Dave Mustaine Reveals How Lars Ulrich Tried To Steal Metallica Songwriting Credits

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Dave Mustaine has revealed that a dispute over songwriting credits with Lars Ulrich may have contributed to the shelving of the previously announced expanded version of Metallica’s 1982 demo tape, No Life ‘Til Leather.

Ulrich told Metal Forces last year that “some unexpected difficulties on the legal side… prevented the No Life ‘Til Leather box set and our vision for how we were going to kick this whole reissue series off. We spent some time doing that dance, but then James and I decided that it wasn’t worth it getting bogged down in all the unpleasantries, because this was supposed to be a celebration and not end up being a tug of war, so we thought, ‘You know what? Fuck it. We’ll just move on to Kill ‘Em All.”

Ulrich did not want to get into the details of the exact issues that were preventing the demo tape from being released. “It’s a little more complicated than that,” he said. “There’s no reason to go deeper into it. It was just something that we hadn’t expected.”

Mustaine tweeted today that he was contacted by Hetfield two years ago about “officially” releasing “No Life Till Leather” with “27 tracks, pics, the whole enchilada,” but he said “the talks broke down because Lars wanted credit on two songs I wrote every note and word to. I have the texts. I passed.”

When fans tried to trash Lars for being greedy, Mustaine took the high road. “STOP! Please? Guys, come on…I'm gonna leave if this is "bashing Metallica time." I don't care if they like me or not, I still have to be respectful of them and their accomplishments for my own self-respect.”

When Ulrich spoke to Metal Forces in 2016, he made it clear that Metallica was still hopeful that the expanded version “No Life ‘Til Leather” would arrive at a later date. “As you know, I am the eternal optimist, and I am the eternal ‘glass is well fucking half full,’ so who knows?” he said. “I think some of those parties have circled back around now that they’ve seen that this is real and so we’ll have to see. It would be great to share ‘No Life ‘Til Leather’ in a year or two with our fans and with the people that care. We haven’t shut the door on it.”