DAVE MUSTAINE: ‘METALLICA Has Always Tried To Hold Me Back’

Dave Mustaine James Hetfield

Dave Mustaine claims that there is no rivalry between MEGADETH and METALLICA. This might suggest that Mustaine’s resentment towards his former band members has cooled down.

During a conversation with Guitar World, Mustaine expressed his belief that MEGADETH has maintained more consistency as a band over time, while METALLICA gained a significant advantage due to the songs he composed. He further accuses METALLICA of attempting to undermine him over the years by questioning his guitar skills, and reiterates that he was responsible for creating much of their initial music.

“In my mind, there is no competition between MEGADETH and METALLICA,” Mustaine said. “We’re different bands, and I believe MEGADETH has been more consistent. But the sad thing is that the drama between us has been more popular than the music ever was. And remember, METALLICA got a big head start, and they did so on the back of what I helped create.

“They became one of the biggest bands in the world, and here’s one of the biggest bands wasting their breath trying to discredit me by saying, ‘Dave‘s not a good guitar player.’ Excuse me, what the f**k did you say? [Laughs] I think I wrote many of the songs that made you famous, so you probably should recheck that bulls**t statement. But this is the s**t those guys say, and you’ve got the sheep who follow them around believing it.”

“People know METALLICA has always tried to hold me back,” he added. “They never expected me to do what I did after they f**ked me over, but I succeeded and made better records along the way. But I don’t care because I’m happy with my success, and I’ve had plenty of it. The music we make now tells you all that you need to know. But I hope we can tour together before it’s all said and done, but I don’t know if we will.

“As far as looking back at everything from the beginning, I think I’ve maintained my integrity. When I injured my arm, I sold off all my gear to pay the people I owed money to. When most bands end, they say, ‘F**k it,’ and leave their vendors holding the bag. Not me. I’m way different. I’m old-fashioned. I’m old-school. I do what I say I’m going to do. That’s why MEGADETH is still here.”

Sometime in 2015, James Hetfield and Mustaine started discussing reissuing METALLICA‘s 1982 demo No Life ‘Til Leather. The talks abruptly ended after Hetfield supposedly wanted drummer Lars Ulrich credited on songs that Mustaine claimed he wrote. As a result of these failed negotiations, not only was the reissue scrapped, but also an additional project that Hetfield and Mustaine were planning together.