10 Bands That Have Beef With Metallica

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Metallica didn’t become the biggest band in the world without making a few enemies.

Aside from fans that thought the band sold out back in the ‘90s, there are just as many bands that have never been fond of the thrash legends, either not liking their music or getting into it with them in the press. 

Considering their broad appeal, this isn’t confined to metal bands, with popstars, rock bands and thrash brethren having beef. 

From the band’s change in direction over the years to Napster to Lars during pretty much all of it, these bands aren’t going to be itching to cover ‘Enter Sandman’ any time soon. 


It’s not hard to see why Dave Mustaine has beef with Metallica. 

After being in Metallica and traveling with them across the country to sign a record deal, Dave was sent right back home after being too unruly on the road and drinking too much. After being fired, Dave said that, (20:53) 

“Part of the reason why he formed Megadeth was to get back at those guys” for kicking him out, making something that was faster and heavier. 

Even years after his firing, Dave still had some resentment in the Some Kind of Monster doc, where he talked about people hating him because of Metallica and never getting a second chance with the band. Then again, if Dave hadn’t been so angry about getting the boot from Metallica, maybe Megadeth wouldn’t sound nearly as heavy as they do. 

Dave Grohl

It takes a lot to get on Dave Grohl’s bad side. When Lars first started going after Napster though, Dave wasn’t stoked about some rich rock star going after file sharing.

When talking about the future of music in an interview, Dave had mentioned how stupid it was to go after a service like Napster, which was all about sharing music with your fans and discovering new bands. While Dave never called out Lars directly, he did have some unflattering words about his tactics saying (1:13),

“I understand where some people come from when they say that ‘Napster is taking money away from me.’ You know what? When it’s someone that’s sold 50 million records and they got 50 million dollars and they’re bitching about pennies, fuck you man.”

While the public has calmed down (sort of) about Lars’ Napster lawsuit, Dave is on much better terms with him today, even doing interviews with the band when they were promoting Death Magnetic. Back in 2003 though, it took a special kind of move to have one of the nicest guys in rock turning his back on you. 

The 1975

Matt Healy, the singer of The 1975, has more than a few things to say about Metallica. 

When talking to Pitchfork to promote their latest album, Healy said, “I fucking hate Metallica. My worst band of all time.” While he does have love for bands like Rival Schools and Quicksand, Metallica has never been his thing.

By design, Metallica isn’t for everyone. In terms of heavy, Healy seems to be focused more on the punk side of things rather than big riffs.

Motley Crue

Metallica was really out of place when they first played clubs in Los Angeles. Before they moved up to San Francisco, the hair metal scene that was dominating the Strip didn’t sit well with them at all. They may have just tried to play faster, but Lars also wanted to cause a bit of mayhem too.

When Motley Crue was rising up the ranks in the mid-’80s, Lars remembers how he would occasionally make fun of them, yelling “FUCK MOTLEY CRUE” at them on the street and being able to get away because he could run faster. The drama didn’t end after they got rich either, with Lars calling them out for using backing tracks on some of their songs live.

While Motley never fessed up to using backing tracks, Nikki Sixx also claimed that what they were doing onstage was none of Lars’ business and went out of his way to call (2:05) the drummer “fat and balding” around the late ‘90s. Motley and Metallica are in two separate musical worlds, but that bad blood has since lasted over decades now. 

Bon Jovi

Metallica was designed to be the antithesis of hair metal in the early days. They did find themselves on the bill with some hair metal acts though, and James had no time for Bon Jovi.

At the 1987 Monster’s of Rock Festival in England , Metallica’s show was interrupted by Bon Jovi, whose helicopter was flying in during their set and drowned out any of the music onstage. As payback, James returned with a sticker on his guitar that read ‘KILL BON JOVI’ to take the piss out of the headliners. 

