Dave Mustaine: 'Three Best Rhythm Guitar Players in the World Were Myself, James Hetfield and Malcolm Young'

Megadeth frontman also seemingly touches on his controversial comments about African women.

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Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine recently touched on the matter of rhythm guitar, dubbing himself, Metallica's James Hetfield and Malcolm Young of AC/DC the world's leading trio.

Discussing how music brought him closer to Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich in the early Metallica days, Mustaine brought up AC/DC, tellingĀ Rock Cellar Magazine that his "favorite part about AC/DC isn't Angus Young's solos as much as it is Malcom's rhythm playing."

"I used to say this for a long time, and granted, there are so many more great new rhythm guitar players, but at the time I used to say the three best rhythm guitar players in the world were myself, James Hetfield and Malcolm Young," Dave added. "Because you really have to hold the fort down, being an anchor for the rest of the band."

During the rest of the chat, the frontman seemingly focused on his controversial comments about African women. Without giving specific details, Mustaine noted, "I remember I was doing an interview with a young guy, much like yourself, and we were just kind of chatting. He goes, 'You know, the last time my magazine did an interview with you they said you said something-or-other ...' and he said something that was so horrible ... it was me talking about a particular type of person, and in general saying that they don't have any right or purpose to have kids.

"And I was like 'You f--kers ... how could you say something like that?'" he continued. "And the problem is, the people who read this are gonna go 'I wonder if he really said that ...' versus the guys that really know me, who will say 'Mustaine would never say that! He might get in your face and say 'F--k you, you're a punk' but he'd never tell anybody they don't have the right to have a child.'"

As reported, Dave told LA Weekly back in 2012 that African women should "put a plug in it." "I really think that, if the parents aren't going to stick together, they shouldn't make that kind of commitment to life," he said. "I watch some of these shows from over in Africa, and you've got starving women with six kids. Well, how about, you know, put a plug in it? It's like, you shouldn't be having children if you can't feed them."

