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Jonathan Donais

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Jonathan Donais
Donais performing with Anthrax in 2017
Donais performing with Anthrax in 2017
Background information
Also known asJon Donais
Born (1979-04-05) April 5, 1979 (age 45)
Northampton, Massachusetts, U.S.[1]
OriginSouthampton, Massachusetts, U.S.[2]
Years active1996–present
Member of
Formerly ofAftershock

Jonathan Donais (born April 5, 1979),[3][4] also known as Jon Donais, is an American guitarist, best known as the lead guitarist for thrash metal band Anthrax since 2013, and as co-founder of metalcore band Shadows Fall.


Early career and Shadows Fall[edit]

Prior to co-founding Shadows Fall with fellow guitarist Matt Bachand in 1996,[5] Donais was a member of metalcore band Aftershock from 1993 to 1997,[4][6] which morphed into Killswitch Engage, although after his departure.[7] Shadows Fall's first line-up included Donais and Bachand alongside Damien McPherson (vocals), Mark Laliberte (bass), and David Germain (drums). By late 1996, the band recorded and released a demo titled Mourning a Dead World, of which only about 200 copies were produced.[5] It consisted of the songs Lifeless, Suffer the Season, Fleshold, Forever Lost, A Souls Salvation, and Deadworld. McPherson decided to leave the band, and was replaced by Philip Labonte in 1997. Around the same time, bass guitarist Paul Romanko, formerly of the hardcore band Pushbutton Warfare, was recruited as a permanent replacement for Laliberte, who had originally joined on a temporary basis.[5][8] Now with a more solid lineup, the band released its first EP, To Ashes, with Aftershock member Adam Dutkiewicz playing as a session drummer. The band's name, according to Bachand, comes from the title of a comic book published in the early 1990s.[9]

Shadows Fall went on hiatus in Summer 2015 after completing "farewell" tours in Europe and North America.[10][11]

On June 22, 2021, vocalist Brian Fair confirmed that Shadows Fall were reuniting for their first show in over half a decade at the Worcester Palladium on December 18. Supporting acts for this show were Unearth, Darkest Hour, Within the Ruins, Sworn Enemy and Carnivora.[12] Flair also said that the band could release new music.[13]


Prior to Shadow Falls going on hiatus, Donais was announced, on January 11, 2013, to be joining thrash metal legends Anthrax on their Metal Alliance Tour,[14] replacing Rob Caggiano who had left the band to join Volbeat.[15] Donais made his live debut with Anthrax in Australia without a single rehearsal with the band. "I jammed with Scott [Ian, guitarist] a little bit, but it was, 'Here. Learn these songs and be ready,'" he recalled. "Oh. God. That first show — I was shaking."[16] Donais was originally a touring member until August 13, 2013.[17] The first Anthrax release that Donais appeared on was Chile on Hell live album and video in 2014, which was from a concert recorded at the Teatro Caupolican in Santiago, Chile, on May 10, 2013.[18] Donais appeared on the bands following studio album For All Kings in 2016.

Donais (left) and Scott Ian performing with Anthrax in 2014

According to Donais, his predecessor in Anthrax, Rob Caggiano, hooked him up with his current gig. "'Cause he knew he was gonna leave, and he wanted to make sure that they were all set."[16] Donais' appearance with the band has been an overall positive experience for the band with bassist Frank Bello saying: "I think Jon has brought a great energy to the band. He stepped up and then some on this record." Scott Ian said, "Jon's approach towards lead guitar playing, he's more of a guy who's looking to construct something that makes sense and helps a song rather than the 45 seconds for him to be showing off how many notes he can play in X amount of measures."[16] Donais has said that it was "a dream come true! I'm playing for a band that have been a huge influence for me.".[19]

Donais is set to appear on the bands new studio album, which is expected to be released in 2024,[20] he has also said that he is not involved in the song writing process saying "Nope. Nope. Nope. All bands work different, man. They have a way that's worked, and they've [had a] strong 40-year career. So, if it's not broken, don't mess with it."[21]

Living Wreckage[edit]

Donais is also a member of supergroup Living Wreckage which is composed of Donais, vocalist Jeff Gard (Death Ray Vision), guitarist Matt LeBreton (Downpour), bassist Matt Bachand (Shadows Fall, Act of Defiance) and drummer Jon Morency (Let Us Prey),[22] the band came about during COVID-19 pandemic and was composed of musicians who lived near each other so "we could get in the basement once a week and just do it the old school way of, you know, having some beers, jammin and just having fun with friends. And that's what it is. We're all friends from the same area. We're in the same scene. So things fell together really quickly and Matt LeBreton, the other guitar player, he writes a lot too. So between the both of us songs are coming out left and right pretty fast."[22] The bands music is a cross between thrash metal and arena rock, like "Skid Row, Tesla, the mainstream MTV stuff that was in the eighties. And then also nineties metal and rock. Bands like Sepultura, Nevermore and Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, stuff like that."[22]


Donais main influences are guitarists Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society) and Dimebag Darrell (Pantera) (both of which he has toured with),[23] alongside Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne), James Hetfield (Metallica), Warren DeMartini (Ratt), John Sykes (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake) and Alex Skolnick (Testament).[24][25] Early bands that influenced him include Skid Row, Guns N' Roses, Tesla and Whitesnake.[22] He has also recommended DVD's of the teaching of Paul Gilbert[23] and John Petrucci.[26]


As band member[edit]


  • Two Songs EP (1996)[27]

Shadows Fall[edit]


