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Dave Mustaine Reflects On Megadeth’s Longevity: “People Know Metallica Has Always Tried To Hold Me Back”


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More commentary from Megadeth vocalist/guitarist Dave Mustaine on his former bandmates in Metallica has recently hit the web. Mustaine and Metallica‘s James Hetfield (vocals/guitars) and Lars Ulrich (drums) had previously managed to bury the hatchet over the years after decades of bitter animosity. However, that relationship was once again seemingly fractured by a publishing dispute of early Metallica material back around 2016.

Since then, Mustaine has repeatedly taken shots at his former Metallica bandmates, while also passive aggressively suggesting they once again tour together. The two bands last hit the road together as part of ‘The Big Four‘ tour over a decade ago.

While excerpts of the interview referenced in this article previously emerged online earlier this year, Guitar World have now digitally published it in full here. In the piece, Mustaine addressed the tension and misconceptions that have emerged between himself and Metallica since he was ousted from the band back in the early 1980s, along with numerous other topics, including his health, his new signature guitar and more.

When asked why he felt his Metallica bandmates ‘relegated’ him as a guitarist after ousting him, Mustaine replied:

“Ego, probably. If we look at the things I played, I guess Kirk Hammett did a noble job of trying; he took a swing. But I ask my guitar players for a bit more than taking a swing. When they’re doing a previous guitar player’s solo, I ask them to do it right and pay tribute; that’s how you honor it.

When you go into an established song and don’t do the solo right, that’s a problem. If you can’t do it, that’s one thing, but if you can and you choose not to, that’s another thing. It’s not about you or your ego; it’s about the song. If you can’t do it as well or better than the original, then don’t do it at all.”

Responding to what he thinks has attributed to Megadeth‘s successfully 40 year run, Mustaine offered:

“A lot of it is the take-no-shit attitude. People know Metallica has always tried to hold me back. They never expected me to do what I did after they fucked 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, ‘Fuck 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.”

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