Dave Mustaine wants to write new music with James Hetfield: “There is a pretty good possibility of it happening”

Dave Mustaine (left) and James Hetfield
(Image credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SiriusXM / Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

Though the pair have had a notoriously fractious relationship over the years, it looks as though Dave Mustaine and James Hetfield have buried the hatchet.

Only recently, Mustaine expressed his “love” for his former Metallica bandmate, after revealing he reached out to him following a display of on-stage insecurity and vulnerability.

Now, Mustaine has doubled down on the rapprochement that has taken place between the two electric guitar icons in recent years, saying he has been secretly harboring hopes that he and Hetfield can write new music together.

Not only that, he confesses that “there is a pretty good possibility of it happening down the line," and that the thought of writing music with Metallica again has “always kept me pushing forward."

Speaking to Andrew Daly of Vinyl Writer Music (opens in new tab), Mustaine explained that “stubbornness” is one key factor behind his musical longevity, before turning the focus of conversation to his former Metallica mate.

“I have been secretly hoping there’d be a day where James [Hetfield] and I can write together again,” Mustaine commented. “I think the world really does want us to do that, and I think there is a pretty good possibility of it happening down the line.

“I do think that it’s possible that one day James is going to come around and that he and I are going to be able to do something together again. 

“I guess that’s one of the things that has always kept me pushing forward. I think it’d be good for Megadeth, and it could be great for Metallica too.”

It’s not the first time Mustaine has publicly expressed his desire to link up with Metallica. In 2012, he voiced an interest in creating a Metallica/Megadeth supergroup, which would comprise himself, Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and then-Megadeth bassist David Ellefson.

He would, however, later apologize to Hetfield for his comments, after the Metallica frontman came out to distance himself from the supergroup idea.

Dave Mustaine (left) and James Hetfield

(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage via Getty)

“I already sent [James] a text message and said I apologized to him for saying that and that I won't ever mention it again," Mustaine said at the time. "I guess my whole thing was I just wanted them to know that I loved them and that I missed them and I enjoyed playing with them [at Metallica's 30th anniversary performances]. If that's not mutual, then I understand. 

“I still respect him, and I still care about the guy,” he continued. “If he doesn't wanna play [with me] anymore, that's cool. If he doesn't like the idea of what I said, that's okay, too. It wasn't like I said it was gonna happen, it was something that I kind of wished would happen. 

“But you know, it's okay now, since it doesn't seem like it's gonna happen. And you know what? It's off my bucket list."

Fortunately for metal fans, it certainly seems like a Metallica/Megadeth collaboration is back on Mustaine’s bucket list, and if his enthusiasm and optimism for the project is anything to go by, there’s a chance it might actually become a reality one day.

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.