During a conversation on Waste Some Time With Jason Green, Megadeth bassist David Ellefson talked about his views on James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine’s frontman capabilities and stated that they switched roles after Mustaine was fired from Metallica.
The tumultuous relationship between Dave Mustaine and Metallica members is probably one of the most well–known dramas in the metal scene. As you probably know, Dave was hired by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich in 1982, as Metallica’s lead guitarist without even auditioning as his warm-ups were enough to convince Metallica’s founders.
However, his career with the band was short-lived and he was fired before completing the recording of their first album together, ‘Kill ‘Em All.’ Years after Mustaine’s firing, the owner of Metal Blade Records, Brian Slagel, disclosed that even though Mustaine is a very talented guitarist, he had big alcohol and drug problems that upset the band members.
Then, Mustaine co-founded Megadeth in 1983, with bassist David Ellefson, and the band came to be known as one of the four bands which revolutionized thrash metal as a genre, alongside Anthrax, Slayer, and Metallica. In his recent interview, Ellefson said that he finds it very interesting how Mustaine’s firing from the band pushed both him and Hetfield to step up their game.
Ellefson said that neither Mustaine nor Hetfield were planning to be lead vocalists but they were both pushed to do the ‘parts of the job they weren‘t doing before.’ In this way, they both came to be known as two of the most legendary frontmen in the history of metal. Ellefson said that Hetfield is one of the greatest frontmen ever and compared him to Bono, which can be seen as a great compliment.
Here’s what David Ellefson said in the interview:
“It’s kind of interesting how then James became really the frontman of Metallica when Dave was out of there, and then Dave now in Megadeth becomes the singer, so they both kind of swapped roles, they both kind of had to step up to maybe the parts of the job they weren’t doing before.
Not that Dave was never hired to be the singer of Metallica. So it’s kind of funny that that was now a new role for him, and of course, Hetfield has become one of the greatest frontmen in rock ‘n’ roll, period.
I mean, he‘s on the level of, like, Bono. Doing those Big Four shows with him, hearing him command the stadiums, he’s just such a powerhouse, it’s impressive.”
Click here for the source and you can watch the whole interview below.