Dave Mustaine Equates James Hetfield’s Voice To Vince Neil’s

In the middle of Megadeth’s ongoing world tour, the band’s frontman Dave Mustaine joined an interview with Heavy Consequence. During the chat, he compared glam and heavy metal, mentioning the similarities between the vocals of Metallica’s James Hetfield and Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil. The vocalist started by saying:

“So, what do I think between glam and between heavy metal? Let’s boil it down to its least common denominator. Let’s look at the first two albums by Mötley Crüe and Metallica.”

He went into detail and explained:

“You can’t really say that the first Mötley Crüe record [‘Too Fast for Love’] didn’t have some metal tracks on it – because ‘Take Me to the Top’ or ‘Live Wire’ had the same kind of real fast right-hand picking like James [Hetfield] and I were doing. And when Vince [Neil] was first singing, and James was first singing, their voice was very similar in the registry where it was at. They both sang really high.”

In addition to their sounds, Mustaine talked about the two bands’ styles:

“But I think that if you would have taken those two songs and had Metallica record them, they would have been heavy as fuck. Probably would have stayed pretty similar because we were doing a lot of copy songs. And so, when you take a band that is dressing up, wearing high heels, wearing leather, wearing makeup, using hairspray, belts and chains and big hoop earrings and jewelry and fingernails painted and stuff like that, and start getting way into mascara, lipstick, foundation, all that kinda shit, that’s somebody’s impression of what a rock star is supposed to look like.”

Touching on his view on genre labels, he added:

“I promise you, if you go up to a guy who’s dressed up like that, who has that kind of an image, and, and you say, ‘What is this image that you’re going for? What would it be described as?’ They would say they’re a rock star. And I think if you go to a little kid and you said, ‘What is this?’ They would say, ‘You’re a rock star.’ Not that ‘You’re glam.'”

During the chat, the Megadeth frontman also reflected on the terms used for different music genres. He said:

“Y’know, it’s like metal has become a qualifying word just to signify a certain heaviness of music regardless of what original genre it is they come from. And I think if you can have people say bands like Blink-182 is like alternative metal. Or you see bands like Green Day, alternative metal. Pearl Jam, alternative metal. But are they? They’re pop bands. And what does pop mean? Is that a bad word?”

Answering his own question, Mustaine explained:

“Well, some people think so. But what does it really mean? Well, pop is short for ‘popular.’ So if Megadeth had a really successful record with the population, it would be a popular record – like Countdown to Extinction was. Countdown is a triple platinum record, and we’re probably going to be seeing some certification for that in the near future. And that was a popular album, which would make it a ‘pop album.’ Do you get what I’m saying? How weird all these terms are.”

You can read Dave Mustaine’s full interview here.