The 5 Bands Dave Mustaine Picked As Some Of His Favorites

The 5 Bands Dave Mustaine Picked As Some Of His Favorites

Before the world knew him as the iconic frontman and lead guitarist of Megadeth, Dave Mustaine embarked on a tumultuous journey through the realms of heavy metal. From his early years as a budding musician to his pivotal role in the birth of thrash metal, Mustaine’s musical style underwent a metamorphosis, ultimately shaping the sound that would revolutionize the genre. In this article, we will inform you about the bands that Dave Mustaine picked as some of his favorites and how they influenced his music.

Even in his early years, Dave Mustaine possessed an unyielding drive and an insatiable hunger for musical expression. As a young guitarist, he devoted countless hours to honing his craft, practicing with unwavering dedication. Mustaine’s relentless pursuit of mastery allowed him to develop exceptional technical proficiency and a deep understanding of the instrument.

Mustaine‘s entry into the thriving metal scene of the early 1980s marked a pivotal turning point in his musical journey. Joining forces with Metallica as their lead guitarist, he played a crucial role in shaping the band’s early sound.

While Mustaine‘s time with Metallica proved to be short-lived, it served as a catalyst for his artistic evolution. Fuelled by a burning desire to forge his own musical path, Mustaine formed Megadeth. His playing took on a more refined and polished edge, blending intricate melodic lines with ferocious speed and a relentless rhythmic assault. His searing solos became a hallmark of Megadeth‘s sound, captivating audiences and solidifying his position as a guitar virtuoso.

However, let’s learn the bands that Dave Mustaine named some of his favorites of all time.

The 5 Bands That Dave Mustaine Named Some Of His Favorites

Like many aspiring guitarists, Mustaine drew inspiration from a diverse range of musical influences that contributed to the formation of his unique style. From the raw energy of punk rock to the intricate guitar work of classic rock and the aggressive intensity of early heavy metal, Mustaine absorbed a wide array of musical genres, distilling them into his own sonic concoction. Over the years, he revealed his influences in various interviews. So, it is time to learn about the artists that influenced Dave Mustaine and his musical view.

#5. Judas Priest

One of the bands that Dave Mustaine picked as his favorites, Judas Priest
One of the bands that Dave Mustaine picked as his favorites, Judas Priest – image: Justin Borucki

Judas Priest emerged in the late 1960s, but it was their seminal release, British Steel, in 1980 that catapulted them into the metal pantheon. With this album, the band established their signature sound, fusing together elements of hard rock, blues, and progressive influences. From the thunderous riffs to the soaring vocals, Judas Priest‘s musical style showcased a perfect balance of aggression and melody, setting them apart from their contemporaries.

Judas Priest‘s musical experimentation and boundary-pushing nature played a pivotal role in the evolution of metal subgenres. Their early albums, such as Sad Wings of Destiny and Stained Class, incorporated elements of progressive rock and dark themes, laying the groundwork for the emergence of progressive metal and the more extreme subgenres that followed. Judas Priest‘s influence reverberated throughout the metal landscape, inspiring generations of musicians to explore new sonic territories.


Dave Mustaine and his band Megadeth were two of those who Judas Priest and its sound influenced. During his interview with Louder Sound, Mustaine showed his passion for Priest‘s early album, Sad Wings of Destiny. He touched on the album’s influence on him.

“When it comes to classic heavy metal, Judas Priest’s ‘Sad Wings of Destiny’ is definitely one of the all-time great opuses,” Mustaine says. “Hearing Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing’s unison guitar playing and hearing Rob Halford let rip … who sings like that? Nobody.”

Moreover, Mustaine also praised Judas Priest members during his appearance at BBC’s The Rock Show With Johnnie Walker, saying: “I had no idea how much Glenn Tipton and Judas Priest had influenced my guitar playing until I recently covered ‘Delivering The Goods’ with my band, Megadeth, and got to go over all those guitar riffs again. It was really revealing to me how much Glenn’s playing had influenced me.”

#4. AC/DC

AC/DC band – image: Atlantic Records

Dave Mustaine also named AC/DC one of his favorite bands. At the core of AC/DC‘s musical DNA were the Young brothers, Angus and Malcolm. Their partnership, rooted in brotherly camaraderie, formed the backbone of the band’s sound. Malcolm’s rhythmic guitar work provided a solid foundation, while Angus’s electrifying lead guitar style infused their music with a fierce intensity. The interplay between their distinct guitar tones became the hallmark of AC/DC‘s sonic identity.

