Anthrax Guitarist Would Add Exodus To Big Four

Scott Ian says there's only one other band who could sign up and make a decent Big Five. Meanwhile, who's his favorite band from the current Big Four lineup?

Ultimate Guitar

To see a Big Four show with its lineup of Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, is to witnessing a masterclass in thrash metal.

But what if it were a Big Five? Who would you add to the lineup?

Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian has an idea. He recently said tat there's only one other band that deserves a place in the elitist thrash school, and that's Exodus.

"The only other band really that it would make sense [to include] as far as American thrash-metal would be Exodus, because they were there right at the beginning as well. Their first album came out right at the same time as the rest of us. So I mean, to me, yes - if you were gonna add a fifth band, certainly I would think Exodus would be able to fill that slot very easily," he told Georgia Straight.

Ian also revealed his personal favorite act from the Big Four:

"If you went into my iTunes and you looked at the play count to see what songs I listen to the most, I would probably bet Slayer gets played more than Metallica or Megadeth."

Their collective live album "The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria" went double-platinum this year - though as Blabbermouth note, it helped that the album came with two discs, which meant they only had to sell 50,000 units to pass the 100,000 threshold to claim the double-platinum certification.

Who would you add to the Big Four lineup if you had a choice? Let us know in the comments.

206 comments sorted by best / new / date

    My Last Words
    what about Kreator and Demolition Hammer? maybe for openers.
    100% agree with this comment. If you had to pick 1 of the 3 to make it a big five i would personally have to pick testament though
    Big 8: Judas Priest!!!
    Judas Priest should definately be in that list
    Judas Priest isnt a thrash band you idiots, and I'm one of the biggest Priest fans out there.
    My Last Words
    Priest is NWOBHM if I'm not mistaken
    Yes you are mistaken....Priest have been around since the early 70's. NWOBHM kicked off 79/early 80's.
    now you are mistaken. NWOBHM "kicked off" before that.
    No i'm not and no it didn't.
    NWOBHM started 79 early 80's and although priest and motorhead pre-dated this they were obviously included to the list of bands that made up NWOBHM. but it was first coined in 79
    That would be the best concert entire day or weekend even of thrash metal \m/ way better than Metallicas Orion festival..that line up was shitty....
    I understand that Exodus was more important in shaping the genre, but I definitely think Testament put out better albums back in the day. I'll take The Legacy and The New Order over Bonded By Blood.
    Eclectic Lizard
    They where a bit late in the scene. They are great but the Big Four/Five applies to the bands that started thrash/made it popular. Megadeth formed later than the rest though and Anthrax was more NWOBHM on Fistful but nevertheless
    Scott is right, Exodus were one of the first bands along with Metallica and Slayer to lay the foundation for the whole genre, and definitely deserve more recognition. Also, Tom Hunting is one hell of a drummer.
    Contrary to popular belief, the big four actually applies to the four most commercially successful thrash albums of 1986. Master of Puppets - Metallica Peace Sells - Megadeth Reign In Blood - Slayer Among the living - Anthrax
    wasnt among the living released in 1987?
    Yes it was, but the album was popular before then because the band played some of the songs (Indians) live and fans recorded them playing it was with tape recorders and distributed them throughout 1986. Thrash metal was a scene based on tape-trading, so similar situations happened a lot in the early-mid eighties. Which is pretty ironic, considering how Lars attempted to sue Napster for doing pretty much exactly what he was encouraging his fans to do in the eighties.
    link no1
    To be fair, there is a big difference between going to a gig and making shoddy sounding tape recordings that sound like ass and torrenting entire albums that have cost alot of money to record.
    Absolutely, especially Master Of Puppets being the 1st album that truly brought Thrash Metal into the mainstream culture.
    > 1986 > Among the Living > wut AtL was from 1987 like Xmaniac said...
    Also, f*cking Gary Holt. Exodus, Testament, Overkill, I mean... there's so many bands that it's nearly impossible to pick just a few.
    Fuck yes, Exodus are one of the founding fathers of thrash and never seem to get the recognition it deserves. Respect, Ian, lots of it.
    I would add in Testament and maybe Death Angel as well.
    Death Angel is perhaps one of the most unappreciated metal bands. I never even heard about them until my dad told me about them, and I've still only heard little about them since then. PEOPLE MUST BE TAUGHT ABOUT THE AWESOMENESS THAT IS DEATH ANGEL.
    My Last Words
    3 words: The Ultra Violence Damn, their drummer was like 14 at the time of recording, ****ing mental if you ask me.
    Yeah, I remember I picked up Act III from a record store one time without knowing anything about the band, turned out to be a bloody amazing album!
    dude my ex girlfriend saw them in the airport and didn't even go say hi to them because she had no idea who they were. EX-girlfriend.
    I hadn't heard of them until the late 90's when I found some old cassette mix tape with "Mistress of Pain" on it. Kicked arse.
    Where's the love for overkill? One of the most consistently good thrash bands out there, and plus rat helped start the tape trading movement which is what helped launch bands like Metallica in the first place. Plus Bobby blitz rules
