Despite his controversial persona, it’s undeniable that Dave Mustaine has been a driving force in metal for decades, but what you probably didn’t know is that he almost turned down the opportunity to front Megadeth. In a candid interview with Metal Hammer, Mustaine revealed the surprising journey that led him to take on the role of frontman for one of metal's most iconic bands.
He auditioned multiple singers in the search for the perfect frontman before deciding to step into the role himself. "I was reluctant right up to the last minute. And then I finally said, 'OK, fuck it, I can’t be worse than some of these other dudes.'" he candidly confesses.
It wouldn't be an interview with Mustaine if the Metallica subject doesn't come to the table, but in this case he draws a somewhat fascinating parallel between his own experience and that of James Hetfield: "When I was in Metallica, I was kind of playing at Lars Ulrich's level, because Lars was still learning to play drums back then."
"But watching James play guitar for the first time was kind of shocking because I didn’t know he knew how to play guitar. We just got fed up one day of auditioning guitar players, just like I did with singers. And he picked up this guitar and started playing, and inside I'm going, 'Get the fuck out of here. How can you possibly be satisfied being a singer when you play like that? Why not be both?' I've always thought he was a really talented guitarist."
As for bringing up Metallica yet again, Mustaine said in a recent interview with Rock Antenne it's only because people keep asking him about his former bandmates.
"Well, I don't really talk about my time with Metallica," said Mustaine at the time. "I don't bring it up. So if someone brings it up, I'll answer the question, but I usually don't bother doing that. 'Cause I think in a way that kind of gives the impression that I need to talk about them in order for me to feel good about myself. And I don't — I don't.
"I feel good about who I am just 'cause I feel good about who I am. It has nothing to do with bands that I've played in in the past. And if it was, I would say of the three bands that I was in that I enjoyed Panic and Megadeth more than I did in Metallica because we did argue a lot."