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Dave Mustaine recalls his first reaction to Hetfield’s guitar playing

Classic Rock

Dave Mustaine recalls his first reaction to Hetfield’s guitar playing

The Megadeth leader, guitarist and vocalist Dave Mustaine was a member of Metallica from 1981 until 1983 and was an important part of the construction of their sound. His compositions were even used by the group on their first albums. But he was fired even before the band recorded their debut and was replaced by Kirk Hammett.


In an interview with Metal Hammer, he recalled what was his first reaction when he met Hetfield and heard him playing the guitar.

Dave Mustaine recalls his first reaction to Hetfield’s guitar playing

“When I was in Metallica, I was kind of playing at Lars’s level, because Lars was still learning to play drums back then. But watching James play guitar for the first time was kind of shocking, because I didn’t know he knew how to play guitar. We just got fed up one day of auditioning guitar players, just like I did with singers.”

He continued:

“And he picked up this guitar and started playing, and inside I’m going, ‘Get the fuck out of here. How can you possibly be satisfied being a singer when you play like that? Why not be both?’ I’ve always thought he was a really talented guitarist,” Dave Mustaine said.

In Megadeth Mustaine became also a singer, so he couldn’t always play the lead guitar like he used to do in Metallica, making him focus more on the rhythm guitar parts most of the time. Those new characteristics made him be compared a lot over the years with James Hetfield, that is the vocalist and rhythm guitarist of Metallica.

Since Dave Mustaine was fired from the band not long before they record their first album, the relationship between him and Hetfield has not always been good.

Mustaine formed Megadeth right after he was fired from Metallica and since then, his group became one of the most influential Thrash Metal bands of all time. They have sold an estimated amount of almost 40 million records worldwide.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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