Loaded Radio's Scott Penfold recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the status of the songwriting sessions for MEGADETH's follow-up to 2013's "Super Collider":
Mustaine: "We're taking our time with this one. The last record we've done, we felt we were really on a positive upswing with [producer] Johnny K and we were excited to get in and do the record. But looking back over time, all the records that we had a lot of success with, personally…. Because, I mean, at the end of the day, if you don't like what you're doing, then what's the point? But the ones that we really got the most enjoyment out of was the ones that took the longest to write. We would sit with the songs and let them digest and assimilate and become part of us, instead of, 'OK, that's a great song. Let's go.' Or versus, 'You know what? Would it be better if we [played] this part one more time or cut that one in half or sped this up a little bit. There's so many variables."
On whether he still gets pressure to get guitarist Marty Friedman and drummer Nick Menza back in MEGADETH:
Mustaine: "Yeah, but that makes as much sense as somebody saying, 'Put a rotten tooth back in your mouth.' Don't get me wrong, but I've seen stuff that Menza's been saying [in interviews and online postings], and it's unfortunate. And I know that Marty's happy doing what he's doing. And frankly, if I wanted to get them back in the band, I would have worked it out, but I don't want 'em in the band. I think that Shawn [Drover, current MEGADETH drummer] is, all around, if you add all the parts up, is way more what I want in my life and my band, and the same thing with Chris [Broderick, current MEGADETH guitarist]. We all have our peculiarities. I'm strange by the definition myself, and I'm sure you are too, but that's what makes us unique and awesome and cool and everything like that. Because if we were all the same, one of us would be unnecessary. I kind of like the fact that you never know what you're gonna get with these guys; they're funny, their sense of humor is really dry, and they love the fans. There's no 'I'm in it for myself' bullcrap and 'I can't wait to do my solo albums' kind of stuff that'll tear a bunch of bands apart. If you look back at my career, I've been doing this for 33 years, almost, and I've only done one thing outside of MEGADETH, and that was the MD.45 thing, and that was because I loved FEAR; I thought FEAR was one of the greatest punk bands from America ever. I'm sure people will disagree, but I don't care."
On whether there has been any more talk of further "Big Four" shows with METALLICA, SLAYER and ANTHRAX:
Mustaine: "The thing about reconciliation is… it kind of is like that story about the monk that was walking down the river and saw a woman out in the middle and the tide was coming and he rolled up his garment and went out and got her and set her down on the side of the river bank and continued his journey. And about a mile later, another monk standing next to him said, 'Isn't it against our vows to have touched a woman?' And he goes, 'You know, I set her down a mile ago, yet you still carry her.' And, to me, that's… a lot of these people, they're still carrying the woman when it comes down to this whole thing about us and METALLICA having some kind of a grudge. We don't. In fact, I just recently contacted James [Hetfield] when people were attacking him about the whole PETA thing. And I just told him, I said, 'Look, man, you're my brother and I love you. Just be strong and it'll blow over.' Coming from a guy that's no stranger to controversy. I still love James a lot. That's part of the reason why there was so much emotion about it… I mean, it's kind of like when you really like a girl and you go up to ask her to dance and she says 'no' and you walk away and you say, 'Well, F you.'"
On joining METALLICA on stage in December 2011 at one of four intimate shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco as part of the band's week-long celebration of its 30th anniversary as a group for fan club members only:
Mustaine: "Well, they gave me an invitation and I thought it was really awesome. And I had asked them, 'Do you want me to just play rhythm?' Because, you know, Kirk's [Hammett] in the band. And Lars [Ulrich] said, 'No. Play your stuff.' And I went, 'Alright. Now we're talking.' So I went up there and I did my thing. And it was great. I imagine it must have been really awkward for Kirk watching me play the songs the way that they were supposed to be played in the beginning, but that's open for his artistic interpretation. If he doesn't wanna play it the way that I played it, hey, that's cool."
In a brand new interview with the Las Vegas Sun, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine spoke about the reaction to the band's latest album, "Super Collider", and his plans for the follow-up effort.
"A record is that — a record, a piece of time," Mustaine said of the fan response to "Super Collider". "I was going through a lot of really cool stuff with the band, but a lot of really heavy, personal stuff with my mother-in-law's Alzheimer's. So people like some songs, don't like others, and that's always been the way with MEGADETH's fans. They're opinionated.
"I think when you have a band that doesn't really follow a set formula, people are going to react to certain songs and not to other songs. I mean, the very first song we ever did, we started with piano. Who would've ever thought that?"
Regarding the recent reports that MEGADETH has already begun work on the material for the next CD, Mustaine said: "I do want to continue to write. I think it's fun to write songs and as a musician, sometimes you've got something stuck in your soul that you gotta get it out.
"['Forget To Remember' on 'Super Collider'] is this whole process of watching this loved one in my family just melt in front of your eyes; it's hard. It really, really challenged what I was made of; she's still alive, but she's not there anymore. And how do you put that in a song if it's not going to be a sad song? It'd be pretty fucked up to make a happy song about something tragic.
"So, yeah, we always have a lot of stuff we want to write about. I think it comes in due time. We're always picking up the guitar and making noises, sometimes it's a cool riff, and you're 'tape that real quick,' and other times it's 'stop.' [laughs] And that's the great thing when you're close like we are. We're four guys who are really, really close, and I can't tell you how many times I've gone into the jam room and told Chris [Broderick, MEGADETH guitarist] to knock it off, and he'll do the same solo for an hour and a half straight. It's Chinese water torture. [laughs]
The first episode of "Metalhead To Head", a web-only show where metal masters sit down together for surprisingly candid conversation and plenty of one-time-only music demonstrations and collaborations, can be seen at Fuse.tv. The episode features Dave Mustaine and Ricky Warwick (BLACK STAR RIDERS, THIN LIZZY). New episodes will debut every other Wednesday. Always at 1 p.m. ET. And always on Fuse.tv.
