Former Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano says James Hetfield kept the lid on the potential for mass fallouts during the iconic Big 4 tour.
Caggiano, who's now with Volbeat, has told how the Metallica frontman held court during a dinner with members of his own band, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer on the opening night of the Big 4 tour in Warsaw, Poland, in 2010.
Caggiano tells HardDrive in the video below: “There was one really cool thing that happened at the start of the tour, and I've got to give it up to James Hetfield and those guys because I think it was a brilliant idea.
"The first show we did was in Poland and he had the idea of getting everyone together to have dinner. It was this really private little Italian restaurant. Over the years there has been tension between the Big 4 bands, but that just cleared the air and really set the tone for the whole tour.
"I think it was absolutely brilliant – we all walked out of that restaurant just totally excited about everything.”
Taking the world's four biggest metal bands on a joint tour proved a massive hit with fans, and Caggiano says he got as big a thrill out of it as anyone in the audience.
He says: “It was magical, every night. Metallica would do this thing where they would call the other band members on stage to do a jam. For me that was the ultimate high. Words can't even describe that feeling. Those guys were awesome – they treated everybody so great.”
The guitarist cut his teeth as a producer with his first band Boiler Room. After joining Anthrax in 2001, he was given the chance to produce their 2003 album We've Come For You All. When Anthrax reformed their original line-up in 2005, Caggiano left the fold until the reunion came to an end, and he rejoined in 2007. Last year he left once again, and joined Volbeat a month later.
He says: “Anthrax wanted to do a reunion with the original line-up which excluded myself and John Bush. At that point I dived into producing full on and started with a band from England called Cradle Of Filth. I ended up doing a few records for those guys and one of them, called Nymphetamine, was nominated for a Grammy back then, which was a cool thing.”
In the rest of the video, Caggiano discusses life with Volbeat and some of his other production work, as well as what made him become a musician in the first place.