Dave Mustaine says James Hetfield told him Metallica's last three projects "bombed"

Dave Mustaine and James Hetfield
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage)

Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine has revealed a tantalising bit of information on one of the last times he spoke with former Metallica bandmate James Hetfield - and it involves a potential collaboration between the pair.

“There’s three sides to every story, right," Mustaine tells Guitar.com. "There’s my side, there would be the other person’s side, and then there would be the truth which is somewhere right in the middle. You know, oddly enough that was one of the last conversations I ever had with James Hetfield because we were talking about getting back together and doing a project.”

“Something had come up about the publishing discrepancy that we have been arguing about for years and years and years, and I told James, ‘I’ll do it but we’ve got to get this stuff sorted out first’. And he said, ‘Oh yeah, sure’.”

“So I said, ‘Now these two songs you and me split, 50/50. Lars didn’t write on this song – you know that. I don’t know why you gave him percentages but I’m not. I’m not going to sign another deal that’s gonna confirm that because I never agreed to that’.”

“And James said, ‘Well, Lars has a different recollection of that,’ and I said that’s fine; there’s his side of the story, my side and the truth is somewhere," Mustaine continues. "And that blew his mind, and we haven’t talked since. You know, I was trying to be really friendly with him; he told me that the last three projects they did bombed, and they wanted to go back and use all the stuff that I was on, and I said sure. As soon as I said that ‘three stories’ bit, it was over!”

Back in September, Mustaine revealed that he still hoped to reunite with Hetfield to write music together again at some point, telling VWMusic: " "I have been secretly hoping there’d be a day where James [Hetfield] and I can write together again. I think the world really does want us to do that, and I think there is a pretty good possibility of it happening down the line."

Latest Megadeth album The Sick, The Dying...And The Dead! is out now.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.