Dave Mustaine suggests that Metallica and Mötley Crüe were similar bands

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Dave Mustaine, the iconic frontman of the thrash metal powerhouse Megadeth and Metallica’s original lead guitarist, delves into the intricate distinctions between thrash and glam metal, challenging the notion that Metallica and Mötley Crüe are worlds apart.

In a candid interview with Heavy Consequence, Mustaine sheds light on the evolving landscape of metal genres, emphasizing that during its inception, metal encompassed diverse factions and splinters. According to Mustaine, at the core of it all, they were united under the umbrella of heavy metal.

With a touch of sarcasm, he playfully critiques the emergence of increasingly specific subgenres within metal: “And then, you started hearing people called the power metal trio, and then there was, ‘Well, heavy metal’s not good enough because you’re thrash metal.’ ‘What’s thrash metal? I’m f****** playing all over the place. OK. We’re not trash, we’re speed metal/’ ‘What the fuck is speed metal?’ ‘We’re faster than thrash.'”

Mustaine argues that the term “metal” has become more of a qualifier, indicating a certain heaviness in music, irrespective of its original genre roots.

Delving into the comparison between glam and heavy metal, Mustaine cites examples from Mötley Crüe and Metallica to underscore his perspective: “You can’t really say that the first Mötley Crüe record didn’t have some metal tracks on it – because ‘Take Me to the Top’ or ‘Live Wire’ had the same kind of real fast right-hand picking like James and I were doing.”

In Mustaine’s estimation, had thrash metal pioneers Metallica recorded those tracks, they would have been “heavy as f****.” He concedes that they might have retained their similarity, as at the time, many artists were experimenting with cover songs.

Mustaine goes on to dissect the iconic glam look, characterized by heels, leather, makeup, earrings, and hairspray, asserting that this flamboyant style comprised the quintessential rock star aesthetic: “That’s somebody’s impression of what a rock star is supposed to look like. I promise you, if you go up to a guy who’s dressed up like that, who has that kind of an image, and, and you say, ‘What is this image that you’re going for? What would it be described as?’ They would say they’re a rock star.” In essence, Mustaine challenges preconceived notions about metal genres, highlighting the interconnectedness and shared elements that exist within the diverse spectrum of heavy music.

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