MEGADETH’s DAVE MUSTAINE Says He Hasn’t Heard METALLICA’s New Album, ‘But I’m Sure It’s Great’

Dave Mustaine James Hetfield

In a recent interview with Greg Prato from Consequence, MEGADETH frontman Dave Mustaine shared insights about his present relationship with his ex-band members from METALLICA.

“It took a while for James [Hetfield] and Lars [Ulrich] and I to kind of come around and become friends again,” he responded. “But I would say we’re probably better off now than we’ve been for a long time. And it comes and goes.”

“I think the emotions between all of us, it’s probably understandable for a lot of people who break up with someone, it’s like a marriage and you part ways and sometimes you try and justify in your head the decision that you make,” Mustaine continued. “And sometimes the facts are all you need, and other times you feel compelled to kinda tell the story and you don’t really need to. And then there are people who tell the story and then add little salacious facts — like a tape recorder that has a feature to add stuff that never happened. So, I just look at that whole period with METALLICA as something that was really great for me. And I wish them the best.”

Mustaine also shared his views on the backlash Kirk Hammett, his successor in METALLICA, faced over his guitar solo in the band’s recent single, “Lux Æterna.”

He said: “I heard that people are taking the piss out of Kirk. But Kirk‘s a really good guitar player and I think that people forget real quickly he was winning every single guitar contest there was for 30 or 40 years … I have not heard their new album, but I’m sure it’s great.”

Only a month ago, Guitar World magazine asked Mustaine if he had listened to METALLICA‘s latest album, 72 Seasons, to which he responded: “No, I have not heard METALLICA‘s latest record. 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 or Lars, 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.”