there was 10 songs on the record, we maybe had one more."

Ian continues, "We never really write more than we need. It's not a case of where we're writing more than we need, we're just having a lot of ideas. I think, it's just really coming off this 'Worship Music' cycle. It was just so good for us, and so much fun, and such a success. It's the first time in a really long time we've gone into a new album on a real high note, on a real positive. I just think that has everything to do with it. We're all just really excited to be doing this."

And if Ian wasn't busy enough, he's also collaborating on his autobiography 'I'm the Man' with writer Jon Wiederhorn. When he spoke with us, Ian said they were just getting ready to turn the first draft into the publisher, and then they'll go from there.

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