Scott Ian and Gary Holt back in the day

It’s a question many metal fans have debated for quite some time now: if the Big 4 were to be expanded (or include one more band in addition to Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax), which band would be added? To many, that five spot would go either to Exodus or Testament. And now we know at least who Scott Ian would pick between the two.

In an interview with Georgia Straight, the Anthrax guitarist was asked which band he thinks would be worthy of consideration for a “Big 5.” Here’s Ian’s response:

“The only other band really that it would make sense [to include] as far as American thrash-metal would be Exodus,” said Ian, “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.”

So there you have it – Ian thinks Exodus would qualify for the fifth slot in an expanded Big 4. Granted, many would completely agree with Ian’s reasoning for his choice. And hell, Exodus almost replaced on of the Big 4 at Yankee Stadium. The only reason why Ian’s pick is a little surprising is because…well, he’s currently touring with the other band many would argue deserves to be named among the Big 4. Also, when you think of iconic metal bands from the ’80s that had gold and platinum albums, a reach beyond just the metal community and a place in pop culture, it’d be tough to put Exodus in there.