Did Dave Mustaine Invent Thrash?

Megadeth bassist David Ellefson said so while discussing the forthcoming 20th anniversary celebrations for their "Countdown To Extinction" album.

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Bassist David Ellefson says that Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine invented thrash.

He made the claim while commenting on the 20th anniversary release of their renown album "Countdown To Extinction".

"It could be argued that Motorhead were the earliest pioneers to point toward the genre but I think Dave Mustaine's guitar playing (even in Metallica) was the invention of thrash," Ellefson said (via Blabbermouth). "Thrash was really invented in the USA because it's the hybrid of punk and metal music. We were the first generation of musicians to like the Sex Pistols and Black Sabbath, so as a result we drew from both punk and metal cultures to create our thrash."

Ellefson says Megadeth will play "Countdown..." in its entirety on the forthcoming anniversary tour.

"Fans get to hear deep-cut album tracks instead of just the singles or the more popular songs," he said. "We usually warm up the set with a few classics to get everyone in the mood, and then we finish with a couple classics so everyone goes away with the memory of those songs in their heads."

Meanwhile, Mustaine himself reflects on the album fondly.

"When I listen to it, I think, 'What was I reading then? What were we going through?' Take the chorus of 'Symphony Of Destruction'. I found a martial arts instructor I liked, and I started training with him," he said. "You finish karate and go have sushi, right? I wrote on the back of the receipt from the sushi restaurant, 'My head explodes. My brain corrodes.' That's where it started."

Do you agree that Mustaine invented thrash? What do you think of "Countdown..." 20 years after its release? Share your thoughts in the comments.

