Thrash metal lords Metallica are famous for channeling masculine rage into headbanging hits. But now, one of the band’s former members is claiming that he’s the most macho of them all.
In a new interview with Classic Rock magazine, Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine argued that he was Metallica’s leader during his time in the band—forget James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.
“I am clearly the alpha male between the three of us,” Mustaine told Classic Rock. “Why did I have to do everything when I was in the band? Why did they always ask me talk to the promoters and collect the cash? Why was I the one who had to do the fighting? Why did I have to talk in between songs?”
The lead guitarist further stated that after getting booted from Metallica and starting Megadeth, everything felt like a “feud” between the two bands.
The Classic Rock interview touches on Mustaine’s turbulent childhood and how being raised by a father with alcoholism sparked a curiosity about drinking. As a young man, he sought escape in music but was also drawn to drugs.
Mustaine isn’t a stranger to controversy.
Last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, he stopped a New Jersey Megadeth concert to carp about masks and medical “tyranny.” And nearly a decade ago, he made headlines for hurling homophobic and misogynistic slurs at a fan before kicking him out of the show.
But Mustaine’s brushes with controversy haven’t slowed Megadeth down. Earlier this month, the band dropped its first album in six years, The Sick, the Dying… And the Dead!, to positive reviews. The new offering features rap legend Ice-T, whose vocals appear on the song “Night Stalkers.”
Mustaine also got introspective during his Classic Rock interview. When asked to expand on being “an angry young man, out of control,” he admitted that much of it was part of an “on-stage persona.”
“It was getting out there and tightening your belt and taking a swig and just screaming at whoever would listen,” Mustaine said.
Still, looking back on his accomplishments over the course of a decades-long career, Mustaine is pretty proud.
“I had a plan: to be in the biggest metal band in the world,” he continued. “I don’t know, maybe it’s still ahead of me. But as far as American metal bands are concerned, there’s not many bigger than Megadeth. I would say that’s a great feat.”
Newsweek has reached out to a Mustaine representative for further comment.
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