Megadeth's Dave Mustaine says he was "clearly the alpha male" of Metallica back in the day

Dave Mustaine performing on stage as part of Megadeth
(Image credit: SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)

Dave Mustaine has discussed his time as part of Metallica, claiming that when it came to the functioning of the band, he was the "alpha male" of the group and took on the dominant role.

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.

Read the full CR interview with Dave Mustaine here.

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.