Yesterday (Jan. 14), Loudwire wrote about Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante’s love for Exodus (who’ll be supporting them on the second leg of Anthrax’s 40th anniversary North American tour). Logically, those upcoming concerts have led fans to wonder about the ‘Big 4’ of thrash metal reuniting on stage. According to Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, that’s unlikely to happen for a few more years, if at all.

Ian and Benante recently sat down with Metal Edge magazine to chat about said tour and anniversary (among other things, such as the status of their follow-up to 2016’s For All Kings).

Near the end, interviewer Michael Christopher mentioned that Megadeth mastermind Dave Mustaine “has been saying he wants more [‘Big 4’] dates to happen and, with Slayer officially retired, if more dates happen, do you think Exodus should get slotted into that spot? Or is the Big 4 something that’s untouchable with just the four of you?”

Benante replied: “Yeah, I saw Mustaine was kinda fishing for some of that. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t think Metallica need to do that right now. They’ve got so much coming up in the next two years. [laughs]”

Afterward, Ian went into a bit more earnest detail:

Here’s the thing: [Metallica] just announced their ’23 and ’24 plans, and I was looking at those dates this morning and thinking, “Well I wonder if, like, they do these two nights in each city here in the States and one night is the Pantera night and the other night is the Five Finger [Death Punch] night. So are people gonna be clamoring for the Pantera night and nobody’s gonna show up on the other night?”

But then I stopped myself, and I said, “Hold on a second. They could’ve just announced it as ‘An Evening With’ – with no opening bands – and they’re still selling out two nights in every stadium.” It doesn’t matter who’s opening. None of that matters. They don’t need support bands. They do it to make an event out of it, I guess, but they don’t need it.

If the Big 4 was to ever happen again – in any capacity – it’s certainly not going to be before ’25 now, because they’ve already announced their plans. So, there you go. Anyone who has a question about the Big 4, hold that thought until 2025. [laughs]

There you have it.

Aside from Benante playing with Metallica – as part of Pantera – during the latter's "M72" 2023 - 2024 World Tour (for which you can purchase tickets here), it doesn't look like the quartet of thrash kings will come together anytime soon.

So, how do you feel about possibly having to wait until 2025 – at the earliest – to watch the ‘Big 4’ live again? Would you be okay with Exodus (or another band) replacing Slayer? Be sure to let us know!

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