Frank Bello says that ANTHRAX "would love" to play more shows featuring the so-called "Big Four" of 1980s thrash metal — METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX.
The four influential acts played together for the first time in history on June 16, 2010 in front of 81,000 fans at the Sonisphere festival at Bemowo Airport in Warsaw, Poland and shared a bill again for six more shows as part of the Sonisphere series that same year. They reunited again for several dates in 2011, including the last "Big Four" concert, which was held on September 14, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in New York City. Since then, METALLICA, SLAYER and ANTHRAX have played a number of shows together, including the 2013 Soundwave festival in Australia. They also performed at the 2014 Heavy MTL festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Speaking to KNAC.COM, the ANTHRAX bassist said about the possibility of more "Big Four" shows in the future: "Talk to METALLICA. We're ready. All the other bands that were involved will tell you it was one of the best things that ever happened for them. Just the camaraderie, and for the fans, that was a good value for your buck to see the four bands that grew up together in the scene. I think that was a great idea by METALLICA. We're all friends and we all get along really well, I think METALLICA knows that we would all be in on it again because it was such a great experience. So many people are asking for it and every interview asks about it. They want to see it and we'd love to be part of it.
METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett recently said that he believes that the "Big Four" idea will be revisited in the not-too-distant future. He explained: "I see those shows as kind of like a celebration — a real celebration of each other, and a real celebration of the music that we all make, and a real celebration of the audience embracing [what] we've done. And why not have more of that?"
In a 2016 interview with TeamRock, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine said he would be open to a repeat of the "Big Four" tour in 2017. He said: "We've got a lot of great stuff going on and we've got some stuff we're setting up for Asia and the United States for next year, but if 'Big Four' stuff presented itself, we'd probably yield to that, because it's a lot more fun and it's such an event that it takes precedence over just another tour, so to speak."
He continued: "When fans get to have four of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time on the same stage, that's something you can tell your grandkids about."
Four years ago, SLAYER frontman Tom Araya said that the only thing that was standing in the way of further "Big Four" shows was "the politics of character in one particular band," with some fans speculating that he was talking about Mustaine and MEGADETH.
In his autobiography, "Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir", Mustaine addressed the issue of where his band fit in the "Big Four" order. According to The New York Times, he assured the reader that he was not offended by being put behind SLAYER. But he added an interior monologue: "O.K., we'll play ahead of you guys on this trip, and God willing we'll do it again sometime in the near future and we can flip things around."
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