When did you realize that Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer were carving their own niche?
I don't think we knew in the early days that this was going to have a significant effect on the world, as far as music went. We were just playing what we felt was metal. It wasn't up until about 1986 that the phrase "Big 4" was put on it.
I've heard that Anthrax befriended Metallica during their brief relocation to Queens, New York in 1983.
I think that's where the bond came from, because there was good camaraderie at that point. They were living out of their rehearsal room, and Scott gave them a microwave and some other stuff. I remember they went out to do a few shows, and their gear got ripped off in I think Boston. They were doing this to make money to get overseas to go record Ride the Lightning. I remember they used our gear to do some of the shows. It was just like that back then – "whatever you need."
For better or for worse, did Anthrax create "rap metal"?
I think the thing we did with Public Enemy [a remake of "Bring the Noise"] was the real catalyst for it. You could say Aerosmith and Run-DMC brought it to a more mainstream audience [with "Walk This Way"]. But nothing really happened after that. And we didn't do "I'm the Man" because of that, we were way into rap before that. Here's a bit of trivia – originally, the Beastie Boys were going to do the rap on "I'm the Man." We had conflicting schedules and couldn't get it together, and then we just ended up doing it. If I had to say, Public Enemy and Anthrax took it to more of that "street vibe." Made it cool for white kids to explore or open their mind to that kind of music – which they wouldn't have.
Have you had to break up any fights between Dave Mustaine and Metallica during these Big 4 dates?
Oh, every day! To quote Alice in Chains, "It ain't like that anymore."
Lastly, what can fans expect from the Big 4 show this Saturday?
We're going to bring the whole European vibe to America. Finally.
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