MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine says he doesn’t bring up his time in METALLICA unless he is asked about it
Speaking with Rock Antenne at last month’s Summer Breeze festival in Dinkelsbühl, Germany, MEGADETH‘s Dave Mustaine was asked if he ever gets sick of questions about his former bandmates in METALLICA. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Well, I don’t really talk about my time with METALLICA. I don’t bring it up. So if someone brings it up, I’ll answer the question, but I usually don’t bother doing that.
“‘Cause I think in a way that kind of gives the impression that I need to talk about them in order for me to feel good about myself. And I don’t — I don’t. I feel good about who I am just ’cause I feel good about who I am. It has nothing to do with bands that I’ve played in in the past. And if it was, I would say of the three bands that I was in that I enjoyed PANIC and MEGADETH more than I did in METALLICA because we did argue a lot.”
Mustaine continued: “I loved playing with those guys, but it was meant for a season. And I look back on that time with a lot of fondness. I used to not, because I was still hurt from losing my job, but now I know, basically, that things happen for a reason, no matter what they are, and whether I was still in that group or not, that was outta my hands. And once I accept those things… Acceptance is the key to all of my problems today.
“If there’s something happening in my life and I can’t change it, and I spend my time wasting energy and effort to try and change something I cannot change, man, you’re gonna go nuts. So I’ve chosen to find the happier things in life.”
Back in August 2022, Mustaine discussed his 1983 firing from METALLICA and the rise of MEGADETH in an interview with “The Joe Rogan Experience“. When asked if went “right into” MEGADETH after splitting with METALLICA, Dave said: “I think in my mind I went right into MEGADETH, but at the time I was still kind of trying to digest everything that took place.
“The thing that bothered me the most was I had all my music, and I left it behind and I said, ‘Don’t use my music.’ And of course they did. They used it on the first record [1983’s ‘Kill ‘Em All‘], on the second record [1984’s ‘Ride The Lightning‘]. There’s parts of my music on a song on the third record [1986’s ‘Master Of Puppets‘]. All the solos on the first record are mine, except that they’re just performed by Kirk. And [they’re] close but not the same. And he’s not a bad guitar player.”
When Dave asked if he gets royalties for that, he said: “Well, most of ’em, yeah, but Kirk got my royalties for [the song] ‘Metal Militia’ [from ‘Kill ‘Em All’] for many, many years. And he has to see the check, so I know somebody saw that I wasn’t getting paid.
When it was mentioned that Mustaine seemed to feel both “sadness and bitterness” over his split with METALLICA, Dave said: “Not bitterness — I’m over it. It’s just money. At the end of the day, my happiness and my family and my wife and my children are more important to me than anything in this world. I love our fans.
“I have so many things in this life that I’m happy about. But, man, it’s my family. And obviously my relationship with God. I take that very, very personal. And I don’t talk to people about it; I don’t push it on ’em at all. It’s my thing. And I just look at it like where I’m at right now… Yeah, [I was] 20 [years old] in METALLICA, and now, look at me, I’m 60 [years old] in MEGADETH. And I’m a Grammy winner. I’m a New York Times best-selling author — all these things.”