Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine says nothing makes him feel as good as thrash metal: “Not a drug, not a drink, not a person, not a thing”

Dave Mustaine
(Image credit: Jeremy Saffer)

Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine has paid a passionate tribute to thrash metal music in a new interview.

The vocalist/guitarist, who was key to the genre’s development during his early days in Metallica, tells Rock Hard Greece, “​​If we [Megadeth] started doing music that wasn’t heavy and it wasn’t thrash, I would probably not want to do it anymore” (transcribed by

He continues: “Thrash metal music is one of those things that makes you feel alive inside.”

Mustaine adds, “I can’t remember anything that I’ve ever experienced that makes me feel as good as thrash metal – not a drug, not a drink, not a person, not a thing,” which will likely be received well by his wife of 33 years, Pamela, and two children Justis and Electra.

In the same interview, Mustaine is also asked about his biggest “pet peeve” in the music industry.

“I guess the thing that annoys me the most in the music business is people who don’t know what they’re doing, and I think that’s pretty normal,” he answers.

“Whenever you come across people who don’t know what they’re doing, it’s hard to be around them, you know?

“It’s hard, because they want to come across like they know stuff, and a lot of times, there are people that can help, but more often than not, they don’t help.”

Mustaine became Metallica’s first lead guitarist in 1982 and was fired from the band the following year. He was replaced by current lead player Kirk Hammett.

The guitarist co-founded Megadeth with former bassist David Ellefson in retaliation in 1984. They released their debut album, Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!, in 1985.

Ellefson was dismissed from Megadeth in the midst of a sex scandal in 2021. His performance on the band’s latest album, 2022’s The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!, was re-recorded by Testament and former Death bassist Steve Di Giorgio.

Megadeth are currently touring Europe and will perform in Istanbul, Turkey, tomorrow (June 12).

For the full list of the band’s live plans and to buy tickets, visit their website.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.