A stool hand-assembled by Dave Mustaine of MEGADETH while recording the band's 2007 album "United Abominations" is being auctioned to benefit three children's charities as part of the TeamRock Monster Rock Auction, a charitable project launched by the Heavy Metal Truants.
The stool, which was donated by "United Abominations" producer Andy Sneap, bears a note of authenticity signed by Mustaine himself.
As previously reported, MEGADETH is continuing work on material for the band's next album, tentatively due in 2015.
"We're taking our time with this one," Mustaine told Loaded Radio in a recent interview. "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."
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.
James Hetfield turned 51 years old on Sunday (August 3). The METALLICA singer/guitarist's former bandmate Dave Mustaine took to Twitter to wish James a happy birthhday, calling Hetfield "my first real guitar partner" and adding, "We changed the world, brother!"
Born in 1963 in Downey, California, James was the son of a truck driver named Virgil and a singer named Cynthia. Hetfield's parents were Christian Scientists and strongly disapproved of the use of any kind of medicine or medical treatments, even when Cynthia was dying of cancer in 1979. This upbringing inspired many of METALLICA's later songs, such as "The God That Failed". Hetfield also had two older half-brothers from his mother's first marriage and a younger sister.
Hetfield took up piano at the age of nine and began playing guitar at 14. He was in bands called LEATHER CHARM and OBSESSION during his teen years. In October 1981 he answered a classified ad placed in a local paper called Recycler by Danish drummer Lars Ulrich, and METALLICA was born.
Hetfield told The Pulse Of Radio he still recalls the group's first gig, with original lead guitarist Dave Mustaine. "First METALLICA show was at Radio City in Anaheim. I remember the first song we played, Dave broke a string, and I was stranded up there. I was just singing, I wasn't playing guitar back then, and I was so uncomfortable, I was like, 'So, how's it going...' There were about 200 people. You know, your first gig, everyone shows up. Second gig, there's about 20, you know. [laughs]"
Solidifying the lineup with bassist Cliff Burton and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, who replaced Mustaine, METALLICA signed to Megaforce Records in 1983 and released its debut album, "Kill 'Em All", in July of that year, while also relocating from the Los Angeles area to San Francisco.
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."
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.