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."
Former MEGADETH drummer Nick Menza was interviewed on the May 15 edition of "Rock 'N' SeXXXy UnCensored", the Internet radio show hosted by adult film star Amber Lynn. You can now listen to the program at this location.
Speaking about his forthcoming book, which is being written with J. Marshall Craig best known for his critically acclaimed work as a writer for Eric Burdon's "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", THE ROLLING STONES keyboardist Chuck Leavell's "Between Rock And A Home Place" and the West Coast hip-hop history "Guilty By Association", Menza said: "My book is about me and my life. It includes all kinds of stuff, from my childhood up until just as of recently. And I'm actually adding another chapter to it, probably, because it's taking so long to finalize everything — legal stuff, the cover artwork, the picture that's gonna be used… we're not really sure yet."
He continued: "I don't know what I can tell you about it. There's a lot of funny things in it. It's all true stuff. There's some government conspiracies and alien coverups and all kinds of stuff in there. Now that I'm into space exploration and research stuff — that's kind of what I'm into right now. I've always been into aliens and stuff like that. We are are the aliens and that's why we're here. All the evolution of everything is from alien technology.
"Before, back in the Stone Ages, like when we were just regular humans, we didn't have brains in us and then the aliens came down and they intervened and they put brains in our heads and now we're all smart and we're starting to figure things out, ascending to the next level and a higher level of conscious awareness and that sort of stuff.
"If you listen to your brain, your brain's always gonna get you in trouble. If you listen to your heart and you follow the path of your heart, it will lead you and it will never lead you down the wrong path. So always follow your heart. That's what I tell people. Follow your heart, go with your heart. Don't listen to your brain, 'cause your brain's gonna kill you.
"You know what's weird? When people that don't even know each other, they get into a room, the hearts are already communicating with each other before you even speak words. When you feel something from another person or something like that. That's why I say I can't just be with a girl that I don't have a connection with. You know right away when you meet someone: 'Yes, I would' or 'No, I wouldn't.' And that's how that works. If you're emanating a lot of love out of your body, you'll attract people that love, and that's how that works. With any job, or any place you go, people communicate. It's, like, the heart's code. They're, like, all talking to each other. There's a book out called 'The Heart's Code'. It's really interesting. If you haven't read it, you should check it out."
Originally announced as "Megalife", Nick's book will now be titled "Menzalife". He explained: "It got changed just as of recently, because I can't use 'Megalife'; someone's already using that name and it's trademarked. No big deal. It's still the same content inside. It's gonna be for sale at the stores and stuff like that. A publisher is gonna put it out. I don't have a deal as of yet, but the book is really cool."
Menza's first performance was at the age of two on stage at the Montreux Jazz Festival when legendary jazz percussionist Jack DeJohnette (Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson) placed Nick on his kit. Thirty years later, he was stepping out on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans every night.
Menza, son of legendary jazz saxophonist Don Menza, was at the top of his game when MEGADETH started a world tour in support of its album, "Cryptic Writings", but began to suffer knee problems and escalating pain. Doctors diagnosed him with a tumor. Surgery waylaid the drummer briefly, but he was relieved to learn the tumor was benign and was eager to rejoin his bandmates, who had continued their tour with a replacement drummer. But deteriorating relations within the band exploded and Menza was replaced permanent
MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine was interviewed on the April 4-6 edition of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the Podbean widget below. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow.
To see a full list of stations carrying the program and when it airs, go to FullMetalJackieRadio.com.
Full Metal Jackie: When you look back on the timeline between records, there's usually a year or two typically between records. Are you starting to look ahead on when you're going to work on [the follow-up to last year's "Super Collider"]?
Mustaine: Well, we have already started the process of listening to licks and talking to people about working. The funny thing is, I'm not a big believer in coincidence as I think that's just people's way of saying that there's no powers greater than us that help line out our life. I totally believe in destiny. And we just got done doing the VEVO acoustic performance a while ago, and some lady walks by and she goes, "Hey, Max Norman [mixer of MEGADETH's 1990 album 'Rust In Peace' and producer of 1992's 'Countdown To Extinction' and 1994's 'Youthanasia'] says hi," right as the elevator door closes. I stuck my hand in the door and said, "What did you say?" "Max Norman says hi." "Max Norman? Max Norman Norman?" "Yeah." "Wow! Wow! Really?" 'Cause we kind of hadn't spoken in… Jesus… forever. So I called him up and said, "What are you doing? Are you still doing this?" 'Cause he had gotten out of making records and he's back into making records and I thought, "I wonder what it would be like to maybe try one song with this guy and see if we can catch lightning twice." So it's just neat to be in that position where you can do stuff like this, because I know how hard it is for bands to make it nowadays. And that's still the underlying goal for me, with my band, is to be able to bring other bands out with us to play live and see how great it is to play in front of some of the greatest metal fans in the world. And I'm not saying MEGADETH fans are the best fans in the world; I believe that, but I know that there's a lot of metal fans out there that, they may not like MEGADETH, but that doesn't mean that they're not great people. So, you learn a lot of crap as you go along, too.
Full Metal Jackie: Dave, many musicians, yourself included, have described an album as a snapshot or representation of where they are in their life. What are your life priorities right now? How do you anticipate they'll affect the musical direction of the next MEGADETH album?