AC/DC burst onto the scene in the 1970s with a sound that epitomized the raw essence of rock ‘n’ roll. Their music exuded an electrifying energy, blending elements of blues, hard rock, and punk influences. The band’s early albums, such as High Voltage, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, and Let There Be Rock, showcased their penchant for high-octane, guitar-driven tracks characterized by infectious hooks, powerful chord progressions, and rebellious attitude.


In 2019, Dave Mustaine recalled hearing AC/DC for the first time. The first song he listened to was the Let There Be Rock album by AC/DC, and according to him, it was life-changing.

“The first time I put on ‘Let There Be Rock’ I was looking at the back cover and wondering ‘What the Hell’s up with that dude’s lip?’ But hearing the music, my life totally changed,” Mustaine told Classic Rock. “To me it sounded like something was wrong, like it was too close to my face.”

#3. Led Zeppelin

image: Pinterest

Led Zeppelin was formed in 1968. Rooted in the blues, the band infused its music with a sense of raw power and a desire for sonic exploration. Drawing inspiration from blues legends such as Robert Johnson and Willie Dixon, Led Zeppelin incorporated bluesy guitar licks, soulful vocals, and a deep groove into their early compositions.

Led Zeppelin‘s music was characterized by dynamic song structures that defied conventions. Their compositions often traversed multiple moods and genres within a single piece, taking listeners on epic musical journeys. Jimmy Page’s guitar virtuosity became a defining element of Led Zeppelin‘s musical identity. His mastery of the instrument combined technical proficiency with a deep understanding of melody and dynamics.


Furthermore, Robert Plant’s vocal prowess soared above the musical landscape, capturing the hearts of listeners with his dynamic range and emotive delivery. His iconic wails and soaring melodies became the stuff of legend, imprinting Led Zeppelin‘s music with an enduring sense of majesty.

In 2020, picking Led Zeppelin as one of his favorite bands, Mustaine said: “I would love to look at stuff with AC/DC or Led Zeppelin. Those are my two favorite bands for listening, music-wise — not No. 1 and No. 2, but in like the top five.”

Dave Mustaine also praised Led Zeppelin‘s Presence while picking the albums that changed his life, saying: “‘Presence’ is the one that came out when I was becoming a fan, because I was too young when the earlier records came out.”

#2. Motörhead


Motörhead‘s power lay in the formidable talents of its members, forming a triple threat that would define their sound. Lemmy’s aggressive bass playing and gritty vocals served as the backbone of the band’s sonic assault. Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor’s thunderous drumming provided a relentless driving force that propelled their music forward. Moreover, with Fast Eddie Clarke’s scorching guitar riffs and searing solos, the band created an unyielding wall of sound that became their signature.

The band’s early years laid the foundation for a musical legacy that continues to resonate to this day. Their unrelenting energy, their unapologetic volume, and their uncompromising commitment to their own unique brand of rock ‘n’ roll set them apart as pioneers. Motörhead‘s influence can be heard in countless bands across genres, and their impact on the world of heavy metal remains profound.


In 2016, Dave Mustaine spoke to Red Carpet News TV, where he admitted Motörhead influenced many people. He also shared his thoughts on the band’s sound.

“Motörhead influenced so many people,” Mustaine comments. “And the thing, I think, most people forget is that Motörhead was like a really loud, heavy blues band. Their music was very soulful and very heavy, but it wasn’t like super… like the Swedish riff-lord bands and stuff like that.”

#1. Diamond Head

Dave Mustaine's favorite band
Dave Mustaine’s favorite band – image: Pinterest

In the vast tapestry of rock music, there are bands whose influence far outweighs their commercial success. Diamond Head, hailing from the heart of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement, is one such band. Despite their relatively underground status, Diamond Head‘s musical style and pioneering approach left an indelible mark on the genre.

Diamond Head‘s lyrical content delved into a wide range of themes, often tackling social and political issues with thought-provoking introspection. Their lyrics went beyond the typical heavy metal tropes, exploring topics such as war, environmental concerns, and personal introspection. Diamond Head‘s storytelling approach added depth and substance to their music, elevating their songs beyond mere anthems into profound expressions of human experience.


According to Dave Mustaine, Diamond Head has a special place in his heart. In early 2023, Mustaine praised Diamond Head‘s singer and guitarists, naming them an influential band.

“Diamond Head probably one of the most influential bands in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, if only for the fact that they were in the right place at the right time,” Dave told SiriusXM. “I thought they had a great singer, and I thought the guitar riffs were amazing.”

Dave Mustaine’s Favorite Bands:

  • Led Zeppelin
  • AC/DC
  • Diamond Head
  • Motörhead Judas Priest

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