At a Metallica concert in May, Hetfield became emotional before playing the metal band’s “Sad But True.” And he shared his fears with the audience.
“I wasn’t feeling very well before I came out here,” the Metallica frontman said. “Feeling a little bit insecure, like I’m an old guy, can’t play anymore – all that crap I’m telling myself in my head.”
In response, Mustaine said he tried to contact Hetfield via text. The Megadeth figurehead explained: “I love those guys [in Metallica]. I texted James a few days ago after he admitted on stage that he was insecure about his guitar playing.”
Mustaine continued, “I said, ‘James, I love you and I really like your playing.’ He didn’t answer. Of course not. Why would he? The point is, I wanted him to know.”
In the same interview, Mustaine, a former member of Metallica, compared his early musical leadership to Metallica’s primary duo – Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich. (Guitarist Kirk Hammett replaced Mustaine in Metallica in 1983.)
In the Sept. 9 chat with Classic rock, Mustaine was prompted by the interviewer, who said, “The guys who founded that band, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, are such alpha males.” But Mustaine didn’t budge with that remark.
“I’m definitely the alpha male among the three of us,” he replied. “Why did I have to do everything when I was in the band? Why were they always asking me to talk to the promoters and raise money? Why was I the one who had to fight?”
Earlier this month, Megadeth released their 16th album, The sick, the dying… and the dead! In July, a Metallica sang inclusion at Netflix Stranger Things gave the Hetfield-led group one increased popularity.
Metallica’s James Hetfield talks about his insecurities on stage – May 12, 2022
Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time
Countdown of rock and metal’s greatest guitar players.