Mustaine: My priorities have changed. Before I got married, it was just about myself and my band. As you change, as you grow, as you pick up people in your life, whether you're planning on getting married or having a casual relationship, whether you're straight or not, or whatever you do, you find love, your life changes and you start to have to think about somebody else. At least I would think that if you weren't a selfish prick, you would be thinking about someone that you love. And once you bring a life into it, again, whether you're straight or gay or have a child naturally or by in vitro or adoption or whatever — which, I think adoption is cool too — to have a responsibility like that totally changes things. [My son] Justis just turned 22, and he's doing great — he's got a great job, he works at our management company, he's in college and all that stuff. And go figure, you would think that having a rock star as a dad, you would be a complete loser, and he's not. [My daughter] Electra is doing great too, and as they grow up, I start to get my "Dave time" back. And I've gotta tell you, man, I'm loving this right now because I've been playing, I've been sitting in my studio listening to music and falling in love with the guitar again. Chris [Broderick, MEGADETH guitarist] and I just wrote some really killer stuff two days ago. I'm excited; I can't wait to see what this new record is going to sound like.
Full Metal Jackie: Awesome, so is Max going to be somebody that you think is going to produce the whole next record?
Mustaine: No. At this point, right now, I would say a definitive "I don't know," because we don't know. We don't even know when it's going to happen. I do know I have tremendous respect for Max. I know Cameron Webb is gonna involved with the record for sure. And I know that Max is a very positive, very hopeful question mark. But I'm a capable record producer and I know that if I did it solely with Cameron, as much as he did the last record ["Super Collider"]… He was one of [producer] Johnny K's guys, and Johnny had some stuff he needed to do and Cameron filled in for him really well, and we made a great team. So I'd like to have Max try some stuff, but if it ain't right, it ain't right. Hard to think that something that Max would do wouldn't be right, but times are a little different, and sometimes people grow apart. I'm hopeful and I'm optimistic.
Full Metal Jackie: Sounds like it's early to tell. You have so much coming up this year.
Mustaine: Plus there's so many frickin' songs too. I was going through all the stuff that we had… I mean, honestly, I have more songs than I know… I don't have to write another note for the rest of my life and I have enough music written to finish my career out. It's a matter of just weeding out what I wanna use and what I don't wanna use. And there's a huge library of metal riffs for other bands and stuff. That's one of the things we're looking forward to too, as I go off into another phase of my career, is doing some co-writes.
Earlier this week, Michael "Mick" McDonald of the National Rock Review conducted an interview with MEGADETH drummer Shawn Drover. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether MEGADETH will try anything new, stylistically speaking, on its next studio album:
Drover: "I don't think so. We definitely branch out to a couple of different areas, stylistically speaking. For me, I'm always an advocate for the heavy stuff, so that's usually what I present to the band — something a little more violent, a little more heavy and oftentimes fast stuff. Because that's how I write. Of course, MEGADETH has done so many different kinds of metal over the years, but for me, I'll always try to represent the more furious side of it, because that's just part of who I am, it's part of my creative DNA to try to write heavy riffs. Whether it gets accepted not, it obviously just depends on how it's going [with the writing process for] the record. We all have so many ideas, not everything is gonna make it. Case in point, on the 'Endgame' record, I had a song called 'Head Crusher', which was a pretty fast, heavy song. It was the first single, the first video and it was nominated for a Grammy Award. So you always try, but you just never know what you're gonna end up with. It just depends on how the recording process goes. But I'll always have ideas to submit, certainly."
On how music downloading has affected the record industry and rock bands in particular:
Drover: "If you're a real fan, you're gonna buy the product. And nowadays it's [done largely] through iTunes or Amazon or Spotify or things of that nature. But, to be honest, a lot of kids don't. And their theory is, 'Why should I spend fifteen dollars on something when I can get it for free?' You just go to a torrent site and you can have it [for free] in a matter of seconds. I think a lot of this younger generation, and not to generalize, [because this doesn't apply to] everybody, but a lot of people, a lot of the younger people, and maybe even the older people, they're, like, 'Why should I buy a record when I can get it for free?' Not even thinking of the damage that it has done to the music industry since this whole Napster garbage started over 15 years ago that's caused irreparable damage to the music industry. It's not debatable; that's a fact."
"This could turn into a really long and potentially depressing conversation, but it is what it is, and it happened. Until somebody can figure out how to change this, whether it's some kind of new format, or something that you can't… I think if someone could find a format where you could purchase a product and there's no way that you could copy it or get it on a torrent site, then that would obviously help the industry. But that's wishful thinking, I think, on my part. I just think the damage has been done now and record buying is slowly becoming a thing of the past. And certainly, to a large degree, record sales are down right across the board. You don't see bands selling 15 million albums, like DEF LEPPARD's 'Hysteria' or all the pop [albums], like the MICHAEL JACKSON records and the MADONNA records, I don't see anybody selling eight, 12, 13 million albums anymore. It's just not happening."
MEGADETH latest album, 2013's "Super Collider", sold 29,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart. "TH1RT3EN" opened with 42,000 units back in November 2011 to enter the chart at No. 11. The band's 2009 CD, "Endgame", premiered with 45,000 copies to debut at No. 9. This was slightly less than the 54,000 first-week tally registered by 2007's "United Abominations", which entered the chart at No. 8. 2004's "The System Has Failed" premiered with 46,000 copies (No. 18) while 2001's "The World Needs A Hero" moved 61,000 units in its first week (No. 16).