Dave Mustaine Says Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Stole His Royalties For ‘Metal Militia’

Dave Mustaine, the founder of Megadeth, was a recent guest on the Joe Rogan Experience. He talked about a variety of topics, including his band, dismissal from Metallica, his hobbies, and his thoughts on the current state of the music industry.

Asked if went “right into” Megadeth after his exit from Metallica or if it took him some time to plot his next move, Dave said: “I think in my mind I went right into Megadeth, but at the time I was still kind of trying to digest everything that took place.

“The thing that bothered me the most was I had all my music, and I left it behind and I said, ‘Don’t use my music.’ And of course they did. They used it on the first record [Kill ‘Em All], on the second record [Ride The Lightning]. There’s parts of my music on a song on the third record [Master Of Puppets]. All the solos on the first record are mine, except that they’re just performed by Kirk [Hammett]. And [they’re] close but not the same. And he’s not a bad guitar player.”

When asked if he got royalties for that, Mustaine said: “Well, most of ’em, yeah, but Kirk got my royalties for [the song] ‘Metal Militia’ [from Kill ‘Em All] for many, many years. And he has to see the check, so I know somebody saw that I wasn’t getting paid.

Then Rogan noted that Mustaine must feel both “sadness and bitterness” over his departure from Metallica, to which Dave added: “Not bitterness — I’m over it. It’s just money. At the end of the day, my happiness and my family and my wife and my children are more important to me than anything in this world.

“I love our fans,” he continued. “I have so many things in this life that I’m happy about. But, man, it’s my family. And obviously my relationship with God. I take that very, very personal. And I don’t talk to people about it; I don’t push it on ’em at all. It’s my thing. And I just look at it like where I’m at right now…

“Yeah, [I was] 20 [years old] in Metallica, and now, look at me, I’m 60 [years old] in Megadeth. And I’m a Grammy winner. I’m a New York Times best-selling author — all these things.”

Megadeth will release their sixteenth studio album The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!, on September 2 via UMe.

You can listen to full Joe Rogan Experience episode featuring Dave Mustaine via Spotify below.