After the heat had died down, Jon Bon Jovi was not willing to roll over and take it, even sharing a photo of him with ex-guitarist Dave Mustaine just to troll them. James has still not let go of his anger though, saying (3:27) “He’s just so pretentious. He’s pulling the wool over a lot of folks’ eyes it seems to me.” Metallica have made amends with some hair bands, but Bon Jovi is still everything that James despises about pop metal.



Metallica fans weren’t the only ones pissed off by The Black Album. 

When the album was first released, Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo said that he was absolutely disgusted by it,  (32:11) “I threw it down the stairs when he first heard it. I said what the hell is this.” When Lars started to defend the album, he had some shade to throw at Slayer as well.

When speaking afterward, Kerry King talked about reading an interview with Lars saying (34:19),

“I think he referenced us about painting yourself into a corner and having nowhere to go. And that’s why Metallica became a rock band for a while. But if I’m in a corner, I like my corner. It’s the coolest corner I’ve ever been in.”

Even though Slayer might be the purest thrash metal band in existence, Metallica probably isn’t crying with all of the money they got off of ‘Nothing Else Matters.’ 

Bruce Dickinson

Some of the biggest bands to call out Metallica usually circle back around to the Napster incident. 

When Iron Maiden took to the road around the time of Napster, Bruce Dickinson made no bones about his opinion asking fans to (4:22), 

“Pull out your digital recorders. Put our album out on the Internet. Spread it all over the world. We are not like Metallica.”

Even when asked about Metallica later, Bruce wasn’t ready to apologize saying (4:22),

“They might be bigger than us and they might sell more tickets than us and they might get more gold plated middle-class bourgeois turning up at their shows…but they’re not Iron Maiden.”

Guns N’ Roses

When Metallica was just coming off of The Black Album, Lars started to have a fascination with Guns N’ Roses

Liking their unpredictable and dangerous attitude, Metallica’s joint tour with them was going to be one of the biggest in hard rock history. The bigger part worked out, but the rest of the band didn’t care for Axl Rose’s antics.

Outside of the notorious Montreal incident which left James Hetfield burned, Hetfield had no compassion for Axl’s behavior, saying that what Rose had done that night was completely irresponsible and jeopardized people’s lives. Axl is one to hold a grudge, and he mentioned during the Chinese Democracy tour that “my favorite cartoon characters are Metallica and Slash.”

Axl may have said his piece, but Slash never wanted to pick a fight with the band, saying “I could barely look any of the members of the band in the eye for the rest of that tour” because of how embarrassed he was. Rock star egos turn up all the time, but it’s a different story when people start getting hurt. 

Noel Gallagher

During the Load era, Lars Ulrich talked about how he had a more eclectic taste for rock. Instead of just Diamond Head and Iron Maiden, Lars mentioned Oasis being one of his favorite new bands, saying they had the attitude that rock and roll had been missing during grunge. Half a world away though, Noel Gallagher didn’t have a single good thing to say about heavy metal.

Even though Noel admits these days that Metallica has a couple of good tunes like ‘Enter Sandman,’ he swears off metal as a whole, telling a journalist that the music is dreadful and (12:30), “there’s a reason why [their fans] slit their wrists.” 

When asked about heavier music, Noel didn’t really like the idea of him going metal, joking that, (:56) “you pick up a guitar and go [imitates heavy riff]  ‘TURMOIL’ [continues with heavy riff]” whenever they play live. Although Noel has played nice in interviews, there’s a good chance that he’s looking down on Lars whenever the drummer plays the fanboy for him. 

Steven Tyler

If you ask the guys in Metallica, they would tell you their love for Aerosmith. It’s just a shame that Steven Tyler feels like they’re beating a dead horse at this point.

When talking about how much Aerosmith had changed, Tyler singled out Metallica as a one-trick pony, thinking that they just repeat the same kind of song every time they go into the studio. 

While none of the guys in Metallica have responded, their records say otherwise, from Master of Puppets’ straight-ahead thrash to the hard rock of The Black Album to whatever the hell was going on when they were making St. Anger and Lulu. Metallica might be pigeonholed as a metal band, but their best way to get back at Steven is to put it in music instead of the press.