In a recent interview with Georgia Straight, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian was asked which of his cohorts in the "Big Four" of 1980s thrash metal — METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX — he most enjoyed listening to in his spare time.
"Oh wow, that's tough," replied Ian. "I would have to say, 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. So, if that answers your question..."
Asked whether he thought "Big Four" should have been expanded and considered the "Big Five", including one more band, Ian said, "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."
Last year, METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX were presented with double-platinum plaques for the two-disc DVD release of "The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria", containing footage of the June 22, 2010 Sonisphere cinecast from the Sofia, Bulgaria leg of the touring rock festival featuring all four groups. The presentation took place on April 23, 2010 at the first-ever "Big Four" concert on American soil at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.
"The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria" was certified double platinum on December 17, 2010 by the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA) for shipments in excess of 100,000 copies. (Note: Due to the fact that the set consists of two discs, it was eligible for platinum certification after shipping 50,000 copies; platinum certification for a single-disc release is 100,000 copies.)