‘Dave Mustaine Was So Far Ahead Of James Hetfield,’ Ex-Metallica Bassist Says

On Twitter, Ron McGovney, former bassist for Metallica, has stirred conversation about his past bandmates. After initially commenting on James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich a few months ago, McGovney shifted his focus to Dave Mustaine‘s impact on the band’s sound and compared it to that of the other members.

Revisiting the band’s 1982 demo album, ‘No Life ‘Til Leather,’ the semi-retired musician expressed:

“‘No Life ‘Til Leather’ still is the best metal demo ever. Dave Mustaine just kills it on this tape. He leaves the rest of us in the dust. I am just listening to it for the first time in 10 years. Wow!”

The bassist’s statement sparked a reaction, with one user accusing him of undermining Hetfield and Ulrich’s contributions:

“You’re wrong, Ron. You just wanna talk bad about James and Lars, and you don’t know how to do it.”

McGovney clarified his intent by writing:

“Roger… I am not talking bad about James and Lars, or even me, for that matter. Dave was just so far ahead of us as musicians at that point. I have a huge amount of respect for James, Lars, and Dave for what they have accomplished in the music industry.”

This isn’t the first time the band’s former bassist has been vocal about their dynamics. When Mustaine claimed to be the ‘alpha male’ among Lars and James, stating that the Metallica vocalist started playing guitar after his arrival in a 2022 interview with Classic Rock, Ron quickly stepped in to share his perspective.

On Twitter, he explained:

“Dave talked to the promoters? Collected the cash? James didn’t play guitar before Metallica? That’s not how I remember those days. Just the opposite, actually.

Despite having stepped away from his music career following his departure from Metallica, Ron McGovney has occasionally returned to the spotlight, most notably during the band’s 2011 celebration at The Filmore, marking three decades of their music.