Megadeth bandleader Dave Mustaine feels bad about the way he's treated Kirk Hammett, the guitarist who replaced him in Metallica after he was fired in 1983. Over the decades, Mustaine has openly beefed with his former Metallica bandmates — specifically frontman James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich —but he now thinks that the ways in which he's "poked fun" at Hammett were unfair and undeserved.
In a new interview with Guitar World, Mustaine was asked if he thinks the flak Hammett has gotten for his solos on Metallica's new album, 72 Seasons, is deserved. Mustaine revealed that he hasn't heard 72 Seasons yet, but the Megadeth main man did have some opinions on the way Hammett has performed the solos Mustaine wrote during his time in Metallica.
"It depends on which solos you're talking about," Mustaine said. "Jokes aside, I've always kind of poked fun at Kirk. And unfairly so, as he never did anything to me.
"Whenever I felt singled out, picked on, or antagonized by James or Lars, it was really easy to pick on Kirk. But the truth is Kirk did me an honor by trying to play my solos on those early songs the way he did."
"I think that some people would have just started over again," Mustained continued. "So, I thought it was honorable that Kirk took my solos and did his best to play them as I did. That couldn't have been easy.
"But as far as his new solos on the new Metallica album, I haven't heard them, so I can't comment. But I will say that I think it's sad how quickly some people can turn on people.
"There was a time when Kirk won every guitar contest in the world, and I don't think he's gotten any better or worse as a player. He's always been really good. Kirk was a good player when he was in Exodus. And he's been steady the entire time he's been in Metallica. But does that mean Kirk Hammett is Dave Mustaine? No. And is Dave Mustaine Kirk Hammett? Also, no."