201 comments sorted by best / new / date

    He is just one of the inventors, but he isn't the only one.
    Well said, this article sounds like another UG riling up the masses. We won't fall for it! As with everything great, no one man can take credit.
    I wouldn't put the invention of trash metal down to Dave but he was certain one of it's leading pioneers.
    There's a reason why he said it. There's a reason why Scott Ian said something similar. Although Dave and Metallica were NOT the inventors of thrash metal, they surely brought it to the masses. Mustaine was responsible for giving inspiration to guitarists back then to emulate what he was doin on the guitar. These guitarists went on to form thrash bands and became huge successes. One of these was Kerry King who formed Slayer. My only request to all of you is: Please don't comment on this issue as if you were there then. If you do, it just makes you look like an idiot.
    Lemmy did it.
    Venom did it. Motorhead were always a little more hard rock than metal.
    Might as well say that Mercyful Fate invented Thrash too. And Queen, and so on. Truly we must have at least a few things to define Thrash Metal, so I'll come up with some qualifiers that I think can be seen as general to the genre - 1)In order to be Thrash, it must have high tempos at some point. 2)In order to be Thrash, it must also have some form of chugging riff (this is from Punk, the palm muted rhythmic riff) 3)In order to be Thrash, it has to have some emphasis on guitar in a technical manner, such as the guitar style featured in NWOBHM By those standards, I think Venom and Motorhead aren't quite fast enough to be Thrash Metal. I have to hand it to Metallica with Dave Mustaine, they were pretty much the true originators of the genre. Venom just isn't Thrash enough to be the founders, it's like calling Slayer the founder of Death Metal. And I think that Dave definitely contributed a lot to Metallica's early sound and aggression, so there may not be a true single inventor of Thrash, but James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine were probably the most important people to Thrash's early development.
    Watch this and tell me it isn't thrash metal.
    It isn't called trash metal.
    All thrash descends from Symptom of the Universe by Black Sabbath IMO
    Why not from Zeppelin's Communication Breakdown? The riff is even played faster. Symptom is no more thrash than Breakdown. The whole song is mid-paced - that's not thrash.
    That's pretty much spot on. It has other influences as well but that's one of the most obvious ones there is.
    A far better example in my opinion. Joel McIver considers this song to be the first thrash metal song ever, and I agree with him.
    You can trace thrash's roots back to Chuck Berry and, if you dig deeper, to Mozart
    WUT? Motrhead is not fast enough to be thrash? Have you ever happened to listen to it live? The studio versions aren't quite as killers as the live versions but saying that Motrhead is too slow is nothing but bollocks. Animal, Motrhead's drummer can hit the bass faster with one foot than Lars will ever do with two feet... Also I don't think that the NWOBHM is very good argument. At least I can't really find similarities between Metallica and Judas Priest or Megadeth and Iron Maiden.
    Although I as well consider Motrhead a rock n roll band, not thrash metal or any metal because again there are very few similarities. Motrhead is ideologically pretty close to Ramones, they just don't have the "punk" lyrics. But if in Big 4 tour Lemmy is announced to be the father of metal I'll buy it.
    There are plenty of similarities thrash bands have with Judas Priest, Angel Witch, Blitzkrieg, etc. I mean, a lot of Judas Priest songs aren't great examples of influence but songs like The Sentinel probably are. Iron Maiden probably had more influence on power metal than thrash. Venom had influence on thrash too, but also black.
    I know. He didn't do it on purpose, but it wouldn't exist without him. He, Lemmy, refers to Motorhead as a Rock and Roll band.
    This does not deserves so many downvotes, does it? I mean, Motorhead isn't even remotely thrash metal but they were pretty fast for their time... and also a big influence for most thrash bands.
    I agree. Influencing a new genre is not the same as creating it. A few songs out of a large catologue does not justify creating a genre either. I don't get why this is so difficult for people to grasp.
    Symptom of the Universe... Black Sabbath
    Was gonna mention this. Albeit the acoustic jazz ending, it's one of the thrashiest riffs out there too this day.
    if metallica can do acoustic sections and classical and still be thrash theres no reason that an acoustic jazz ending should make a black sabbath song any less thrash(to be fair jazz is the antithesis of punk but classical's even worse in that regard).
    No Venom
    Why the dislikes? Face facts, this guy is right. Venom were there first.
    Venom isn't trash. Trash is a U.S.-based type of metal, and Venom came from the U.K. Venom just influenced it.
    That's a dumb response. So I suppose all the thrash bands who aren't from the US are not thrash now. Check yo self before yo wreck yo self
    We're talking about the origin of Trash. ORIGIN. I go to Texas A&M University, and I'm in a class right now that studies all this shit. But I guess my professor with a PhD in music is wrong.
    Do they teach you to spell at Texas A&M? Get your professor on here, so I can explain to him that when you play music at the border...you can here it on the other side of the invisible line.
    Josh Reubenking
    You keep saying "trash." Why are you reffering to the shitty mainstream artists that we call "trash"? You mean THRASH. The good shit.
    yeah and the ORIGIN of the genre was in the UK, like nearly every other kind of metal.....
    Apparently I'm not making myself clear. Heavy Metal came from the U.K., yes. Heavy Metal includes Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Judas Priest, Venom, etc. THRASH is a spin off of heavy metal. It was influenced by heavy metal U.K. bands such as Venom, but thrash is louder, faster, and heavier than heavy metal. And it originated out of the U.S. The Big Four is the prime example of thrash. And Josh Reubenkin, sorry I don't mean "trash." I just kept misspelling it. I wasn't trying to call it shitty music.
