Q&A With Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine
Recent news that Slayer will be packing it in after this year's tour has metal fans getting nostalgic. In an effort to get a feel for where other pioneers of metal are at, Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine sat down to chat about where the band is headed and the state of metal's Big Four.
Guest post by William Glanz of SoundExchange
When Slayer announced January 22 that it plans to hang it up after this year’s tour, we began to get a bit nostalgic and wonder about the future of metal’s Big Four – Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth and Metallica.
With Slayer packing it in, will the others retire, too? We reached out to the musicians who helped make the metal genre what it is today and asked what they thought of Slayer’s announcement and what their own plans include.
Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine was the first to get on the phone with us. Speaking from his home outside of Nashville, Tenn., Mustaine talked about Slayer’s announcement, Megadeth’s 35-year anniversary, the band’s current lineup and whether another Big Four concert will happen.
Mustaine – whose band has sold more than 38 million albums, earned 12 GRAMMY® nominations and won a GRAMMY® – also mentioned that Thrashville, the management company he runs with his son, has signed metal bands Diamond Head and Dead Label. And he’s still promoting A Tout le Monde, a Belgian-style saison beer made by Canadian brewer Unibroue that bears the name of a Megadeth single.
SoundExchange:Slayer plans to retire from touring, so we’re wondering if the rest of the Big Four will retire. Does Megadeth have plans to do anything other than to continue recording and touring?
Mustaine: You mean like open a theme park?
SoundExchange: Do you plan to keep on going?
Mustaine: For now, I’m completely healthy, and the band just came off a successful campaign. We’re all getting along really well, musically and personally. I don’t see any reason to think about [retirement] right now, unless someone gets burnt out or gets hurt. I don’t really want to go through another lineup change at this point in my life. It’s going to be super hard to replace any of these three guys. Not just as musicians.
I’m not going to be doing this when I’m as old as the Stones, but if you don’t look like you should be on life support, then flaunt it.
SoundExchange: So, you’re loving the current lineup?
Mustaine: Let’s hope that it’s the last lineup. And loving them in a very platonic, agape kind of way, sure. We are really, really close.
I’ve had up and downs with [David] Ellefson over the years… but we’re getting along great right now. Dave has his own stuff that he does. We all are really excited. Kiko [Loureiro] and I are getting together in the next couple of weeks to start writing. When the time is right, we’ll bring Dirk [Verbeuren] in. Once we have all the songs ready to go… we’ll bring David Ellefson out and see what he’s got up his sleeve.
SoundExchange: Talk about the band’s incredible milestone. Megadeth will celebrate its 35th anniversary this year. Did you have any idea that you would still be at it 35 years later?
Mustaine: I didn’t think I’d make it to 35 years old, so this is a surprise for me. A pleasant surprise. If you do life right, you’re going to mellow in your old age and find that there’s a lot more good in the world than bad.
There’s a stupid saying that life is like a roll of toilet paper – it speeds up at the end. It’s getting faster right now for some weird reason. A week seems like a couple of days. I am worried about that because I have so much left that I want to do, but I’ve had a great life.
SoundExchange: Can the Big Four pull off another concert before Slayer retires from touring, and would you support another Big Four concert?
Mustaine: That’s not up to me. Everybody on the planet knows that’s up to Lars Ulrich because Lars runs Metallica and they are the ones that are in control of this, which doesn’t seem fair since the moniker [the Big Four] suggests that we’re equal.
If they say ‘no,’ then there’s no Big Four show. I think the guys in Slayer and Anthrax and my guys are dedicated enough to the metal community that if there was a Big Four show… we would do it, even if there was a prior commitment, because I think everybody would understand these are momentous concerts.
Any one Big Four show, to a metal fan, [is like] Woodstock to rock fans of the ‘70s. It’s where they celebrate life, meet people and fall in love and do all that great stuff that happens when people get together.
SoundExchange: And reconnect, because it’s been a few years since the last Big Four concert.
Mustaine: Right. It’s been a long time, and if they don’t do it I would love to do something with Slayer just out of deference, out of respect for them as people, what they stand for and what they’ve done for our community. There will never be another Slayer.
