DAVE MUSTAINE On Possibility Of More 'Big Four' Shows: 'If The Conditions Were Right, I Think It Would Be Great'

December 15, 2016

During yesterday's (Wednesday, December 14) appearance on Eddie Trunk's SiriusXM show "Trunk Nation", MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine once again spoke about the possibility of there being more shows featuring the so-called "Big Four" of 1980s thrash metal — METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX — in the future, Mustaine said: "If the conditions were right, I think it would be great. I think that when it's just the four of us, I think it's great. If you do the 'Big Four' and you've got four or five other shitty little opening bands, that takes away the phenomenon that is the 'Big Four.' We should all have relatively similar set times, we should all have relatively similar staging and really allow the four of us to be presented as equals and see where the chips lie. Instead of you've got three openers and another band, or you've got ten openers and another band."

He continued: "It needs to be just about the four of us. And I think it would be really great if all four of us kind of had an even shot at how we were gonna perform in front of the audience. I think that when we did some of these other festivals and there were so many other different bands, it just messes things up. There were a couple of times where we weren't even all on the same stage. And I'm not stupid — when you're at a festival and one headlining band ends, there's no way you get from one field, when you're paying attention and enjoying the band, to another field on the side of the site before the first note starts up of the next band. Unless there's a set time where they don't do that, they don't start 'em, but they never do that; they start right away. So you miss something by doing that. And I don't think it's fair. I think if it's gonna be the 'Big Four,' it should be just the four of us, and everyone is, like, right there and they get to see everything."

Mustaine's latest comments echo those he made earlier in the year when he told the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast: "Am I opposed to doing it? You know, it would have to be the right thing. I think that, you know, MEGADETH is at a place right now where we're successful to a degree where we would be happy continuing to do what we do on our own. So if we're gonna do another 'Big Four' thing, I would want it to be something where we walk away as content as METALLICA does from something like that. It's not METALLICA and three other dudes."

METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH 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.

The "Big Four" played its last concert 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.

In a 2013 interview, 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."

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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