Overkill Bassist: ‘If We Sold More Records We Could Have Been in’ The Big 4

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In your opinion, why are Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax considered the Big Four of thrash metal? Well, per Overkill bassist D.D. Verni, he feels the reason primarily has to do with record sales.

During a recent conversation with MetalSucks, a point is brought up that Overkill predates the Big Four bands; in regard to this, Verni is asked if he feels that Overkill is acknowledged for their role in creating thrash metal.

Per his answer, Verni not only shares that he feels Overkill could have been a Big Four band, but that he feels the title of “Big Four” primarily has to do with sales. Per Verni:

“I’m not sure we get any credit, but I don’t think about it much. I always felt like ‘The Big Four’ were singled out because they sold more. I don’t think it’s about their influence; it’s about their sales.

“They sold the most records, so that’s why they’re ‘The Big Four’. Because Overkill, Exodus, and Testament were just as crucial in forming the genre, we’re often referred to as the next wave, and that’s because we didn’t sell as much.

“If we sold more records, then we would have been up there.”

Verni goes on to add:

“I think all of us were creating the genre at the same time. We were all in the mix, but they were just more popular for whatever reason. I don’t feel Overkill’s contribution to thrash is any less than theirs; we were doing it right when they were doing it.

“Our records came out simultaneously, and we were building the genre together. But they just sold more records than us, and that’s great. Good for them, that’s the idea.

“But I’ve never felt like the ‘Big Four’ bands influenced things more; they just sold more.”

What do you make of Verni’s points – do you think Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax are the “Big Four” primarily because of sales?

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