In the October 2006 issue of U.K.'s Total Guitar magazine (cover), MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine discusses his band's legacy and his feelings on METALLICA.
Total Guitar: Who do you see most MEGADETH influence in?
Mustaine: "I'm not sure of any particular bands that I have been able to influence, but if that's true, then I'm flattered. It is possible that bands have been influenced more by MEGADETH than METALLICA. Since the early 1980s, we have become completely different bands."
Total Guitar: Looking at the current generation of metal bands, who strikes you as being original?
Mustaine: "I like it when the bands have guitars in the songs, especially when there are solos. I don't like the death metal-style vocals. Most of the singers are really good, or they could be, but they're just scared to sing like I was. I like a lot of bands on the Gigantour."
Total Guitar: What is your favorite METALLICA band memory?
Mustaine: "Mainly that the three of us [James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Mustaine] knew we were on to something big. I think that's why they did what they did and why I reacted the way that I did."
Total Guitar: How closely did you follow METALLICA's career after you left?
Mustaine: "I never even listened to 'St. Anger', so I have no idea what direction they have gone in. For all I know, you could tell me it was a country album."
Total Guitar: Honestly, how do you think METALLICA would have progressed as a band if you'd stayed?
Mustaine: "They would have got a lot better at fighting! I don't think things would be any different because Lars and James are very gifted musicians."
Total Guitar: Looking back now, what did you think of Kirk [Hammett] the first time you heard him play? Was he a worthy replacement?
Mustaine: "I don't remember the first time I saw him play. They were an opener [presumably referring to Hammett's pre-METALLICA band EXODUS — Ed.] and I didn't notice him at all, really. Sadly, that sentiment hasn't changed. I think that is because he became world-famous playing my solos, or at least identifiable structures that were my solos."
Total Guitar: Do you get on with Kirk?
Mustaine: "I don't really know him."
Total Guitar: How did you deal with rumors you heard about your firing from the band?
Mustaine: "It was both sad and hilarious at the same time. I mostly dealt with it by trying to shelter my family as much as possible from all the really tough things that have been said or written. Sadly, the majority of all that stuff isn't even remotely true, but people still buy into it."
Total Guitar: Have you spoken to James Hetfield since "Some Kind of Monster" was released?
Total Guitar: Did you feel vindicated when MEGADETH went on to be so successful?
Mustaine: "I still have very charged emotions about the whole experience."
To order a copy of the October 2006 issue of Total Guitar magazine, visit www.totalguitar.co.uk.