Dave Mustaine on Metallica Not Touring with Megadeth: “What Are They Afraid Of?”

"I wrote many of the songs that made you famous"

metallica megadeth touring together
Megadeth (photo by David Brendan Hall) and Metallica (photo by Raymond Ahner)

    Dave Mustaine has once again opened up about the tempestuous relationship between himself and his former bandmates in Metallica.

    The long-running feud between Mustaine and Metallica has been documented ad nauseam. In 1983, Metallica fired Mustaine, who went on to form Megadeth. Metallica would end up being the more commercially successful act, and Mustaine would harbor a bitterness over his unceremonious ousting after helping launch Metallica and penning their earliest songs — including much of their debut album Kill ‘Em All.

    Over the years, concessions have been made to reconcile things, i.e. Mustaine appearing in Some Kind of Monster and Megadeth and Metallica joining forces for a series of “Big 4” shows with Slayer and Anthrax. But salty remarks from Mustaine in a new interview with Guitar World indicate that he’s still indignant.


    “I wanted things to be reconciled and to be friends,” Mustaine said. “But for whatever reason, they didn’t. And Metallica is represented by the same agent as Megadeth, and I’ve asked our agent, ‘You’re Metallica‘s agent, too; why won’t those guys play with us? What are they afraid of?”

    He continued: “The fact is simple: The world wants to see Megadeth and Metallica play together… Does Megadeth need Metallica? No. But Metallica talks about their fans, but they don’t give them what they’ve been asking for. What are they afraid of? I don’t know. It’s not me; it’s them.”

    It’s possible that the wound was re-opened when a songwriting dispute between Mustaine and Metallica nixed a prospective No Life ’til Leather box set in 2017 (Mustaine played lead guitar on the No Life ’til Leather demo and has writing credit on four of its seven songs). Earlier in the Guitar World interview, Mustaine had choice words for those underestimating his influence on Metallica’s career.


    “Remember, Metallica got a big head start, and they did so on the back of what I helped create,” he said. “They became one of the biggest bands in the world, and here’s one of the biggest bands 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. But this is the shit those guys say, and you’ve got the sheep who follow them around believing it.”

    A joint tour doesn’t seem likely any time soon. Instead, Metallica are set to release their new album, 72 Seasons, on April 14th, and will be touring North America extensively in 2023 and 2024 with a rotating cast of support acts (that doesn’t include Megadeth). Pick up tickets to Metallica’s upcoming shows here, and Megadeth’s upcoming gigs here.