It's been seven years since the four biggest thrash metal bands — METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX — embarked on what they dubbed the "Big Four" tour, but the memories are still fresh for Shawn Drover.
In an interview with the "Talk Toomey" podcast, the former MEGADETH drummer recalled the feeling of sharing a stage for the first time with all the musicians that were responsible for putting the genre on the music map back in the early 1980s.
"That was a lot of fun," Shawn said (hear audio below). "The first show that all four bands played was in Warsaw, Poland, which, to me, was probably the most exciting show of them all.
"Everybody knows the Sofia, Bulgaria show that was filmed and put on DVD and all that good stuff, and that was in front of, I don't know, fifty, sixty thousand people," he continued. "But what most people don't know is the first show that happene was in Warsaw, Poland, and depending on who you ask, I think there was about a hundred and five or hundred and six thousand people there, and it was really exciting. Everybody could kind of feel the excitement in the air. It was a long time coming for all those four bands to finally play some shows together. It was a really exciting time and a really positive vibe going around with all four bands and it was fun to be a part of that. It's something that… I was glad that I was a part of that."
Drover said that while he has "played a lot of big shows" in front of anywhere from fifty to seventy thousand people, the Warsaw gig was very special. "It could have been that show, even if it was sixty thousand, I don't think it would have mattered, because there was so much excitement backstage with this finally happening with these four bands," he said.
According to Drover, the "Big Four" ended up playing "twenty, twenty-something-odd shows total, something like that, maybe twenty, and it was all good stuff. We played Yankee Stadium, we played Indio, California — that was another big show," he said. "All the shows were monster shows, so I have nothing but good things to say about my experience with all that stuff."
Drover quit MEGADETH in November 2014 "to pursue [his] own musical interests." Later that same day, MEGADETH guitarist Chris Broderick announced his departure from the group, saying that he was exiting the band "due to artistic and musical differences." The duo has since launched a new act called ACT OF DEFIANCE with ex-SCAR THE MARTYR singer Henry Derek Bonner and bassist Matt Bachand (SHADOWS FALL).
ACT OF DEFIANCE's sophomore album, "Old Scars, New Wounds", will be released on September 29 via Metal Blade Records. The follow-up to 2015's "Birth And The Burial" was mixed by Dave Otero, who has previously worked with CEPHALIC CARNAGE and CATTLE DECAPITATION, among others. The cover artwork was created by Travis Smith (KING DIAMOND, OPETH, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD).