Metallica and Dave Mustaine discuss ‘feud’ and relationship today

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'He was really, really sad, really angry, really frustrated'

Metallica‘s Kirk Hammett has opened up about the band’s relationship with former guitarist and Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine.

Mustaine was the original lead guitarist and co-founder of Metallica, before he was fired from the band in 1983 for problems with drugs, alcohol and clashing with the rest of the band. Much has been said about the band’s often tumultuous relationship since, with the band often playing shows together and with Mustaine rejoining the band to play with them at their 2011 30th anniversary celebration shows.

Now guitarist Kirk Hammett, who replaced Mustaine before they went on to find global success, has said that while he was one ‘really frustrated with Metallica’, their relationship is ‘a little bit better now’.

“Well, you know, the whole thing with Dave is I’ve never, ever, ever had a problem with Dave,” Hammett told the Word Of Wheeler podcast. “I’ve always seen Dave as someone who was just really, really sad, really angry, really frustrated about his situation with Metallica, and he never could let that go. And, you know, I’ve always shown a lot of empathy for him, understanding that he was just pissed off. It’s the equivalent of the woman of your life leaving you.”

Metallica with Dave Mustaine

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He continued: “When your band kicks you out… I’ve never been kicked out, but I can imagine it’s a horrible experience, especially if it’s a band that you feel really passionately about. So I can understand Dave’s plight over all these years. But I will also say that when we did these 30th anniversary shows at the Fillmore, and we invited Dave to play on all those Kill ‘Em All songs, man, it felt so good to have him playing onstage. It felt perfectly fine for me to, while Dave was playing the guitar solos, for me to go over to James [Hetfield – frontman] and play the rhythm parts with James, and it wasn’t a big deal at all.”

Hammett remembered: “I could see from the look on Dave’s face and just from his whole attitude that it was super-cathartic for him. And I could see how it was helping him. And so I just took it all in stride. And it’s interesting, because since then, I think, Dave’s relationship with us is a little bit better now. I’d like to think that that whole thing just kind of healed some scars that needed to be healed.”

Mustaine then took to Twitter to reply:

Last month, the band released their critically acclaimed new album ‘Hardwired… To Self Destruct’ – read the full NME review here.

It was then revealed that Metallica had become the most streamed metal band in the world – beating Guns N’ Roses who Hammett called ‘a nostalgia act‘.