Jesse Capps of RockConfidential.com recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
RockConfidential.com: With the release of “Super Collider” and being on a new record label, it seems you’re really anxious or even hungrier to beDave Mustaine and be in MEGADETH.
Mustaine: It feels good to be me right now. I still have moments where it’s kinda hard to get outta bed. [laughs] I enjoy my life. I’m going through a renaissance period right now with the band and it just feels like a second childhood. Especially with the record charting as high as it did. Metal is on the rise. I’m really excited about the times we’re living in. Unfortunately, metal music is popular when the world is kind of topsy-turvy, but hey — the world has been in kind of a fuck for a couple thousand years.
RockConfidential.com: I’ve noticed in a lot of interviews lately you’re always asked about the track “Super Collider” being a departure forMEGADETH. Any time an established songwriter or artist does something that breaks from their mold, it’s considered a risk. Do you remember the first song or album where you expanded on the MEGADETH style and were comfortable with the result and how it was received by the fans?
Mustaine: That would be “Countdown To Extinction”. We went into a more melodic vein after “Rust In Peace”. That didn’t hurt us and it was our biggest record ever. I think this record would have fit perfectly between “Countdown To Extinction” and “Youthanasia”.“Youthanasia” marks where we were getting pulled in another direction by the powers-that-be — change your logo, change your look, change your mascot and take him off the cover, slow the songs down. Marty Friedman [former MEGADETH guitarist] and I parted ways. The whole songwriting process started to fracture during “Youthanasia” and it was done after “Risk”. When you get to the point where you’re working with someone you like to write with and you just can’t make music together anymore, something’s happened. I wanted to play heavy music and they didn’t. As a good leader, you’re gonna want to have domestic tranquility and compromises. Compromising our musical direction — not compromising our integrity — hurt us. I said then we had to go back to our roots. I took some time to get back there but it’s like turning an ocean liner. You can turn the wheel to the left and you know you’re turning — it just takes a long time for that big ol’ sucker to turn around.
RockConfidential.com: You touch on several real-world, emotional parts of life on “Super Collider” — teenage pregnancy, drug addiction, a struggling economy, Alzheimer’s disease. With things like that combined with a 24-hour news cycle a person needs an outlet or we’ll all go nuts — you just happen to have your outlet with MEGADETH. How could anyone not be influenced by everything going on in the world today?
Mustaine: Well, if you’re drinking the Kool-Aid, you won’t get influenced by it. For anybody watching what’s going on, not just in our country but around the world, we’re living in some really difficult times. That’s what“Super Collider” is about. I reached a fork in the road with my onstage persona. Who I am on stage is not who I am off stage. Sometimes I’ll walk off stage and think, “Maybe I shouldn’t have said that.” Check your sources. Don’t believe anything you read and only half of what you see. Make your own educated decisions. You’ll feel a lot better about sharing what you believe. And honestly, about the political stuff — if you don’t vote, you can’t bitch.
RockConfidential.com: Do you sometimes feel you have an obligation to inform your fans of things you think are important?
Mustaine: There was a point where I felt that was my calling. My career and taking care of my family is really important to me. There are so many things to be talking about. For me to be pointing out the wrongs in politics — man, if I think I can make a difference I better pack a lunch. As far as singing about things that have happened to me, I have 100% experience with that, and this is what happened and this is how I feel. It’s more about, “Can you identify with that?” instead of saying, “This political party is doing this and this political party is doing that.” They’re really all the same. Heavy metal music is just punk rock with long hair. People don’t get that. People that aren’t metal fans don’t make the connection. I was watching a song by a band called HAVOK the other day and I was looking at the guy’s lyrics. Wow, I could have written those lyrics. It’s the same kind of stuff I used to write when I was younger. I think a lot of us right now, one political persuasion or another, we’re concerned about what’s going on right now with the whole “1984” stuff. The funny thing is, there’s a lot of guys who say, “How does Dave know all this stuff? He’s always right on the money.” Some people like to say, “Mustaine‘s on his conspiracy kick again.” All of a sudden — excuse me, there it is in black and white — Dave is right again. That’s OK. I used to eat crow, too. Now they get to.
Read the entire interview from RockConfidential.com.