The feud between Megadeth‘s Dave Mustaine and the remaining members of Metallica shows no sign of abating, as Mustaine has accused drummer Lars Ulrich of being ‘scared’ around a potential re-release and performing with him again.
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. He went on to form Megadeth and much has written about their ‘feud’ ever since.
Speaking to Greece’s Rock Hard about if the ‘big four’ of thrash (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax) would ever perform together again, Mustaine replied: “Oh, I don’t know about that. That has nothing to do with the ‘Big Four.’ I think Lars is just afraid to play with Megadeth.”
He also took aim at Metallica over the supposedly shelved release of the expanded version of Metallica’s 1982 demo tape ‘No Life ‘Til Leather’.
“I’m not gonna give [Lars] my credit, so I’m not gonna be part of it,” said Mustaine. “I wrote all of ‘Mechanix’, I wrote all of ‘Jump In The Fire’, so me giving any percentage of that to Lars Ulrich, he can pound sand. And as far as the song ‘Phantom Lord’, I wrote every note of that music, James [Hetfield] wrote all the lyrics. That’s 50/50.
“If James wants to give his percentage up to Lars because he’s afraid of him, that’s up to him. I’m not afraid of Lars Ulrich, and I’m not giving him my percentage. And the same thing with ‘Metal Militia’; I wrote every single note of that music, James wrote every note of that lyric — that’s 50/50. If James wants to give Lars his percentage, that’s fine if he’s afraid of him. I’m not afraid of him. I’m not giving nothing to Lars Ulrich.”
He added: “Now, they took it in the past [editor’s note: apparently referring to Metallica’s ‘Kill ‘Em All’ debut album, which features re-recorded versions of the songs from ‘No Life ‘Til Leather’] — everybody knows that — and the past is the past. But I could not willingly enter into a new agreement with these guys predicated on Lars getting credit for something that not only he did not do but he was incapable of doing — he was incapable of writing songs that good back then.”
“Well, you know, the whole thing with Dave is I’ve never, ever, ever had a problem with Dave,” said Hammett. “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.”
Mustaine then responded: “I have tremendous respect for Kirk Hammett and I appreciate his take on this. He is almost 100% accurate…almost. I wish him the best.”