    That's because Pantera didn't get any recognition until the 90s, and even in their time in the 80s they were just a mediocre power metal band. Pantera is ****ing awesome, but I think they're more pioneers to the dropped tuning, angry 90s era metal. But these big four had a foothold on the thrash genre long before anybody ever heard of Pantera.
    How about Slayer, Testament, Exodus and maybe Annihilator? Not that they are as heavy, but **** me, that guitarplaying just makes love to your entire body.
    Well if you would base the Big 4 by who came first, then Exodus and Overkill should be in there seeing as they came a year before Anthrax, Metallica and Slayer. Megadeth should be out of the picture entirely as they came 3 years later. Dave, how do I break this too ya...youre out of the big 4..xD that would suck for him..again xD
    Eclectic Lizard
    Yeah, but when were their first albums? Exodus didn't release BBB until 85. Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth Slayer were already out there influencing people by the time the rest released anything. Exodus definitely deserves more cred though.
    think about it, lars and james got kirk from exodus. obviously exodus was going same time as metallica but didn't get big which is why it took them longer to release their first album
    The Atrocity Exhibition (both 1 and 2) were two of my favourite thrash albums. Exodus really does still have it, I believe recent Exodus albums are better than any of the new albums put out by the current Big 4.
    IMO they lacked the technical prowess that Exodus are known for on earlier albums
    Leather Sleeves
    Testament started up a bit later. Exodus was really the very first established thrash band.
    There are too many awesome thrash bands out there to have just a big 4. Testament, Exodus, Death Angel, Forbidden, Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Dark Angel, Sadus, Demolition Hammer, Aspid, Coroner, Sacrifice, Razor, Annihilator, Voivod, Sepultura, Sacred Reich, Xentrix, Nuclear Assault, Onslaught, Tankard, Holy Moses, Heathen, Flotsam and Jetsam, Metal Church, Anacrusis, Holy Terror, Sabbat(UK), Toxik, Whiplash, Lz Rockit...
    Morbid Saint, Artillery, Messiah, Slaughter, and Armoros as well. Props to you for mentioning Razor and Sacrifice, although I'm surprised you weren't already familiar with Morbid Saint and Artillery.
    dude you forgot Acid Reign, Agent Steel, Mordred, Paradox, Protector, Raydead, Realm, Rigor Mortis, Sarcasm, Shah, United, Vendetta, Vectom, Znwhite, Watchtower, Jersey Dogs, Incubus, Believer, Hirax, Hallows Eve, Gomorrah, Exumer, Exciter, Entropy, Dtente, Defiance, D.R.I., Anihilated, Cromok; all of those are great thrash bands well 2 or 3 are from early 90's but the majority are from the 80's
    Overkill is the best thrash band imo, they're the Big One. I think Testament is more deserving than Exodus, Bonded By Blood is thrashier than hell but Testament has better albums overall.
    Anthrax are the Ringo of the big 4. Testament deserves their spot much more.
    Neither Exodus, Testament or Overkill have the mainstream appeal to really add anything to a "big five" billing. I'm a fan of all three bands and not putting them down, but come on, the big four are so-called because they were the biggest, most successful and mainstream bands of the thrash metal boom in the 80's. Adding a band like Exodus isn't really going to suddenly sell thousands of extra tickets, and to be honest, probably won't really do anything but please a few fans who'll already be there anyway.
    I believe Black Sabbath single-handedly invented thrash when they made Symptom of the Universe, but that's just me. Bring on the downvotes.
    Dr. Knox666
    Well, as for American thrash metal they definitely should make it the Big 8, including Testament, Exodus, Death Angel and Overkill. And here's the Big 3 for Europe: Kreator, Sodom and Destruction.
    Get your facts right people. Testament were around at the start, it just took them a while to get an album out but they WERE prominent in the Bay Area in the early eighties.
    surely testament over exodus..? testament over anthrax in my opinion.
    To me the tour should have been called the big 5 and had Pantera's name on there in honor of Dime, and what he and Rex,Vinnie, and Phil did. I just wish one of these people who claim they knew dime the best said he the tour is great but it is missing something it can never have, and thats Pantera.
    Sorry, IMHO, Testament should be number 5... Dark Roots of the Earth is simply an amazing album and formation of Damnation is awesome; they've found a way to bring Thrash metal and death metal together and Chuck Billy has never sounded better.
    Leather Sleeves
    I always thought Anthrax was a bit confusing to have in there, 'tallica, Megadeth and Slayer all being from the Bay-Area and LA and Anthrax from NY.
    It's about the genre they helped create in the 80's, not their geographic location.
    Yeeea. Pux Exodus and Testament in there. Then maybe i'd come! Since i never liked Megadeth or Anthrax, i've never been too tempted by the Big 4 tours. GIEF OTHER BANDS!
    why do ppl keep mentioning Testament they're not as great as the big 4. theyre not bad but they wouldn't make a big 5 though.
    Are you actually joking? Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, Metallica and even Exodus have all released at least one dreadful album. Testament have had a couple of weaker albums, but they're still better then some of the shit released by "the big four"
    exodus? No. SEPULTURA (original) is the only other band to match the other four.
    Hell yeah. In their prime, they were even better than Anthrax and Slayer, in my opinion. In fact, I bet Scott said "American thrash metal" as if to imply that he would choose Sepultura otherwise.