Riccardo Ball of New Zealand’s Wrecking Ball Media recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. You can now listen to the chat below.
Asked about the more “ragged” sound of his vocals on MEGADETH‘s new album, “Dystopia” compared to his performances in the past, Dave said: “You know, I don’t know. I do know that after I had the surgery, my voice changed, because I’ve got a piece of metal in my throat now that’s touching my vocal-box area. And I also know that because of that, I’ve had to go back and get some lessons. So whether you’re implying my voice got better or worse, but that’s the two reasons.” [Several years ago, Mustaine underwent surgery for stenosis, a neck and spine condition that he said was caused by “years of headbanging.”
Mustaine also talked about the inspiration for his lyrics on “Dystopia”. He said: “Well, I think that having the luxury to travel a lot, and [having] gone and seen so many, many, many different cultures and seeing how so many of us live differently… Because, you know, your nation is very similar to our nation and the U.K. and Australia, with the way that we live, but you go to some place like India, and my God, man… Just the difference with poverty and the way that people live. Or you go to some of these other places that are full-on war-torn areas. ‘Cause New Zealand, as far as I know, has been pretty peaceful other than the earthquakes. So that’s had a strong effect on me with my songwriting, because… I don’t know if you know this or not, but in Haiti, when that terrible earthquake happened, my wife and I had donated to this cause where we got a soup kitchen down there, and every day it feeds three thousand kids — to this day — down there. And that’s the kind of stuff that matters to me. So when I write songs, I’m not just writing songs to say, ‘Hey, here’s the problem. Fuck you! I’m not gonna get involved in it.’ I try and be part of the solution too.”
Dave added that he enjoyed teaching his listeners through his lyrics. He said: “Some artists misuse their celebrity to force people to do things. And, for me, I’ve always been of the belief that, ‘Don’t take my word for it. See for yourself.’ And I love to open people’s minds, to educate them to stuff, because there’s been a lot of things that my opinion has evolved on too. You know, stuff that I believed in as a kid, when I was young, growing up, that my mind’s changed. One of the things that’s totally changed is that I would live this long.”
“Dystopia” debuted at No. 3 on The Billboard 200, having shifted 49,000 equivalent album units in the week ending January 28.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
In terms of pure album sales, “Dystopia” opened with 48,000 copies, marking MEGADETH‘s highest-charting album since 1992’s “Countdown To Extinction” debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the chart dated August 1 of that year. “Dystopia” also logs the group’s best sales week since 2007, when “United Abominations” landed at No. 8 with first-week sales of 54,000.