Dave Mustaine Doubts Metallica Demo Tape Will Ever Be Released
Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine doesn’t believe the hoped-for release of the Metallica demo No Life ’Til Leather will ever happen.
The tape was recorded in July 1982, around nine months before Mustaine was kicked out the band and replaced by Kirk Hammett. Lars Ulrich had announced its first official release in 2015, but a year later said if had been postponed due to “unexpected difficulties on the legal side.”
“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Mustaine told Billboard in a new interview. “We talked about it a little bit, and there are certain things about the way Lars wants things to go down, and it’s just not going to happen. They want to say things happened one way, and it didn’t happen that way. I can’t go along with that. I can’t fabricate stuff.”
Mustaine previously said the release was to consist of 27 tracks, unseen pictures and “the whole enchilada,” but noted "talks broke down because Lars wanted credit on two songs. I wrote every note and word too. … I passed.”
In the new interview, he repeated his claim that he founded Megadeth as a reaction to his dismissal from Metallica. “For me, the reason that I wanted to keep soldiering on was revenge," he explained. "I wanted to prove to everybody that I could do what I could do. When I lost my job, having my former employers say that I wasn’t doing good, that really pissed me off, ’cuz it wasn’t true. I’m a good guitar player.”
Looking back on Megadeth’s beginnings, he hailed early members Chris Poland and Gar Samuelson for their work on the band's 1985 debut album Killing Is My Business … And Business Is Good. “Gar Samuelson being a jazz drummer gave our playing a super, super cool element that none of the other metal bands had,” he said. “It was great to be able to hold that over everybody else’s head because no one else could figure out what we were doing. We had energy, starts and stops, and so many gear shifts -- and that’s all attributed to the jazz element, which gave the music all these crazy dynamics that you would never get in a normal rock band’s drum track.”
An expanded version of that first album, subtitled The Final Kill, will be released next month.