In the latest issue of U.K.'s Metal Hammer
guitarist Kirk Hammett
was asked if it's strange to him how much METALLICA
has eclipsed the other "Big Four" bands of 1980s thrash metal — SLAYER
— in terms of commercial popularity.
"I try not to spend too much time thinking about stuff like that because whatever I think of is still not going to be a satisfying enough explanation," he replied. "It's just the way things are and how the chips fell.
's former band and the group many think should included if the 'Big Four' were expanded and considered the 'Big Five'] in the '80s had some bona fide problems, but I think their first album [1985's 'Bonded By Blood'
] is just as good as [METALLICA
's debut] 'Kill 'Em All'
. We were just playing the music we wanted to hear because no one else was playing it and it wasn't being played on the radio. It was only a small group of people who knew about it and it was almost elitist in that 'No posers allowed!' thing."
mainman Dave Mustaine
last year spoke to Radio.com
about which band should have been included if the "Big Four" were expanded and considered the "Big Five". Mustaine
said: "You know, people will say there's a whole another generation, like the 'Medium Four' [laughs
], and I think there's a lot of great bands that fit that bill, too. But I think probably EXODUS
, because there was nobody else at the time that had that kind of pull or that kind of importance in the metal community. Granted, it was with [late EXODUS
, and Baloff
had a voice that you had to have an acquired taste for, but you know, I liked him."
In a 2010 interview with Metal Asylum
guitarist Gary Holt
was asked if he feels the "Big Four" should have been expanded and considered the "Big Seven", including EXODUS
"Well, I think it should be the 'Big Five' with EXODUS
, because we were there at the start of thrash metal with METALLICA
in the real early '80s," he said. "Same thing with MEGADETH
was a part of METALLICA
's birth and he also created MEGADETH
. And SLAYER
are also great and old friends, but if you listen to those first few records, they have definitely changed. TESTAMENT
has every right to be part of the thrash metal legends, but it just came down to timing because they came later. And OVERKILL
have been their since the beginning also. But I don't get hung up on that shit, because I know how it all started and I know where I was when the shit got created. We [EXODUS
] certainly deserve to be part of the founding fathers, but you know who often gets excluded are the Germans — KREATOR
. Everybody looks to America and forgets those guys. KREATOR
all released records in the early '80s."
He continued: "Really, the "Big Four" is solely based on sales and the ones who sold the most. But if you compare records, I will put EXODUS
' last few albums up against anybody's shit. SLAYER
is always awesome; the last TESTAMENT
album [at the time of the interview], 'The Formation of Damnation'
, was great; the new MEGADETH
] is one of their best; METALLICA
are still finding their feet again, and their last album, 'Death Magnetic'
, was a step in the right direction. The new OVERKILL
, is one of their best records ever; it's so good. And KREATOR
, and SODOM
still make great new music. What I think it boils down to is the bands who've been doing this the longest still can do it the best. METALLICA
are still a mighty force live, but they lost their way for quite a while. But then again I've never had to deal with the horrible problem of having millions of dollars. [Laughs
] Maybe if I had that kind of money, it would distract my hunger for doing this kind of shit, too. But, unfortunately for me, I have to keep kickin' people in the teeth, I don't have the funds to go art-shopping. My version of fine art is a new edition of Hustler
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