    I see you're a Gibson guy. I have a Gibson Les Paul Studio. I put some EMG's in it, scratched off Made In USA, scratched in Made In Canada. Now I have a brand new type of guitar!!!!!
    Wrong. Thrash is a mix of British Heavy Metal and Punk, which originated in the UK. Without bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and so on, Thrash wouldn't exist. It wouldn't exist without Exploited, Addicts, and other punk bands. Thrash was invented in the UK but became most popular in the US, as do most music genres.
    link no1
    By this logic no metal outside of Britan is actually metal...
    man, just give the poor guy a break, I understood right away that he meant that thrash was US based because it originated as a genre in the US, not that it was exclusive to the US about the topic, I think that Dave was a major force behind the development of thrash, and quite possibly, the most important; whether or not you are a megadeth fan is unimportant, the guy was there from the beginning
    Obama FTW
    Great CD first off, but what does it matter if Dave actually did invent thrash? There are hundreds of genres out there.
    There is never one inventor of a certain style. Ever heard the expression "every new idea is just a combination of two old ones"?
    No, but his guitar playing did influence 3 of the 'Big 4' bands. Lets not forget Kerry King was in Megadeth.
    And that King has stated being a big fan of Mustaine's solos in the early Metallica days.
    it's always the same, who invented pop? I dunno, but I sure know the beatles made pop, who invented electric guitar? dunno but Jimi Hendrix made electric guitar, who made thrash? dunno but Mustaine in tallica made Thrash... props for venom though
    Dave Mustaine: A Thrash Metal Pioneer i'm glad enough to call him that. i'd love to call him the "inventor", but that's probably going a bit far.
    wow ... the majority of people here are so delusional, it's sad. Mustaine was not the "creative force behind Metallica". He helped write a couple songs on their first album (he was in the band, he should deserve special props for contributing). That automatically means he was the creative force? Did Mustaine have anything to do with Ride the Lightning or Master of Puppets? Mustaine is an amazing guitarist and a superb musician. But anyone that puts him infront of James Hetfield as the "creator of Metal" is a ****ing retard.
    He co-wrote four songs on Kill em All and two on Ride the Lightning. It's kinda funny how they get pretty boring after that too.
    Dave actually co-wrote 2 of the songs on Ride the Lightning(the title track and The Call of Cthulu).
    i meant he shouldN'T deserve special props for contributing on a couple of songs
    If there's money to be had, Gene Simmons will say he did and sue everyone else that plays it.
    Any musician who listened to ACCEPT could have invented thrash( if ACCEPT themselves didn't). Restless and Wild was the last "pre-thrash" album to come out.
    Thrash came out of the Bay Area. Venom may get credit for the sound, but the label definitely started in the US, just like speed metal and death metal. Same era too. And yes, at the time Mustaine got most of the credit for it. Even having to explain this makes me feel old. And the fact that this is now going to get downvoted by 800 kids that weren't even there makes me feel even older.
    uhhhh.....no. Is there an article about Dave Mustaine at least once a week on this sight or is it just me?
    Black Sabbath invented Thrash Metal in 1975, lol. And for the first full on Thrash band, Overkill as they came out in 1980. So no, Dave didn't create Thrash, there were bands before him, before Metallica. And Tom Araya of Slayer credits Anvil for creating Thrash. Many could also argue that Venom created Thrash as well.
    Not even close! Black Sabbath's "Symptom of the Universe" and Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy" were two of the very first thrash-styled songs, close to a decade before Venom and Motorhead even formed. Almost every metal genre can be traced back to a song in Sabbath's back catalogue haha \m/
    Who care who made it. Lets just be happy it`s been invented and lets all shut up and enjoy it!
    Judas Priest - Rapid Fire Rainbow - Kill the King fore bearers to thrash...
    Dave Mustaine: A Thrash Metal Pioneer i'm glad enough to call him that. i'd love to call him the "inventor", but that's probably going a bit far.
    If dave mustaine invented thrash, then dark funeral invented black metal and blink 182 invented punk.
    Its debatable who or what did something that would pain the 'thrash' picture, and ultimately become a genre. Most people credit Venom, including both Hetfield and Mustaine. But I'd have to somewhat disagree with Ellefson. If Kill em All is the start of Thrash, you must definitely credit James Hetfield before anyone. The most architypal sound of Thrash metal is Hetfield's downpicking, whether you like it or not.
    I didn't really feel like many of the songs on Kill 'em All were that thrashy. Metal, sure, but I feel like Fight Fire with Fire was the first song that I would truly call thrash. It was much faster than anything they had done before. I don't know. What do you guys think?
    It was much faster, yeah, but I'd say plenty of songs on Kill Em All were thrash. Metal Militia comes to mind.
    Endlessly debatable, especially if you were there at the time. That definitely give Ellefson's view much more credit. Still, I wouldn't say that "thrash" was invented by a single person.
    Thrash is U.S. only? Care to explain Kreator or Sabat are then?
    Queen's song 'Stone Cold Crazy' was one of the first thrash songs
    To be honest anyone who claims one person, or one band created any genre is a complete idiot in my opinion. Genres are created by scenes and all sorts of combinations of things. Tone, Style, Clothing, Techniques, Instrumental combinations...all from different areas. Then again there are a lot of idiots around that probably think genres can be created by one person, I guess I will see with the down votes.