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MARTY FRIEDMAN Explains Decision To Leave MEGADETH: ‘I Just Couldn’t Go On Anymore’

In a brand new interview with Wondering Sound, former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman explained his decision to leave the band in 1999 in order to make the kind of music that he was passionate about: Japanese pop music, or J-Pop, which Friedman calls "embarrassingly happy." "I found myself touring with MEGADETH, and in my hotel room I'd be blasting this Japanese music all the time. What's wrong with this picture?" he said. As his interest in J-pop grew, Friedman started enjoying MEGADETH less. "I thought I was doing myself a disservice just playing the same old stuff and not really enjoying it," he told Wondering Sound. "Making money from fans who want to see you play when you're not into it didn't really sit right with me." According to Marty, he simply outgrew metal, explaining that MEGADETH's music began to bore him, and he singled out the band's popular ballad "A Tout Le Monde" as an example. "The melody's like duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh. It's kind of the same thing over and over again," he told NPR in a separate interview. "I'd go play the show at night with MEGADETH. And I'd be like, you know, what what I'm listening to is just so much more exciting than what I'm playing as my gig." Friedman told his MEGADETH bandmates that he would leave the group at the conclusion of a 16-month-long tour, but "only stayed three more months." He explained to Wondering Sound: "It was just too much. I'm the kind of guy who can't fake it that well. It wasn't very nice, but I just couldn't go on anymore." Focusing on the J-Pop genre, Friedman noted that going for the opposite of metal was the whole point. "There's not a whole lot of happy music going on," he told NPR. "Especially in the heavy metal world, where everybody's just trying to out-lame each other, you know, with darkness and monsters and crap like that." Marty's new solo album, "Inferno", sold around 2,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 186 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on May 26 via Prosthetic Records (except in Japan, where the album was made available through Universal Music). "Hyper Doom" video:

MUSTAINE: Getting FRIEDMAN And MENZA Back In MEGADETH Makes As Much Sense As Putting Rotten Tooth Back In Your Mouth

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."

MEGADETH’s DAVID ELLEFSON: My Brother’s Passing Brought DAVE MUSTAINE And I Closer Together

MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson says that his brother's recent passing after battling cancer brought Ellefson and the band's leader, Dave Mustaine, "closer together." MEGADETH canceled a number of shows last month so that David could spend time with the rest of his family as they mourned the loss of Eliot Elelfson, who died on May 19 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In a brand new interview with Lithium Magazine, David spoke about the support he has received from his longtime bandmate following his brother's cancer diagnosis, explaining: "The band was actually ready to go onstage in Buenos Aires on May 1. We were in the dressing room and Dave came up to me and said, 'Hey, man, how's your brother doing?' And I just broke down and started crying and said, 'It's not good. I just got the call today.' And, man, he rallied around me in a way that no one else did or could because he has known me for so long. He's known my family. He knew my brothers, my mother and he knew my father before he passed away. So we are as close as two brothers can be, sometimes even closer, without being blood relatives. "And it's cool and interesting how in that moment, what I just went through with my own brother passing away, in a lot of ways brought Dave and I closer together. He really rallied around me like the brother I never had, and the brother I don't have anymore. It says a lot about the bond between us and within the band. "As much as there's a lot of big stuff that goes on around MEGADETH, there's also a lot of closed-door, intimate moments where it's just the two of us or the four of us alone in a room. Especially before we go onstage, we have this 30-minute lockdown where no one comes in and no one goes out. It's just the four of us. And I tell you, my brother's passing brought all four of us in MEGADETH closer together too. And in a weird way, it was kind of a cool gift that my brother gave us on his way out."

Former MEGADETH Drummer NICK MENZA Says He Was Forced To Change Title Of His Forthcoming Book

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

DAVE MUSTAINE Says He Is ‘Hopeful’ Producer MAX NORMAN Will Be Involved With Next MEGADETH Album

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 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.


MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine was a featured soloist last night (Saturday, April 12) with the San Diego Symphony. The classical special concert, billed as "Symphony Interrupted", took place at the 2,200-capacity Copley Symphony Hall in San Diego, California. The event saw Mustaine perform Richard Wagner's "Ride Of The Valkyries" with the orchestra, as well as solos of Vivaldi's concertos from "The Four Seasons", plus Bach's classic "Air". The first fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be seen below. In a Facebook posting earlier today, Mustaine wrote: "I sooo badly want to say thank you for being here at the first 'Symphony Interrupted'. "To all the fans that were not able to attend, don't worry, there will be another 'Symphony Interrupted' and this being the first and all, we have already started to plan on how to make it even more enjoyable. "Thanks to all the San Diego Symphony people, especially Ken-David Masur and Tommy Phillips, to the press and promotion, my endorsers; Dean Guitars for the StradiVMNT and Marshall Amplification for the JVM 410 and Dave Mustaine DMB 1960 2 x 12" cabinet. I also want to thank my management, my staff, and Mrs. Anne Campbell and Dave Campbell for making this happen. "I will be leaving soon for Latin America after we play Las Vegas and Tucson, but before I do, I have to let you know how deeply I am impressed by your continued love and support. "Last night was an experiment; a challenge that I was up for, and continuing to improve myself for this show has already made me write ideas that are more twisting and turning, than the straight-ahead songs like 'Skin O' My Teeth' or 'A Tout Le Monde'. "We did not record the show because we knew I was going to be still getting used to this whole thing, that I would have a little getting used to this new environment, as well as following Ken-David do to me, what appears to be playing air drums. I was 'a fish out of water,' but we learn so much from 'doing' the songs that it is just a short matter of time until we start 'being' the songs. "I want everyone to hear this venture with everything just right. "Having spent 34 years touring and playing 'live' makes it pretty easy to go out and do what you have always done. "For the next 'Symphony Interrupted', as Frank Sinatra said, 'The best is yet to come!'" "There's such a difference in the [classical music and metal] societies," Mustaine told The Daily Aztec one week before the event. "That's the thing that I'm looking forward to, seeing how these two worlds are going to collide." He continued: "In my mind, I'm getting ready to go walk out to the stage, come in with a little tuxedo on, I'm going to get down there and they're going to go, 'Fuck yeah, Dave!' and all the classical guys are going to go, 'Oh my God, he said the F-word!'" Mustaine also talked about the influence classical music has had on MEGADETH since the band's inception three decades ago. "On the very first song on our very first record, I actually played piano," he said. "Funny thing was, it was a very, very, hacked up version of Beethoven's 'Fugue In D Minor' and going back and listening to the actual performanc

MEGADETH’s SHAWN DROVER: ‘Record Buying Is Slowly Becoming A Thing Of The Past’

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). Interview (audio):


MOTÖRHEAD's first-ever cruise, the MotörBoat, will launch onboard the Carnival Ecstasy on September 22 from Miami, Florida to Key West and Cozumel and back on September 26. Joining them will be MEGADETH, ANTHRAX, Zakk Wylde, DANKO JONES, FIREBALL MINISTRY, WILSON and more. MOTÖRHEAD's Lemmy Kilmister states: "This will be everything you've come to expect from a night out with us, except even louder, with more great bands and no way of escaping! "If you thought waves could rock a boat, you've got another thing coming with this lovely little outing!" MEGADETH's Dave Mustaine adds: "There never has and never will be another cruise like MotörBoat cruise. "Come on a thrashing voyage with MOTÖRHEAD, MEGADETH, ANTHRAX, Zakk Wylde and all Lemmy's friends. This is the coolest way to ever see a metal concert." ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian comments: "ANTHRAX, MOTÖRHEAD and MEGADETH at sea??? To quote Chief Brody, 'We're gonna need a bigger boat.'" "It's truly an honor to partner with one of the most iconic bands in rock music to deliver a one-of-a-kind fan experience for 'Motörheadbangers' from around the globe," says event producer Alan Koenig of ASK4 Entertainment. Tickets for the MOTÖRHEAD's MotörBoat cruise go on sale Tuesday, March 18 at noon ET. The Carnival Ecstasy, which recently underwent a multi-million-dollar refurbishment, features a tropical-themed resort-style main pool area, multiple dining options (including a 24-hour pizzeria), 12,000-square-foot Spa Carnival health club, a jogging track, as well as 12 lounges, bars and nightspots. For more information, go to this location. motorheadcruiselineup2014_638

MEGADETH: ‘Icon’-Series Compilation Due This Month

The MEGADETH "Icon" compilation will be made available on February 25 in the U.S. and on March 11 in Canada via Capitol. The aptly named "Icon" series from Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) launched in August 31, 2010, with releases from 30 major artists spanning rock, pop, R&B and country. The albums feature "the greatest hits, signature tunes and fan favorites of the most popular artists in music history" and promise to offer "unprecedented value to consumers." Each album, at a "great price," includes roughly a dozen hit tracks. MEGADETH "Icon" compilation track listing: 01. Holy Wars…The Punishment Due 02. Symphony Of Destruction 03. Wake Up Dead 04. Trust 05. Hangar 18 06. Sweating Bullets 07. A Tout Le Monde 08. Skin O’ My Teeth 09. In My Darkest Hour 10. Kill The King 11. Peace Sells MEGADETH's tour with FEAR FACTORY and NONPOINT kicked off on November 23 in St. Paul, Minnesota and wrapped on December 19 in Reno, Nevada. MEGADETH's latest album, "Super Collider", has sold less than 80,000 copies in the United States since its June 4, 2013 release. The CD arrived in stores via MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine's new label, Tradecraft, distributed by Universal Music Enterprises (UMe). "I think 'Super Collider' is kind of like a really broad [distillation] of what our whole catalog represents," Mustaine told The Morning Call in an interview. "There's aggressive stuff, there's thrashy stuff, there's kind of more of the heavy metal stuff. There are someof the more introspective lyrics. There are some simple lyrics and soon and so forth. I think that's what really makes the record refreshing is that it shows everything that we've done. It's almost like a biopic of our career. It's a pretty good slice of everything I've learned over the years."