During an interview with Classic Rock to talk through Megadeth's recently-released new album The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead!, Mustaine spoke of his time in Metallica, and his specific role within the band.
He was of course, Metallica guitarist from 1981 until 1983, but Mustaine believes he was also the "alpha male".
When interviewer Paul Elliot points out that Mustaine once wrote (in his autobiography Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir) that he was "leader of (Metallica), and that that was an odd thing to say", Mustaine shoots back "Why?". In response, Elliot states "because "James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich are such alpha males."
"Oh, no," Mustaine insists. "I am clearly the alpha male between the three of us. Why did I have to do everything when I was in the band? Why did they always ask me talk to the promoters and collect the cash? Why was I the one who had to do the fighting? Why did I have to talk in between songs?".
When Elliott questions Mustaine as to whether he finds it difficult to talk about his time with Metallica, the Megadeth man answers: "I really don’t give a fuck. And you know what? I love those guys. I sent a text message to James just a couple of days ago after he admitted onstage that he was insecure about his guitar playing.
"I said: “James, I love you and I really like your playing.' He didn’t answer. Of course not. Why would he? The point is I wanted him to know that I’ve had those feelings too, but I don’t now."
Late last month, Megadeth performed three songs - Holy Wars, Symphony Of Destruction and We'll Be Back (the latter lifted from the new album) - on SiriusXM's Trunk Nation L.A. Invasion with Eddie Trunk, which is now available to view on YouTube.
Megadeth's The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead! is out now.