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    soulgrenade
    There was a time when James and Dave were on top of their game and certainly could be considered among the best of that genre.
    kcmoon5150
    Okay Dave
    AntwanL
    The 3 most humble people on the planet were are Myself, Dave Mustaine and Gandhi.
    Barricade_28
    There's only "favorite musicians", not "best musicians". You can't make lists about an art so subjective as music. You can try, because it's fun, but most people will always disagree.
    sonofgkex
    In fairness, he is a really good rhythm player.
    EpsilonX
    He's a fantastic rhythm player, same with Hetfield. I know almost nothing about Malcolm Young though.
    jpob
    Basically Malcolm plays every single ACDC riff. And the riffs are the only good thing about ACDC too
    yaronbeery
    there's a little riff machine called tony iommi. just sayin'.
    soulgrenade
    I can't help but wonder what Iommi might have been able to do on the guitar had his finger tip not been severed. He soldiered on pretty well but i bet he would have been a lot more advanced as the years went by.
    yaronbeery
    the man is just amazing, you really can't help but wonder, what would have happen had he not been injured. watched the classic albums episode about sabbath a couple of days ago, and he completely blew me away.
    Crackheadrich
    If he didn't loose his finger tip, a lot of contemporary music would sound very different (assuming someone else wouldn't have started using power chords), try count the songs that have used the 1st and perfect 5th chords since he started using them and how many songs used them before.
    arabmetallion
    Yep. Although he's the only guitarist in Sabbath and so technically not a "rhythm guitarist", I think deep down that's the kind of player he was. It wasn't his solos and leads that truly defined him although he did write a few good ones. It was those 500 ton riffs he wrote that basically kick-started a whole new genre of music.
    soulgrenade
    I can't help but wonder what Iommi might have been able to do on the guitar had his finger tip not been severed. He soldiered on pretty well but i bet he would have been a lot more advanced as the years went by.
    Grudgeshredder
    Yeah but I think for the sake of Dave's argument, Tony is THE guitar player in Black Sabbath. Dave is talking about (I think) of the bands with a lead guitarist and a rhythm guitarist. Then again, it wouldn't be the first outlandish statement/diss that he's ever said, nor would it be the last. Although why we're reporting about something he originally said back in 1995, I have no clue
    Mustaine1940
    iommi is a riff lord as was jimmy page and jerry cantrell, but take page out of that list and theyre actually just average guitarists, and they stood alone on guitar in their band when dave is referring to bands like metallica megadeth slayer that had rhythm and lead guitarists
    i_am_metalhead
    As much as I love Sabbath, Iommi's riffs are pretty basic. I wouldn't put him anywhere near the top of the list.
    l0ld4v3
    Back in the 70's nobody was doing what Sabbath was doing. They're basic as in being at the base of the modern rock and metal foundation.
    password123
    Even though he is flattering himself, I do agree that James and Malcolm are among two of the greatest rhythm guitarists.
    Mustaine1940
    hmmmmm lets think on this shall we..... mustaine was the lead guitarist of metallica and originally metallica was a one guitarist band before james was taught how to play guitar by dave mustaine.....
    ivonahora
    Actually, Hetfield learned how to play guitar all by himself way before he met Dave. He just preferred singing over playing guitar at the time
    aureliusgtr
    and malcolm young was NOT a good rhythm player, sure he could play AcDc's rhythms, but what guitarist with at least 5 minutes of practice cant?
    toasty333
    Rhythm isn't about playing amazing solos or difficulty, it's about making a groove with the drums and bass for the rest of the band to follow. Plus, Malcolm Young wrote nearly all of AC/DC's songs.
    ChucklesMginty
    Maybe that's true if you only listen to rock and metal. I guess when I think of amazing rhythm guitarists I think of session guys like Nile Rodgers or Steve Lukather, and it's just not even the same thing.
    r0ckmaker
    Word. Steve Lukather is a beast. He is one of the most underrated players nowadays IMO. Dude played on over 1000 albums but people still don't seem to know him (curse of session musicians I guess). He is known among musicians tho (especially schooled musicians). His phrasing and bends are the best I ever heard, he can be blistering fast or play one of the most emotional solos ever, from pop to jazz fusion. He finally got some more recognition with G3 I guess. I dare to say he played better than Vai and Satriani. Give this guy a listen, such a modest, nice and funny cat!
    Eissari
    Big fan of Mustaine and Megadeth but i don't like when people are TOO proud of themselves you know?
    M3AK
    I'm much more of a rhythm dude than lead and Dave was my number one influence in my teens. My top 3? 1: Dave Mustaine 2. Jon Schaffer 3. Eric Peterson Stereotypical metalhead top 3 but at the end of the day I'm a stereotypical metalhead so I don't really care.
    Scratcher17
    It's great to see someone acknowledging Peterson's rhythm playing. In my opinion, he's one of the finest and most underrated rhythm guitarists in thrash. Also, he has developed his lead playing over the course of his career. Although I'm not a fan of Iced Earth, I admire Schaffer's playing. As far as thrash rhythm playing goes, Jeff Waters is another amazing guitar player, but he is overlooked because people tend to view him as more of a lead guitar player.
    GeriatricNinja
    Jon and Eric are both underrated. I think Dave deserves recognition alongside James since they both helped shape their sound together
    Cazman
    Jon Schaffer has to be one of the most underrated rhythm guitarists alive. Some of his rhythms are just blowing my ass off every time I hear them.
    My Last Words
    Not trying to be a nitwit here, but Jon schaffer can produce more notes in one minute of sole downpicking than Dave can in a lifetime.
    sweathog14
    Dave was never a boring chugging downpicker. He had movement in his rhythms...more so than even Hetfield.
    third(-)eye
    Because it's all about how fast you can do anything. METULZ 4 LYFE.
    l0ld4v3
    Actually not all metal is speed oriented, but there are subgenres in which speed is very important in order to maintain a certain aesthetic. So **** yeah metal for life.
    Vinson
    He is right, but the order should probably be 1) James 2) Dave 3) Malcom Dave's leads are better, but James isn't known as "The BADDEST right hand in metal" for nothing!
    MrKew
    I don't really care about Mustaine and this topic, but I've always been impressed by Chris Cornell as a rhythm guitarist
    Zaqua
    The guy puts himself in the list. So humble. The guy puts Hetfield in the list. Dave, they're never taking you back.
    aureliusgtr
    considering the success of Megadeth and especially the more recent demise of Metallica as a TRUE metal band, I would think he's pretty happy doing his own thing...
    Mustaine1940
    most of daves great works are behind him and he doesnt stand with the new ages guitarists like loomis, brodrick angelo, buckethead etc, but he was amazing and ahead of his time in the 80's and 90s