Despite MEGADETH guitarist Dave Mustaine's close links to the METALLICA camp and undeniable contributions to the latter act's early sound, former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted has never been particularly impressed with Mustaine's post-METALLICA offerings. In a recent interview with the Dallas-based Harder Beat, Newsted refers to MEGADETH as a “watered-down METALLICA” and implies, in no uncertain terms, that MEGADETH were, in his opinion, nothing more than a pale imitation of Mustaine's former group.“I like MEGADETH,” Newsted told Harder Beat. “God bless MEGADETH. David Ellefson — one of the best metal bassists there's ever been. OK, so there's respect there. No problem. And the same with Dave Mustaine. But MEGADETH was a watered-down METALLICA. “I think it's very possible that [Mustaine] wrote those riffs [for METALLICA's early material] when they were in a basement, and they made it into songs and stuff like that. That's what happens in an early stage of a band. But he lasted 10 months in METALLICA. METALLICA is now in their 21st year. God bless Dave once again, but he was not METALLICA. They were good, but they weren't as good as METALLICA. What would happen if I put out a rap/rock record or a watered-down METALLICA? That would just be so stupid and predictable.” To read the entire Harder Beat interview with Jason Newsted, click here.