David Glessner recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Jonathan Donais and singer Joey Belladonna. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about persistent rumors of more shows featuring the so-called "Big Four" of 1980s thrash metal — METALLICA, ANTHRAX, SLAYER and MEGADETH — Joey said: "I don't know. I really don't. I don't even know where the rumors come from. I'll let that evolve as it goes. It'd be nice. I'd be in favor [of it] big time. I can't be the one to say, 'Yeah, I talked to so-and-so, and he told me, and it's definite.'"
Asked if there is a "friendly rivalry" between ANTHRAX and the other "Big Four" bands, Joey said: "I think everybody's in touch with each one personally. I think people are all in contact in some way or another. Musically, I think we all kind of look at everything and see what people are doing. I'm not looking at numbers. I don't even know what we did, let alone them. It's cool. It's nice to see people having progress, and everybody's still together. It's nice."
Joey also talked about ANTHRAX's longevity and what motivates the band to keep going three and a half decades into the group's career. "It just shows it's just not an easy process. There's definitely some thought involved. You've gotta have yourself together to keep that motivation too. I think we're just naturally into what we're doing. Not that other bands aren't. It's not for everybody. It's like anything else. But that's what's cool about being original too. I think everybody's got their own originality, and we just thrive from that. That's what's awesome."
Regarding which other band would be included if the "Big Four" were ever expanded to a "Big Five," Joey said: "Oh, I don't know. I don't even know where 'Four' comes from. Some people got mad at the 'Four,' like we had anything to do with it. I hear people say EXODUS. You can put four or five bands together in all different genres, I guess. I don't know how that even came about. Yeah, you could muster up the us four and be legitimate about it, if there is such a thing. I hate the whole number one, two, three, four, or who's bigger, better, who's eligible and all that stuff. Same with polls. 'Yeah, I just heard you're No. 55 on the lead vocals overseas.' And I'm, like,' What does that mean?' I remember Creem magazine, Charlie Watts was voted No. 1 drummer. I love Charlie Watts, but then you look at the rest of the drummers and [you're, like], 'He's better than them? Really?' So it's weird. I don't know what that means. It's just nice that all four bands could be on tour. It could have been called something completely different and had no number [attached] to it — just 'these guys are going out together' — and it would have been cool."
The four influential acts played together for the first time in history on June 16, 2010 in front of 81,000 fans at the Sonisphere festival at Bemowo Airport in Warsaw, Poland and shared a bill again for six more shows as part of the Sonisphere series that same year. They reunited again for several dates in 2011, including the last "Big Four" concert, which was held on September 14, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in New York City. Since then, METALLICA, SLAYER and ANTHRAX have played a number of shows together, including the 2013 Soundwave festival in Australia. They also performed at the 2014 Heavy MTL festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.