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Who is the fastest guitarist from the Big Four thrash bands? Dave Mustaine has an opinion

'I don't know that it would be me,' the Megadeth leader admits

Dave Mustaine recently sat down with Revolver to answer fan-submitted questions, and the segment kicked off with a question about his thrash brethren: specifically, if there was a thrash riff-off between the Big Four guitarists to see who is the fastest down-picker, who does the Megadeth leader believe would win?

Despite the fact that Mustaine has penned some of thrash metal’s greatest and fastest riffs (“Mechanix”? “Holy Wars”? "Poison Was the Cure"?) he immediately pulled himself out of contention. “Fastest down-picker, I don’t know that that would be me,” he said.

As for who Mustaine would choose? “Probably [Metallica’s James] Hetfield or [Slayer’s] Kerry [King], he said. “Kerry’s a very fast player. He’s very talented at what he does. And you know, I never really watched his picking method to see if it was all down-picking or if it was pedaling, which goes back and forth. Some people call it butterfly picking, other people call it pedaling.”

He summed up, “I’d say it’s gotta be James or Kerry, yeah. I’d love to say it’s me. I’m sure I’ve got some really fast down-picking stuff. But I still think those guys are great. And Hetfield’s still one of my favorite rhythm guitar players.”

To that end, Mustaine then returned to his days in Metallica, and specifically the incident where he punched Hetfield, and which he believes led to his firing form the band.

"I wished things wouldn't have ended the way that they did," Mustaine said of his relationship with Hetfield. "But you know, que sera, sera. It was a dumb thing that I did by taking my dog up to practice. And it was even dumber to punch him. I really respect him and I respect his playing. And I hope he knows that there are a lot of people out there like me, that like him as a person and don't give two fucks about him being in Metallica."