Metallica’s former guitarist Dave Mustaine spoke about the songs he wrote during his time in the Metallica. Especially, Metallica’s first album has many Dave Mustaine compositions. In addition, other albums include a lot of Dave’s compositions.

Dave Mustaine talked with Rolling Stone, describing his own Metallica songs. He spoke on Call of Ktulu:

“The chords and chord movements [in ‘Hangar 18’] are similar to [‘Ktulu’], but it’s definitely not the same. You can go on the internet and look up the four-chord songs and you’ll find 300 or 400 of them.

‘Call of Ktulu’ was completely, 100% my song. I wrote every fucking note in that song before they changed it from [demo title] ‘When Hell Freezes Over.’ They added this long drawn-out part in the middle of it and I don’t know where that came from. It was really strange the first time actually hearing it because it took on this really, like, orchestral modulation to it. It was one of those pieces that moved me so much that I think, ‘Hey, my piece with that piece really made something fantastic.’

On Leper Messiah and Ride The Lightning, Dave said:

“There’s certain riffs that you hear, and you just know who the songwriter is. And I’m not talking about just when I write.

So there are certain parts of ‘Ride the Lightning’ and ‘Leper Messiah’ and the first album, all that stuff, you can tell little things that are similar with Megadeth’s guitar playing ‘cause you know there’s so much you can do with an instrument. I think they did great with it.

I didn’t write all of the music in ‘Ride the Lightning.‘ Lars wrote the melodic intro, and then the next part I wrote and then the next part I wrote and then the next part and then it went back to his part and then it went back to my next three parts and then at that point … who’s keeping score?


I got over them using my songs a long time ago. You can obsess on shit like that or you can let it go, and nothing is gonna change it. You’ve got two great bands. We’re friends. Stuff happened.

On Mechanix / The Four Horseman, Dave said:

I wrote “Mechanix” long before I was in Metallica. When I got into Metallica, we didn’t have a lot of songs. … We were playing cover songs by Killing Joke, Sweet Savage and a lot of Diamond Head, and we played my originals.

The lyrics are about a horny gas-station attendant because I was a horny gas-station attendant. I was a teenager living down in the Huntington Beach Harbor and girls would come into the gas station, driving these really expensive cars in bikinis. Fuck, are you kidding me? And that’s back when they had full service, so you would wash the windows and they would sit there in their bikinis and you got to check ’em out while they were sitting in their cars. I don’t think that they disliked it one bit. If they didn’t like it, they would’ve covered up. You’re a really testosterone-driven young kid with a job where you’re doing something you love with motors and doing something that you also love with seeing women. So it’s just that’s kind of how the song turned out.

‘Mechanix’ was a song that we played and one day I came to rehearsal with Cliff Burton and Lars goes, ‘Oh, fuck, man, we’ve gotta change this one part.’ I’d been listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd in the car with Cliff and I figured, ‘OK, I’ll play ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ he’ll never know.’ And he was like, ‘Fuck, man, that’s the greatest part ever.’ And so I went, ‘Oh, my God. You’re kidding, right?’ So ‘Mechanix’ with ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ in the beginning is what we fondly know now as ‘The Four Horsemen.’

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