Dave Mustaine Reveals Why Metallica’s James Hetfield Is ‘Afraid’ Of Lars Ulrich

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Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine is now claiming that the previously announced expanded version of Metallica’s 1982 demo tape, “No Life ‘Til Leather” has been indefinitely shelved because he is unwilling to give Lars Ulrich “credit for something that not only” the Metallica drummer “did not do but he was incapable of doing.”

Asked in a new interview with Greece’s Rock Hard magazine about the songwriting dispute that has led to the expanded version of “No Life ‘Til Leather” being apparently scrapped, Mustaine said: “I’m not gonna give [Lars] my credit, so I’m not gonna be part of it. I wrote all of ‘Mechanix’, I wrote all of ‘Jump In The Fire’, so me giving any percentage of that to Lars Ulrich, he can pound sand. And as far as the song ‘Phantom Lord’, I wrote every note of that music, James [Hetfield] wrote all the lyrics. That’s 50/50.

If James wants to give his percentage up to Lars because he’s afraid of him, that’s up to him. I’m not afraid of Lars Ulrich, and I’m not giving him my percentage. And the same thing with ‘Metal Militia’; I wrote every single note of that music, James wrote every note of that lyric — that’s 50/50. If James wants to give Lars his percentage, that’s fine if he’s afraid of him. I’m not afraid of him. I’m not giving nothing to Lars Ulrich. Now, they took it in the past [editor’s note: apparently referring to Metallica’s ‘Kill ‘Em All’ debut album, which features re-recorded versions of the songs from ‘No Life ‘Til Leather’] — everybody knows that — and the past is the past. But I could not willingly enter into a new agreement with these guys predicated on Lars getting credit for something that not only he did not do but he was incapable of doing — he was incapable of writing songs that good back then.”

Asked if that means that there will never be another concert featuring the so-called “Big Four” of 1980s thrash metal — Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax — Mustaine said: “Oh, I don’t know about that. That has nothing to do with the ‘Big Four.’ I think Lars is just afraid to play with Megadeth.”