Dave Mustaine: 'I Regret Punching James Hetfield in the Mouth'

artist: Dave Mustaine date: 08/07/2014 category: general music news
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Dave Mustaine: 'I Regret Punching James Hetfield in the Mouth'
Looking back on his past regrets in life, Megadeth mastermind Dave Mustaine singled out a few events he's not too proud of, one of them being punching fellow frontman James Hetfield of Metallica in the mouth back in the day.

Asked by Met Al Metal about things he would've done differently, Dave noted, "I would love to have said goodbye to Gar Samuelson before he passed away. There's a couple of things I wouldn't have done myself, like ODing and I probably wouldn't have punched James in the mouth. There's a lot of stuff.

"You look back in hindsight and you think, 'God, I probably should have done that differently.' But, see, that's the importance of when you have someone in your life as a role model to help you. There's an ancient Asian proverb that says, 'A smart man learns from his mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.' Who knows? That may be from the 'Book of Proverbs;' I don't know where it originated from.

"But I would rather learn from your mistakes than my mistakes, because it's less painful that way. I think that because I've shared my life and a lot of the things that I've done right and wrong, it's helped a lot of our fans in their personal lives and definitely a lot of musicians too. Because, I mean, I've been doing this for 30 years and it's fairly obvious to anybody that has a brain that people have been trying to hold me back," he added (via Blabbermouth).

A few years back, Dave explained the early-day Metallica fight and how he "turned [James'] mouth into a pile of bloody Chiclets," more on that here.

During the rest of the chat, Mustaine discussed the controversy he created by refusing to perform with such satanic acts as Dissection and Rotting Christ, dubbing it a defense mechanism against getting back on the wrong track. Focusing on being responsible for a festival organizer kicking Dissection off the bill, the frontman explained:

"I told the promoter, I said, 'Look, we can't play. We're not gonna play that festival.' I never said, 'Kick them off.' That was the promoter's mistake. The promoter kicked them off. It's hard enough as it is in music to get concerts, so I would never kick a band off one of my shows; I would rather me not do it. And when I said, 'Look, we don't wanna do it,' they, unfortunately, harmed that band.

"Regardless of whether the guy [Dissection mainman Jon Nodtveidt] was a convicted murderer, or that he was a Satanic person ... We all have a little bit of darkness in us. Now, I never killed anybody - I killed a couple of guitars [laughs], but I never killed anybody. And the sad thing is at the end of the day, the poor guy and committed suicide, so he was a tortured soul.

"And I know that, for me, the reason that I turned to black magic and witchcraft and stuff like that was I had had spiritual abuse and so many things had been done wrong in my life and there was so much hypocrisy with the people that had said that they were Christians, or Catholic or whatever, they would say one thing and they would do something else. So I regretted having spent any time in a church and I really resented people who said that they believed in God, because you would see them do one thing and the next day they would do something else. And it's just very confusing as a kid.

"And I think that's why a lot of us end up being spiritually misled. And that's probably part of the reason why that poor chap did that too. But, you know, we were supposed to play a show with them in France, and they didn't get kicked off that show. You know, a lot of stuff went around about another band [Greek extreme metallers Rotting Christ] that had a name that was kind of offensive to me. But, you know, that's a personal thing. It has nothing to do with their band or their quality of music or them as a person," Dave concluded.
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