Dave Mustaine Claims Thrash and Glam Weren’t All That Different: ‘Look at Mötley Crüe and Metallica’s First Two Albums’ tt

“‘Take Me to the Top’ or ‘Live Wire’ had the same kind of real fast right hand picking like James Hetfield and I were doing.”

Dave Mustaine Claims Thrash and Glam Weren't All That Different: 'Look at Mötley Crüe and Metallica's First Two Albums'

Dave Mustaine argued that thrash and glam/hair metal aren’t as removed from each other as people think.Everyone knows that thrash and hair metal mix like oil and water… or do they? Well, according to Megadeth’s own Dave Mustaine, the answer might not be as clear-cut as common heavy metal knowledge presents it.

And not only that, but Megadave argues that Mötley Crüe’s 1981 debut album “Too Fast for Love” featured some of the same tricks that he and James Hetfield were doing in Metallica at the time.

Speaking to Heavy Consequence in a new interview, Dave noted that there were indeed a myriad of movements and sub-genres in the heavy music space of the early ’80s, even though, as he notes, they were all metal. In an apparent effort to point out the absurdity of such fragmentation, Mustaine said:

“The whole thing with glam and thrash at the time, metal had so many different factions and splinters that had taken place in the very beginning. We were all heavy 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 fucking playing all over the place.’ ‘OK. We’re not thrash, we’re speed metal.’ ‘What the fuck is speed metal?’ ‘We’re faster than thrash.’ ‘OK. Well, we ain’t thrash or speed…we’re black metal!’ ‘Well, what the fuck is black metal?’ ‘Well, we talk about the dark side.’ ‘OK. Well, we ain’t black. We’re white metal!’ ‘Well, what the fuck is white metal?’ ‘Well we talk about the light.’ ‘OK. So, what about, uh…death metal? What about all the other types of metal? Outlaw metal, grind metal, punk metal?”

Delving deeper into the topic, Mustaine went on to deconstruct the meaning of not just “metal”, but also “pop” as a music denominator:

“Y’know, it’s like metal has become a qualifying word just to signify a certain heaviness of music regardless of what original genre it is they come from. And I think if you can have people say bands like Blink-182 is like alternative metal. Or you see bands like Green Day, alternative metal. Pearl Jam, alternative metal.

“But are they? They’re pop bands. And what does pop mean? Is that a bad word? Well, some people think so. But what does it really mean? Well, pop is short for ‘popular.’ So if Megadeth had a really successful record with the population, it would be a popular record – like ‘Countdown to Extinction’ was.

“‘Countdown’ is a triple platinum record and we’re probably going to be seeing some certification for that in the near future. And that was a popular album, which would make it a ‘pop album.’ Do you get what I’m saying? How weird all these terms are.”

Circling back to the thrash vs glam/hair argument, Mustaine pointed out that there’s more than a few similarities between Metallica and Mötley Crüe:

“So, what do I think between glam and between heavy metal? Let’s boil it down to its least common denominator. Let’s look at the first two albums by Mötley Crüe and Metallica.

“You can’t really say that the first Mötley Crüe record [‘Too Fast for Love’] 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 [Hetfield] and I were doing.

“And when Vince [Neil] was first singing and James was first singing, their voice was very similar in the registry where it was at. They both sang really high.”

He added:

“But I think that if you would have taken those two songs and had Metallica record them, they would have been heavy as fuck. Probably would have stayed pretty similar because we were doing a lot of copy songs.

“And so, when you take a band that is dressing up, wearing high heels, wearing leather, wearing makeup, using hairspray, belts and chains and big hoop earrings and jewelry and fingernails painted and stuff like that, and start getting way into mascara, lipstick, foundation, all that kinda shit, 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. And I think if you go to a little kid and you said, ‘What is this?’ They would say, ‘You’re a rock star.’ Not that ‘You’re glam.'”

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