SoundExchange: Do you think there are any rising metal bands that will fill the void left behind by Slayer’s retirement?
Mustaine: No. Never. There will be bands that will be influenced by Slayer. That will sound like Slayer. But there will never be another Slayer because Tom [Araya] is one of a kind. So is Kerry [King]. There are dark bands… lots of bands that talk about murderers and war and the occult and the dark side. But no one is really as prolific as Tom.
SoundExchange: Is there anyone in the industry – no matter what genre they’re in – that you would like to collaborate with?
Mustaine: The person who immediately comes to mind is Jimmy Page, because he is one of my heroes. I would have loved to work with [AC/DC guitarist] Malcolm [Young, who passed away in November 2017].
SoundExchange: Do you have a vision of what your next album will look like?
Mustaine: Sure… my vision… I see there’s a bar and I see that I’m running towards it, and I have to jump pretty high to get over it, but that’s my intention. I think we can do as good as Dystopia again, and I’m hoping we can better it. When you make a new record you always think it’s the greatest thing you’ve ever done, and then you get a few records down the road and you’re like ‘that was such a dumb idea.’
You go through ups and downs. It’s cyclical. The music business is finicky. I remember when Countdown to Extinction came out [in 1992], and we could do no wrong. Then I said one thing on MTV. I mixed up two songs I was introducing. One was supposed to be aired on TV, and the next one was off-camera. It wasn’t going to be aired. I accidently flipped them. Done. Done.
I saw this white-haired congressman talking a couple of days ago who said it’s not about winning all the time. It’s about finishing with integrity. I thought ‘there’s a guy who has his priorities in order.’
If MetallicA doesn’t want to do the Big four they should at least let the other three do it and maybe add Exodus.
Totally dude do another clash of the titans
I WATCHED THE BIG FOUR A FEW YEARS AGO. IDK WHITCH ONE IF THEIR WERE MORE THAN ONE. BUT ITS THE ONE THAT LARS LOOKS LIKE A LITTLE HAIRLESS MIDGIT. I HAVE TO SAY. I LOVED METALLICA MUSIC ALL THE WAY THROUGH TO JUSTICE. AT THAT POINT. THEY TOOK A TURN AWAY FROM WHAT FANS WERE PROUD TO SHOVE IN PEOPLES FACE. THE MUSIC WE LOVED TO TURN ALL THE WAY UP. EVEN THOUGH WE WERE RIDICULED AND CAST DOWN. PEOPLE WOULD SAY SHIT LIKE”U CANT EVEN HEAR THE WORDS TO THAT SHIT- AND FUCKING HAIRNETS. I FUCKING HATED HAIRNETS. THANK GOD I DONT HAVE LONG HAIR ANYMORE. BUT BACK THEN IT WAS MANDATORY FOR US METAL HEADS TO TAKE THE BRUTALITY BC THE GAY LA MUSIC PANSIES COULD GET AWAY WITH HAVING LONG HAIR. THE BIG FOUR. ALREADY IS THE BIG THREE. DOES ANYONE ELSE AGREE THAT THE HEADLINE PERFORMANCE ON THAT DVD WAS SOOO BAD I COULDNT SIT THROUGH TWO FULL SONGS. I KNOW JAMES IS WOUNDED. AND THAT SUCKS!REPLACE JAMES LARS!! U ALWAYS TELL HIM U R GOING TO. DO IT . U REPLACED EVERYBODY ELSE IN THE BAND. A COUPLE TIMES. U FUCKED UP LOSING DAVE. U IDIOT! ANYWAY. THE BIG THREE KICKED FUCKING ASS. I STILL THINK MEGADETH WAS THE BEST SHOW. BUT MEGADETH IS MY FAVORITE. EVEN LARS SAID IT.WHEN THEY USHERED HIM OUT OF THE BAND AND ON THE BUS.JUST BE GLAD U HAD A FOLLOWING BEFORE DETH GOT STARTED. BC THEY WOULD HAVE LEFT UR COASTERS SITTING ON THE SHELF . JUST SAYING. METALLICA SUUUUUCKED ON THE BIG FOUR DVD. AND I AGREE WITH DAVE WHEN LARS ASKED HIM TO COME AND TALK ABOUT THE PROBLEMS METALLICA WAS HAVING BECAUSE JAMES CANT SING. IT WASNT ALCOHOL OR DRUGS . HE JUST CANT SING LIKE HE USED TO . HE SOUNDS LIKE “ELVIS FELL OFF THE BUS” DAVE SAID ” IM GLAD YOUR HAVING THESE PROBLEMS. I BEEN GOING THROUGH THIS SHIT SINCE TH BEGINING. AND U SENT HIS ASS TO REHAB!!!. U FUCKS PUT ME ON A BUS. NO SECOND CHANCE NO THANK YOU . NOTHING BUT A BIG F U. !!!! I AGREE 100% FUCK THAT . BULL SHIT.MEGADETH FUCKING BLOWS YOUR ASS OFF THE STAGE EVERY SHOW THATS WHY THEY DONT WANT TO DO THE SHOW. FUCKING IDIOTS.