Living Wreckage[edit]

  • One Foot In The Grave (2021)[32]
  • Living Wreckage (2022)[33]

Other appearances[edit]

Year Artist Title Notes
2006 Brian Posehn Live In: Nerd Rage Guitar solo on "Metal By Numbers", also features then future Anthrax bandmate Scott Ian.[34]
2008 Various We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year Appears on track "Silent Night" alongside Chuck Billy (Testament), Scott Ian (Anthrax) & Chris Wyse and John Tempesta (The Cult).[35]
2011 Stryper The Covering Additional backing vocals on track "God" with Maria Ellena Leone, as Jon Donais.[36]
2012 Hatebreed Perseverance Gang vocals on unspecified songs.[37]
2020 Lost Symphony Chapter II Appears (as Jon Donais) on track "A Murder of Crows" alongside Matt Bachand & Jimi Bell.[38]


  1. ^ "Jonathan Donais - MusicBrainz". musicbrainz.org. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  2. ^ "Jonathan M Donais on Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  3. ^ "Anthrax on Facebook". Facebook. April 5, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Jonathan Donais - Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives". www.metal-archives.com. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  5. ^ a b c "Shadows Fall Interview". metalupdate.com. April 5, 2000. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  6. ^ "Jonathan Donais". Metal Kingdom. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  7. ^ "THROWBACK THURSDAY – AFTERSHOCK | The Circle Pit". www.thecirclepit.com. November 14, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  8. ^ "Shadows Fall 'The rebel becomes the next oppressor". Hardtimes.ca. Archived from the original on September 26, 2010. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  9. ^ Epstien, Daniel Robert. "Shadows Fall interview". Ugo.com. Archived from the original on January 27, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2008.
  10. ^ "Shadows Fall To Embark on Final European, North American Tours". Blabbermouth.net. August 25, 2014. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  11. ^ "Video: SHADOWS FALL Performs At Rhode Island's BIG KAHUNA Festival". Blabbermouth.net. August 28, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  12. ^ "SHADOWS FALL Announces December 2021 Reunion Show". Blabbermouth.net. June 22, 2021. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  13. ^ "Episode 94: A Conversation with Brian Fair of Shadows Fall/Overcast". Podioslave Podcast. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  14. ^ "Shadows Fall's Jon Donais to Join Anthrax on Upcoming Tour Dates - Hard Rock & Heavy Metal News | Music Videos |Golden Gods Awards". revolvermag.com. January 11, 2013. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  15. ^ "Guitarist Rob Caggiano Quits Anthrax". Blabbermouth.net. January 4, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  16. ^ a b c Blabbermouth (May 13, 2021). "JONATHAN DONAIS: How I Landed ANTHRAX Gig". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  17. ^ Fanelli, Damian (August 14, 2013). "Anthrax Reveal New Guitarist: Jon Donais of Shadows Fall". Guitar World. Archived from the original on June 30, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  18. ^ a b Kennelty, Greg (May 5, 2020). "Watch ANTHRAX Play Entire 2013 Chile On Hell Show". Metal Injection. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  19. ^ Weaver, James (February 14, 2016). "INTERVIEW: Jonathan Donais - Anthrax". Distorted Sound Magazine. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  20. ^ Hadusek, Jon (May 1, 2023). "Anthrax are in the studio recording their new album". Consequence. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  21. ^ Blabbermouth (November 2, 2021). "ANTHRAX's JONATHAN DONAIS Hasn't Heard Any Of Band's New Music, Says He Isn't Involved In Songwriting Process". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  22. ^ a b c d BraveWords. "JON DONAIS Talks LIVING WRECKAGE, ANTHRAX, SHADOWS FALL And Love Of Heavy Metal: "I Fu***ng Love It"". bravewords.com. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  23. ^ a b Kelly, Amy (2009). "Jon Donais Of Shadows Fall: 'I Think Everybody Was Feeling Angry'". www.ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  24. ^ "Jonathan Donais". Jonathan Donais. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  25. ^ "Jon Donais Of Shadows Fall: 'I Think Everybody Was Feeling Angry'". www.ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  26. ^ "Practice Tips From: Jon Donais". guitarworld. June 1, 2009. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  27. ^ Two Songs (liner notes). Aftershock. Devils Head Productions, Inc. 1996. DHP001.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  28. ^ For All Kings (liner notes). Anthrax. Nuclear Blast Records. 2017. 27361 39340.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  29. ^ Kings Among Scotland (liner notes). Anthrax. Nuclear Blast Records. 2018. 27361 43332.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  30. ^ Indians / Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (liner notes). Anthrax. Press Pot Recordings. 2019. PPR 005.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  31. ^ XL (MCMLXXXI - MMXXI) (liner notes). Anthrax. Nuclear Blast Records. 2022. 66210.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  32. ^ "One Foot In The Grave (EP), by Living Wreckage". Living Wreckage on Bandcamp. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  33. ^ "Living Wreckage, by Living Wreckage". Living Wreckage on Bandcamp. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  34. ^ Live In: Nerd Rage (liner notes). Brian Posehn. Relapse Records. 2006. RR 6695-1.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  35. ^ We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year (liner notes). Armoury Records. 2008. ARMCD502.
  36. ^ The Covering (liner notes). Stryper. Big3 Records. 2011. 804983750026.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  37. ^ Perseverance (liner notes). Hatebreed. Universal Records. 2012. 4605026712256.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  38. ^ "Chapter II CD". lostsymphony. Retrieved May 11, 2023.

External links[edit]