Artisan News Service spoke with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine, SLAYER guitarist Kerry King and ANTHRAX axeman Scott Ian on October 21 at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, California about the historic event that occured when METALLICA was joined onstage by members of all three bands during its June 22, 2010 Sonisphere concert in Sofia, Bulgaria for a performance of the DIAMOND HEAD song "Am I Evil?". Watch the report below.
METALLICA frontman James Hetfield, Mustaine and ANTHRAX vocalist Joey Belladonna took turns singing the song, which has been a part of METALLICA's live set for decades. The event marked the first time that Dave Mustaine had performed onstage with METALLICA since April 9, 1983. An original member of the band, he was fired just weeks before METALLICA recorded its debut album, "Kill 'Em All".
Mustaine, who was replaced by Kirk Hammett, went on to form MEGADETH and achieve worldwide success on his own.
He still harbored a grudge against METALLICA, however, with some of his feelings coming out in an intense scene with drummer Lars Ulrich in the 2005 documentary "Some Kind Of Monster".
In a recent interview with Revolver magazine, Kerry King explaiend why he didn't take part in the "Big Four" performance of "Am I Evil?". "There's a damn good reason," he said. "It isn't too long an explanation. [MEGADETH's Dave] Mustaine came to me that day and [METALLICA's] James [Hetfield] came to me that day saying, 'Hey, it would be really cool if you played.' I knew Jeff [Hanneman, SLAYER guitarist] wouldn't do it, and I knew Tom [Araya, SLAYER bassist/vocalist] wouldn't do it. And I also knew after we played that neither one of them would edit our video that was going to cinemas in a couple hours, so I told James and Mustaine both, 'Listen, man. I've gotta edit our video before I can even think about playing with you guys.' So the entire time of the set change between SLAYER and METALLICA, I was editing that video. I came running to the tuning room after I got done picking the songs, and they were already onstage. And to make it an even better story, I found out at 1 a.m. the night prior, so I really had no chance to work on that stuff or anything. So I wanted to; it just couldn't happen. I've got a lot of flack for that but yeah, that's the story."
Universal Music released "The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria" DVD and Blu-ray containing footage of the June 22, 2010 Sonisphere cinecast from the Sofia, Bulgaria leg of the touring rock festival featuring the "Big Four" of 1980s thrash metal — METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX. The DVD hit the streets on October 29 in Northern Europe, November 1 in most of the rest of the world, November 2 in North America and the full shows from all four bands are included in the two-disc set along with behind-the-scenes and interview footage.
According to Billboard.com, the Sonisphere cinecast from Sofia was beamed via satellite in HD to cinemas and was seen by more than 100,000 fans. It was distributed globally into hundreds of cinemas by New York-based BY Experience.
In the U.K. it was screened in 79 cinemas. "At the Odeon in Leicester Square in London there was a mosh pit, and at the end of the show they had a stage invasion, which is just phenomenal to even think about," promoter Stuart Galbraith told Billboard.com.