Asked by Warwick about his lead-guitar technique, Mustaine said: "When I was in METALLICA, when I would write solos back then, I wrote them out. And then when I left, I totally re-evaluated my guitar playing and went from playing guitar because I loved it to playing guitar because I was pissed."
He continued: "Playing, for me, doing solos and stuff like that, there's a lot of technique stuff that people do, they do sweeping and stuff like that and they do a lot of stuff that's real pretty-looking, but you know what?! After a while, someone sweeping through a whole solo, it's, like, enough already. I believe that David Gilmour can do more with one note than half of these kids that are out there now that can just do these mind-blowing solos."
Artist pairings for future "Metalhead To Head" episodes include:
* Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, THE WINERY DOGS) & Arejay Hale (HALESTORM)
* Dave Ellefson (MEGADETH) & Doug Pinnick (KING'S X)
* Gus G. (FIREWIND, OZZY OSBOURNE) & Mark Heylmun (SUICIDE SILENCE)
* Rudy Sarzo (QUIET RIOT, OZZY OSBOURNE) & Frank Bello (ANTHRAX)
* Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX) & Ray Luzier (KORN)
* Billy Sheehan (THE WINERY DOGS) & Marco Mendoza (BLACK STAR RIDERS, THIN LIZZY)
* Eric Choi (WE CAME AS ROMANS) & Alex Lopez (SUICIDE SILENCE)
* Michael Sweet (STRYPER) & Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT)
* George Lynch (DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB) & Chris Broderick (MEGADETH)
* Marty Friedman (MEGADETH) & Ben Weinman (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN)
Guitar virtuoso Gus G., well known in rock and metal circles for his work as Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist and as leader of his own band FIREWIND, has set a March 18 release date for his debut solo album, "I Am The Fire", in North America. The CD will be released internationally on Century Media Records, and will come out March 17 in Europe.
"I Am The Fire" track listing:
01. My Will Be Done (featuring Mats Levén)
02. Blame It On Me (featuring Mats Levén)
03. I Am The Fire (featuring Devour The Day)
04. Vengeance (featuring David Ellefson)
05. Long Way Down (featuring Alexia Rodriguez)
06. Just Can't Let Go (featuring Jacob Bunton)
07. Terrified (featuring Billy Sheehan)
08. Eyes Wide Open (featuring Mats Levén)
09. Redemption (featuring Michael Starr)
10. Summer Days (featuring Jeff Scott Soto)
11. Dreamkeeper (featuring Tom S. Englund)
12. End Of The Line (featuring Mats Levén)
The cover artwork, pictured below, was designed by Gustavo Sazes (ARCH ENEMY, KAMELOT, DREAM EVIL).
A first song from the album can now be heard via the video for the album's opening track, "My Will Be Done" (featuring Mats Levén), which was produced by Patric Ullaeus of Revolver Film Company, who has previously worked with DIMMU BORGIR, LACUNA COIL, IN FLAMES, SONIC SYNDICATE and KAMELOT, among others.
Says Gus G. of the song and album: "I hope you all enjoy the first taste of things to come.
"'My Will Be Done' is a cool rock track with a modern edge to it...
"Looking back, I can't believe all the great musicians that got on board for this album. Everybody brought in their unmistakable style and talent and they really lifted the songs! Check it out and enjoy the music!"
Gus G. will attend the 2014 NAMM convention, which runs January 23-26 in Anaheim, California. In addition to signing sessions at ESP Guitars (January 24 at 2 p.m.) and Blackstar Amps (January 25, 1 p.m.), Gus will also appear as guest at the Randy Rhoads Remembered tribute concert at The Observatory in Santa Ana on January 25. Other guests include Nuno Bettencourt (EXTREME, RIHANNA), Phil Demmel (MACHINE HEAD), Marty Friedman, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (GUNS N' ROSES) and more.
Gus handles all guitar, bass and keyboards on "I Am The Fire", and is joined by a roster of friends and guests that help bring his vision to fruition: drummers Jeff Friedl (A PERFECT CIRCLE, PUSCIFER, DEVO) and Daniel Erlandsson (ARCH ENEMY), bassists David Ellefson (MEGADETH), Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, DAVID LEE ROTH) and Marty O'Brien (TOMMY LEE, WE ARE THE FALLEN, LITA FORD), and vocalists Mats Levén (CANDLEMASS, ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, THERION), Blake Allison (DEVOUR THE DAY), Michael Starr (STEEL PANTHER), Alexia Rodriguez (EYES SET TO KILL), Tom S. Englund (EVERGREY), Jacob Bunton (ADLER) and Jeff Scott Soto (TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, TALISMAN, ex-JOURNEY, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN).
"I Am The Fire" was mixed by Jay Ruston (ANTHRAX, STONE SOUR, STEEL PANTHER) and was recorded between Los Angeles and Gus' home country of Greece through the latter half of 2013. A few of the album's tracks include "Eyes Wide Open", "Redemption", "End Of The Line" and "Blame It On Me". The album showcases a well-balanced mix of active rock, classic hard rock, traditional metal and guitar-driven instrumentals, taking listeners on a diverse journey and opening doors to Gus G.'s soulful playing.