Mustaine teamed up with Metallica in 1981, however, come 1983, he was kicked out of the band due to his substance abuse issues (as well as his antagonistic actions toward the other members). Mustaine was replaced by Kirk Hammett, and he would later go on to form the thrash metal band Megadeth.
While Mustaine has gone on to have a super successful career with Megadeth – and he has had nice things to say about Metallica – there and then you will catch him throwing a negative jab or two toward the band.
As part of a feature with Guitar World, Mustaine spoke about how his early contributions to the band helped them find success; he also talks about how frustrated he is with his work being discredited. Per Mustaine (as transcribed by Loudwire):
“They became one of the biggest bands in the world, and here’s one of the biggest bands in the world wasting their breath trying to discredit me by saying, ‘Dave’s not a good guitar player.’ Excuse me, what the fuck did you say? I think I wrote many of the songs that made you famous, so you probably should recheck that bullshit statement.”
Mustaine went on to talk about the impact he had on Metallica’s early days, sharing:
“Also, early on, James was terrified to talk to the crowd… So I — the guy who can’t play guitar — went up to the mic and started talking. That’s how it was until I left. James only started talking to the audience after I left; he had no choice. And most of what I said onstage was things James would then copy after I left. So how do I view my influence on Metallica? It’s pretty fucking deep.”
How much credit do you think Dave Mustaine deserves when it comes to the success Metallica received early on in their career? What do you make of the Megadeth singer’s points?