The Controversial History Of Kirk Hammett And Dave Mustaine’s Relationship

There’s no doubt that Metallica is one of the greatest, most commercially successful, and one of the most influential bands in music history with its music career that spans over forty years, therefore, each and every member of the band whether they are former and present is extremely precious to the fans. However, being replaced by another musician in such an important band even when it first started its career may cause hard feelings for the replaced musician which is why fans assume Dave Mustaine and Kirk Hammet may have a rivalry between each other.

As some of you might know, the story of how the original lead guitarist Dave Mustaine was fired from the band is quite controversial mostly because of drummer Lars Ulrich and frontman James Hetfield’s attitude while parting their ways with the legendary guitarist. While many fans have been criticizing their actions still to this day, there’s also a number of people who criticize Kirk Hammett for being too eager to join Metallica while Mustaine was still in the band.

While fans may have their opinions for the members of the band, let’s dig deeper into the story of how Mustaine was out and Hammett became the lead guitarist that we all know today as well as finding out the relationship between these two guitarists to see if there’s still a dispute after 38 years or they are now two musicians who worked in the same band and getting along after all those times.

How Did Kirk Hammett Replace Dave Mustaine?

Despite the fact that he’s now widely known for being the co-founder, vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of Megadeth, Dave Mustaine was initially the original lead guitarist of Metallica when he first joined the band in 1981. As a matter of fact, the band even started recording their debut studio album, ‘Kill ‘Em All’ with the legendary guitarist, however, they couldn’t complete the record due to the departure of Mustaine from the band.

As some of you might recall, the main motivation behind the band members’ action for parting their ways with Dave Mustaine was his alcohol and drug addiction as well as his aggressive behaviors which weren’t welcomed by other members of Metallica. When they were determined that Mustaine wasn’t a match for the band, Metallica members suddenly fired him from the band, packed his gear, and dropped him at a bus terminal on April 11, 1983, without any warnings beforehand or giving him the opportunity to correct his mistakes.

Before firing the original lead guitarist, Metallica members called Kirk Hammett on April 1 in order to invite him for an audition that took place on April 11, the day Dave Mustaine was fired. During the audition, Hammett performed ‘Seek and Destroy’ quite perfectly and managed to become Metallica’s lead guitarist after one audition, on the same exact day Mustaine was out.

Is There Any Beef Between Mustaine And Hammett?

Despite the fact that Dave Mustaine carried the weight of being kicked out of Metallica for decades even though forming his own band, Megadeth which is one of the most significant bands of all time as well, and made his point on how he feels about Kirk Hammett when he once revealed how he took his revenge on Hammet by having a sexual affair with his then-girlfriend, the two iconic guitarists seemed to have a better relationship now mostly thanks to Kirk Hammett’s interview back in 2016.

During an interview with The Word of Wheeler podcast, Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett stated that he has never had any problem with Dave Mustaine whom he understood very well when it comes to his anger and sadness over being fired from a band he felt passionate about. Furthermore, Hammett revealed that being kicked out of a band must have been a horrible experience for the Megadeth icon which is why he has always shown empathy for him for all these years.

Here is what Hammett said:

”Well, you know, the whole thing with Dave is I’ve never, ever, ever had a problem with Dave. I’ve always seen Dave as someone who was just really, really sad, really angry, really frustrated about his situation with Metallica, and he never could let that go. And, you know, I’ve always shown a lot of empathy for him, understanding that he was just p***ed off. It’s the equivalent of the woman of your life leaving you. When your band kicks you out … I’ve never been kicked out, but I can imagine it’s a horrible experience, especially if it’s a band that you feel really passionately about. So I can understand Dave’s plight over all these years.”

Did Kirk Hammett and Dave Mustaine Fix Their Relationship?

During a point in the interview, Metallica guitarist also opened up about the time when Megadeth frontman joined the band for the famous 30th-anniversary shows in order to perform tracks from the band’s debut studio album, ‘Kill ‘Em All’ which was supposedly released with Mustaine himself. According to Hammett, the show helped them build a better relationship as Mustaine let go of his anger and frustration during the performance.

Here is what Metallica guitarist said:

“But I will also say that when we did these 30th-anniversary shows at the Fillmore, and we invited Dave to play on all those Kill ’Em All songs—man, it felt so good to have him playing onstage. It felt perfectly fine for me too, while Dave was playing the guitar solos, for me to go over to James and play the rhythm parts with James, and it just wasn’t a big deal at all.

And I could see from the look on Dave’s face and just from his whole attitude that it was super cathartic for him. I could see how it was helping him. And so I just took it all in stride. And it’s interesting, because since then, I think, Dave’s relationship with us is a little bit better now. I’d like to think that that whole thing just kind of healed some scars that needed to be healed.”

While fans were thrilled to hear that there are no hard feelings between two Metallica guitarists and even started growing a healthier relationship after sharing the same stage and performing tracks together, Dave Mustaine apparently felt the same way as he shared a post on his official Twitter page after seeing Hammett’s statements and revealed how he respects the iconic guitarist as well as is the approach to this matter while wishing him the best.

Here is what Dave Mustaine said:

“I have tremendous respect for Kirk Hammett and I appreciate his take on this. he is almost 100% accurate…almost. I wish him the best.”

Fans couldn’t be happier about the two exceptionally precious guitarists getting along after their relationship started with a rough road and now have mutual respect for each other with two different bands both of which have a marvelous music career and thousands of fans all over the world.

You can see the source of the interview here and see the Twitter post below.