David Ellefson says that MEGADETH “would be happy” to play more shows featuring the so-called “Big Four” of 1980s thrash metal.
METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX 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.
During a brand new interview with “The New And Improved Super Retro Throwback Reviews: The Audio Files”, Ellefson was asked if MEGADETH would be interested in playing more “Big Four” concerts at some point in the future.
“METALLICA are the ones who run the show, so, obviously, we’re very thankful they even considered it the first time,” Ellefson said (hear audio below). “Obviously, they’re a very big band, and we’re proud of ’em in our genre, because they sit up there in the echelons of U2 and THE ROLLING STONES — I mean, the biggest of the big — and it’s so cool that a thrash metal band would be sitting up in that ivory tower, if you will.
“Look, if they ever wanted to do it again, of course, we would be happy,” he continued. “But now we have another issue, which is SLAYER is calling it a day. They’ve announced their farewell; I don’t know when that’s gonna end exactly. So I’m certainly glad we captured it when we did, because when METALLICA put that offer out to all of us to get together and do that, that really solidified all of us… they pulled us up to their level, which was really cool. That’s kind of the ultimate kind of servanthood mentality — they came down to where we are and lifted us up to where they are.
“METALLICA, they’ve taken a lot of bullets for the transitions and things that they’ve done over the years, but, I mean, hey, man, they’re still METALLICA and they’ve been the leader of our genre,” Ellefson added. “Obviously, I’m glad Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH leader] was in the band; we wouldn’t have MEGADETH if Dave wasn’t in METALLICA. So, on some level, we’re all a branch in the family tree of METALLICA.”
Mustaine recently said that he would be interested in playing a “Big Four” show where all the bands “got treated fairly” instead of METALLICA performing a longer set and getting more stage space than the other groups on the bill. “I would love to see it done in a way where we all played together, same amount of time, same kind of stage situation, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. And it’s cool, because SLAYER‘s gonna down in history, and they don’t need the ‘Big Four’ to make them any more legendary than they already are. Nor do I.”
METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett said last year that he believed that the “Big Four” idea would be revisited again. 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?”