Metallica frontman James Hetfield and former Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine were planning on getting back together for the first time since 1983, and then a Metallica reissue ruined the whole damn thing.
Sometime in 2015, Hetfield and Mustaine began talking about reissuing Metallica's 1982 demo No Life 'Til Leather. Talks broke down after Hetfield allegedly wanted drummer Lars Ulrich credited on songs Mustaine said he wrote, and that was that. Except those talks didn't just ruin a reissue, but apparently a project that Hetfield and Mustaine were talking about doing.
In an interview with Guitar.com, Mustaine reveals those talks were the last time he spoke to Hetfield and that the project obviously fizzled afterward.
"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. 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'. 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."
However! In a recent interview, Mustaine expressed his desire to get back with Hetfield at some point to make new music. So the flame isn't exactly dead yet… just dim.
“I have been secretly hoping there’d be a day where James [Hetfield] and I can write together again. I think the world really does want us to do that, and I think there is a pretty good possibility of it happening down the line. I do think that it’s possible that one day James is going to come around and that he and I are going to be able to do something together again. I guess that’s one of the things that has always kept me pushing forward. I think it’d be good for Megadeth, and it could be great for Metallica too.”