DAVE MUSTAINE Says He Was A ‘Huge Component Of METALLICA’s Success’

Dave Mustaine James Hetfield

During a recent Twitter Spaces conversation with RattleheadsNFT, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine was asked about the band’s initial discovery and signing to a record label.

“Well, MEGADETH had a little bit of a following before we got discovered by the record company,” he responded. “So it’s kind of unfair. But the way that it started was I had a band that I was in called PANIC. And I lived in Huntington Beach. And there were a lot of bands playing backyard beer keg parties, and I thought that that was pretty fun, to go to the parties and pick up on girls. And I started seeing how easy it was for guitar players to have people freak out over them, pay attention to them, treat ’em with respect and stuff, and I know I wanted that. So PANIC was formed.

“That band was short-lived, and I ended up joining METALLICA and was in that band for about two years and then MEGADETH happened. So the discovery part was…

“After I left METALLICA, the world wanted to know what I was gonna do, because I was this huge component of METALLICA‘s success. I’m here, and then I’m gone. And people that went to go see them after I was no longer in the band and didn’t know that there was a lineup change said that there was something very, very, very wrong with the band that they heard on tape versus the band that they were watching. And that’s when people started to look for me. And the rest is history.

“Now, I think that the band did great,” he continued. “I think they were fine. In fact, I believe that Kirk [Hammett] did a good job playing my parts. Coming into a band and having to play somebody else’s stuff isn’t always fun, but I think he was a gentleman and did a good job.”

During a recent interview with Guitar World magazine, Mustaine was asked if he has heard METALLICA‘s latest album 72 Seasons.

“No, I have not heard METALLICA‘s latest record,” he responded. “But there was a time around 20 years ago when we were not being friendly toward each other when I couldn’t listen to their music when it came on the radio. But none of that bothers me anymore, and it’s not why I haven’t heard the record, especially after the Big Four thing that we did. I really think we should do that again.”

When asked if he feels the recent flak that Kirk has taken for his solos is fair, Mustaine responded:  “It depends on which solos you’re talking about. [Laughs] Jokes aside, I’ve always kind of poked fun at Kirk. And unfairly so, as he never did anything to me. Whenever I felt singled out, picked on, or antagonized by James [Hetfield] or Lars [Ulrich], it was really easy to pick on Kirk. But the truth is Kirk did me an honor by trying to play my solos on those early songs the way he did…

“Well, I think that some people would have just started over again. So, I thought it was honorable that Kirk took my solos and did his best to play them as I did. That couldn’t have been easy. But as far as his new solos on the new METALLICA album, I haven’t heard them, so I can’t comment. But I will say that I think it’s sad how quickly some people can turn on people.

“There was a time when Kirk won every guitar contest in the world, and I don’t think he’s gotten any better or worse as a player,” Dave continued. “He’s always been really good. Kirk was a good player when he was in EXODUS. And he’s been steady the entire time he’s been in METALLICA. But does that mean Kirk Hammett is Dave Mustaine? No. And is Dave Mustaine Kirk Hammett? Also, no.”