I MISSED A POINT IN MY LAST COMMENT LARS ADMITTED”I KNOW WE DIDNT SHOW ANY RESPECT WHEN WE RUSHED DAVE TO HIS BUS RIDE OUT OF THE BAND. I WAS WORRIED ABOUT HIM. BUT I HAVE TO SAY HE STEPPED UP TO THE PLATE. HIT ONE OUT OF THE PARK WITH THE PEACE SELLS ALBUM.PRODUCED ONE OF THE BEST HEAVY METAL ALBUMS OF ALL TIME. ALSO I WOULDNT HAVE ADMITTED IT TO HIM BACK THEN . BUT ITS ONE OF MY PERSONAL FAVORITE ALBUMS . EVEN TODAY.” 2015 I THINK. 15 OR 16 . I REALLY BELIEVE THAT METALLICA HAD EVERY RIGHT TO REPLACE DAVE.I GUESS THEY COULDNT CONTROL HIM ON OR OFF STAGE. I MEAN HE WOULD HAVE LEFT THE BAND ANYWAY. BC HE ALWAYS DID HIS OWN SHOW. HIS SOLO STARTED WITH HIM SAYING ” IM THE REAL LEADER OF THE BAND. ” I KNOW MOTORHEAD SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN A ROYALTY CHECK FROM EVERY SINGLE METALLICA ALBUM RELEASED BEFORE SANDMAN. DAVE SAID “I COULD HAVE COPIED METALLICA WHEN THEY USED MY MUSIC ON THEIR ALBUM. BUT MEGADETH DOESNT SOUND ANYTHING LIKE METALLICA. AT ALL. ” THIS IS WHAT I HEAR IN THE MUSIC THEY MAKE. YOU GOT MOTORHEAD- SHARPEN IT UP A LITTLE YOU GOT -METALLICA. HANDS DOWN EVERY FUCKING SONG METALLICA HAS RELEASED THAT WAS KILLER. WAS A STRAIT COPY OF A MOTORHEAD SONG. EVERY FUCKING ONE OF THEM. THATS WHY JAMES AND LARS CANT PRODUCE ANYTHING WITH THE CAMERA ROLLING. BC THEY COPIED EVERYTHING . U CANT DO THAT ON CAMERA. AND THEY CANT DO IT AT ALL. I DID LIKE IT WHEN LARS TOLD JAMES THAT IF HE WASNT COMFORTABLE PLAYING MUSIC WITH HIM, HIT THE ROAD. HE SAID ” WHEN I LOOK AT YOU THESE DAYS. FUUUUUCK FUUUUCK THEN IN HIS FACE FUUUCK. U GOT METALLICA- YOU SHARPEN UP THE EDGE AND SHINE IT FOR AN HOUR AND THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW . BC DETH IS A VERSITILE SUPERIOR METAL BAND WITH EVERYTHING THAT EVERY METAL BAND STRIVES TO INCLUDE IN THIER SOUND. ” RAW POWER. REAL TALENT . HARD CORE. AND BALLS!.
Comments are closed.