Dave Mustaine reveals when he last spoke to James Hetfield

Dave Mustaine and James Hetfield aren’t exactly buds, but they aren’t exactly enemies either. In a new interview with Guitar.comthat Megadeth frontman revealed that he and Hetfield had actually planned to do a project together at one point, and that’s the last time they had a conversation.

Never one to hold back from speaking his mind, Mustaine was asked during the interview if this outspokenness has had any effect on his career at all.

“There’s three sides to every story, right. There’s my side, that would be the other person’s side, and then there’d be the truth, which is somewhere right in the middle,” he said. “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 difference, which we’ve been arguing about for years and years, and I said to James, ‘I’ll do it, but we’ve got to get this sorted out first.’ And he said, ‘Oh yeah, sure.'”

It’s not entirely clear when the conversation about this project took place, but the “release difference” Mustaine referred to was likely over the reissue of MetallicaDemo from 1982 No Life ‘Til Leather, which was recorded when he was still the band’s lead guitarist. The reissue, which was supposed to be an expanded version of the original, was shelved around 2018 because Mustaine and Lars Ulrich couldn’t agree on the songwriting credits.

“So I said,” Mustaine continued to Guitar.com, “”Now these two songs you and I shared are 50/50. Lars didn’t write 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 agreement that will confirm that, because I never agreed to that.’

“And James said, ‘Well, Lars has a different recollection of it,’ and I said that’s fine — there’s his side of the story, my side, and the truth is somewhere. And it blew his mind, and we haven’t talked since. You know I tried to be really friendly with him. He told me that the last three projects they 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 ‘three stories’ bit, it was over!

However, a collaboration between Mustaine and Hetfield may not be off the table, as the former admitted in late September that he eventually wants to work with the Metallica frontman again.

“I have secretly hoped that there would be a day when James [Hetfield] and I can write together again,” Mustaine admitted Andrew Daly of Vinyl Writer Music. “I think the world really wants us to do that, and I think there’s a pretty good chance it will happen later.”

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