A friendly rivalry, trying to be better than the next guy — members of Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer all have a slightly different way to describe their relationship with one another back in the day.

They’re on good terms lately, proven by the fact they’ve shared the same concert stage this year in California and New York, collectively billed as the Big 4. And while the metal bands are still competitive, it’s more self-contained now that they’re “out of the sandbox” and all grown up, according to Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich.

“The competition is, can we as Metallica go up and be the best that we can be?” Ulrich said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “I think that the four bands now have established their own footholds in ways that are so unique. … All four of the bands are so different from each other that there’s not really a competition of that level. It’s really only internal.”

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