Dave Mustaine isn't one to bite his tongue when it comes to sharing his thoughts on Metallica. Since his firing from the band in 1983, Megadeth's leader has regularly commented on his old band, often offering well-meaning support, sometimes airing bitter grievances.
In a new interview with Guitar World, Mustaine again talks about his time in the band, and references the fact that James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich haven't always given him due credit for how much influence he believes they took from him, and indeed actively sought to discredit him at times.
"They became one of the biggest bands in the world, and here's one of the biggest bands in the world wasting their breath trying to discredit me by saying, 'Dave's not a good guitar player'," Mustaine explains.
"Excuse me, what the fuck did you say? I think I wrote many of the songs that made you famous, so you probably should recheck that bullshit statement."
The interviewer goes on to ask Mustaine how he knows what influence he had on the band, leading Megadeth's frontman to point out that, for a short while, he was Metallica's only guitar player. Los Angeles musician Brad Parker was recruited as the group's rhythm guitarist in 1982, but played only one gig with Metallica [on April 23, 1982] before James Hetfield took up the role himself.
Mustaine continues, "Also, early on, James was terrified to talk to the crowd... 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.
"And most of what I said onstage was things James would then copy after I left. So how do I view my influence on Metallica? It's pretty fucking deep."