Megadeth's Dave Mustaine still has more than a few issues with his former bandmates in Metallica — yet, despite that, he still wants the bands to play together. Dave Mustaine was an early member of Metallica in 1982 and early-'83 — but did not play on any albums by the band before he was fired.
During a new chat with Guitar World, Dave Mustaine spoke about how Megadeth had to change with the turning tides of rock during the early-'90s — and couldn't help taking a swipe at his former bandmates: "We made some minor changes at the behest of the record label, but that was as far as it went. . . . We didn’t sell out like other bands. We didn’t change who we were. . . So, as these metal stations went the way of the great white buffalo, we had to decide, 'Are we going to be alternative? Are we going to change like every other band?’ Metallica cut their hair off, put makeup on and all that stuff, and I got little haircuts during that time, but I never chopped it off. We decided we wouldn’t change to fit the trend and would tough it out."
Mustaine dredged up some of his old issues from his time in Metallica — a period in which he feels his contributions have been completely overlooked, recalling, "In the early days, I was the only guitar player in the band and wrote some of the songs that ended up on their earlier records. So, for a guy who 'couldn’t play guitar,' I sure did f***ing influence things. The only reason James (Hetfield) even played guitar early on was that we couldn’t find anyone else. So who was it that couldn’t play guitar?"
Mustaine went on to remember, "Early on, James was terrified to talk to the crowd, and I would look at him and say, 'Talk, man. Get up there and f***ing talk,' but James didn’t do it; he stayed in the background, and he’s the f***ing singer. So, I — the guy who can’t play guitar — went up to the mic and started talking. That’s how it was until I left; James only started talking to the audience after I left; he had no choice. You can hear it on the tapes from the shows we did in San Francisco at the Waldorf and the Stone; I did all the talking. And most of what I said on stage was things James would then copy after I left. So how do I view my influence on Metallica? It’s pretty f***ing deep."
Mustaine didn't beat around the bush regarding the demand to see Metallica and Megadeth teaming up on tour: "The fact is simple: the world wants to see Megadeth and Metallica play together. And in case anyone is wondering: there’s f***ing money in that. The fans want to see Metallica and Megadeth share the stage. Does Megadeth need Metallica? No. But Metallica talks about their fans, but they don’t give them what they’ve been asking for. What are they afraid of? I don’t know. It’s not me; it’s them."
The relationship between Metallica and Dave Mustaine, has often been portrayed as a testy one, although Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich told us that all the reports of animosity have been overblown: ["I mean, so much has been made of these relationships, and certainly speaking for myself, Dave and I have two separate relationships — one that exists between Dave and I, and one that exists in the press and with everybody else. And I always know that, y'know, my and Dave's private relationship is always fine, and it's always one that's rooted in love and respect."] SOUNDCUE (:22 OC: . . . love and respect)
Megadeth next performs on April 26th in Everett, Washington at Angel Of The Winds Arena.