Dave Mustaine Speaks Up on Lars Ulrich Taking Songwriting Credit for Metallica Songs He Didn’t Write, Recalls Last Conversation With James Hetfield

In a recently published interview with Guitar.com, Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine discussed the issues he had with Lars Ulrich and Metallica over songwriting credits. Although he didn’t name exact songs and a release, it’s about the “No Life ‘Til Leather” demo re-release that’s been stuck for a while. When asked about having a reputation for being outspoken and whether that benefited or hindered his career, Mustaine replied:

“There’s three sides to every story, right. There’s my side, there would be the other person’s side, and then there would be the truth which is somewhere right in the middle.

“You know, oddly enough that was one of the last conversations I ever had with James Hetfield because we were talking about getting back together and doing a project.”

Metallica - No Life 'til Leather (1982) Full Demo + Bonus Track

“Something had come up about the publishing discrepancy that we have been arguing about for years and years and years, and I told James, ‘I’ll do it but we’ve got to get this stuff sorted out first’. And he said, ‘Oh yeah, sure’.”

“So I said, ‘Now these two songs you and me split, 50/50. Lars didn’t write on this song – you know that. I don’t know why you gave him percentages but I’m not. I’m not going to sign another deal that’s gonna confirm that because I never agreed to that’.”

Metallica w/ Dave Mustaine - Phantom Lord (Live in San Francisco, December 10th, 2011)

“And James said, ‘Well, Lars has a different recollection of that,’ and I said that’s fine; there’s his side of the story, my side and the truth is somewhere. And that blew his mind, and we haven’t talked since.”

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“You know, I was trying to be really friendly with him; he told me that the last three projects they did bombed, and they wanted to go back and use all the stuff that I was on, and I said sure. As soon as I said that ‘three stories’ bit, it was over!”

Photos: Sven Mandel (Megadeth – 2017216231552 2017-08-04 Wacken – Sven – 1D X MK II – 1257 – B70I0729), Gage Skidmore (HetfieldComiccon), markwainwright (Lars Live London)

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.

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