Dave Mustaine Opens Up on a ’Dumb Thing’ He Did in Metallica, Reacts to James Hetfield’s Emotional On-Stage Moment

Ever since leaving Metallica back in the early 1980s, Dave Mustaine kept this “tough guy” persona whenever there’s talk about his old band. He would even admit to being bitter, although it’s somewhat understandable since he was kicked out of Metallica. But even to this day, he looks back on that era and the whole world of metal goes up in flames while reacting to Dave’s words.

In a new fan Q&A organized by Revolver, Dave Mustaine recalled some of the incidents from the early days. In particular, he recalled the occasion when he punched James Hetfield after the Metallica frontman kicked his dog. Before going in that direction, the conversation first reflected on how Hetfield recently addressed the audience in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, reflecting on his own insecurities.

James Hetfield se emociona, durante show no Mineirão

Discussing the matter, Dave said (transcript via Ultimate Guitar):

“I saw the thing with James on stage where he was saying that he was going through a rough patch. I was sad to see that because it’s been one of those really weird love-hate relationships. And the whole reason that I ever even pursued any of this was I really liked those guys.”

“If I didn’t like them I would just say, ‘Fucking flush the toilet and be done with it.’ He’s always been somebody that I really liked playing with. I wished things wouldn’t have ended the way that they did, but que será, será.”

Looking back on how the longest feud in metal music started, Dave took the conversation in a different direction, expressing his regrets over how things went. He explains:

“It was a dumb thing that I did by taking my dog up to practice, and it was even dumber to punch [Hetfield]. I really respect him, and I respect his playing, and I hope he knows that there are a lot of people out there, like me, that like him as a person and don’t give two fucks about him being in Metallica.”

Photo: S. Bollmann (Megadeth Summer Breeze Open Air 2017 18), Raph_PH (Metallica – The O2 – Tuesday 24th October 2017 MetallicaO2241017-52 (37299688654))

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.