Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine has discussed his longstanding and complex relationship with Metallica in an interview with Guitar World.
Mustaine, who was fired from Metallica in 1983, contributed to a number of the band’s early songs, but is more widely known for his four-decade-and-counting time fronting Megadeth, in which time the thrash icons have put out 16 studio albums to Metallica’s 11 (so far). When asked how he views the perceived competition between Metallica and Megadeth, Mustaine responds:
“In my mind, there is no competition between Megadeth and Metallica. We’re different bands, and I believe Megadeth has been more consistent. But the sad thing is that the drama between us has been more popular than the music ever was. And remember, Metallica got a big head start, and they did so on the back of what I helped create.
When later asked what Megadeth owes its longevity to, Mustaine answers:
“A lot of it is the take-no-shit attitude. People know Metallica has always tried to hold me back. They never expected me to do what I did after they fucked me over, but I succeeded and made better records along the way. But I don’t care because I’m happy with my success, and I’ve had plenty of it. The music we make now tells you all that you need to know. But I hope we can tour together before it’s all said and done, but I don’t know if we will.
“As far as looking back at everything from the beginning, I think I’ve maintained my integrity,” he continues. “When I injured my arm, I sold off all my gear to pay the people I owed money to. When most bands end, they say, ‘Fuck it,’ and leave their vendors holding the bag. Not me. I’m way different. I’m old-fashioned. I’m old-school. I do what I say I’m going to do. That’s why Megadeth is still here.”
Megadeth’s latest studio album, The Sick, The Dying…And The Dead! was released to critical acclaim last year. Metallica’s new album 72 Seasons lands next month.