It’s been many decades since Dave Mustaine and James Hetfield have played in a group together. But in a new interview with Guitar.com, the Megadeth front man revealed that he and his former band mate were at one point planning a “project” together.
But, Mustaine continued, things got derailed after Mustaine offended Hetfield with a comment about publishing royalties.
Mustaine broached the topic when he was asked if his "outspoken" reputation had hindered his career in any way. That led to his recalling a story about his conversation with Hetfield about their working together.
"There's three sides to every story, right," Mustaine said. "There's my side, there would be the other person's side, and then there would be the truth which is somewhere right in the middle. You know, oddly enough that was one of the last conversations I ever had with James Hetfield, because we were talking about getting back together and doing a project.
"Something had come up about the publishing discrepancy that we have been arguing about for years and years and years, and I told James, 'I'll do it but we've got to get this stuff sorted out first'. And he said, 'Oh yeah, sure.'
"So I said, 'Now these two songs you and me split, 50/50. Lars didn't write on this song – you know that. I don't know why you gave him percentages but I'm not. I'm not going to sign another deal that's gonna confirm that because I never agreed to that.'
"And James said, 'Well, Lars has a different recollection of that,' and I said that's fine; there's his side of the story, my side and the truth is somewhere. And that blew his mind, and we haven't talked since.
"You know, I was trying to be really friendly with him; he told me that the last three projects they did bombed, and they wanted to go back and use all the stuff that I was on, and I said sure. As soon as I said that 'three stories' bit, it was over!"
As reported by Blabbermouth, Mustaine was likely talking about Metallica's 1982 demo tape, No Life 'Til Leather, which was reissued for Record Store Day in 2015. That project included tracks from Metallica's early catalog, many of which were co-written by Mustaine when he was still in the band.