Megadeth's Dave Mustaine: There's Been a Renaissance With Us

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Jim Louvau
Megadeth at the Arizona State Fair (View our complete slideshow.)
Megadeth is such a strong act that it needs little introduction. One of the underground metal groups of the '80s who achieved lasting commercial success, the band has sold more than 50 million albums over the course of more than 30 years. The four musicians have a knack for creating tight, technical rhythms and arrangements, with sharp deep dips into thrash. Their lyrics, revolving around war, politics, religion and social issues, pair perfectly with the instrumental style.

The band's 2013 album, Super Collider , debuted at number six on the Billboard 200, making it the band's highest-charting album since 1994s Youthanasia. Up On The Sun talked with Mustaine about how he will impact the music industry by playing with the San Diego Symphony, the classic album he wishes he could've witnessed as a fly on the wall, and the dynamic between the members of Megadeth.

So let's start off with a bit about "Countdown to Extinction: Live." Is there a part of the DVD that you're excited for fans to see? Cool camera angles or interviews?
There's....well, when it's a live concert that isn't really a lot of backstage stuff going on. But as far as cool camera angles, that's in the eye of the beholder. It's mostly just watching us play the songs and interact with the audience. Sometimes people make up for the music with overproduction.

On of Dave Ellefson's quotes about you from his memoir [released in October, My Life With Deth] was "Megadeth was never about buddies sitting around jamming. Megadeth is a focused mission, and you [Dave Mustaine] had and have the vision to achieve it." And when Ellefson and I spoke the other day, he kept saying that "all the best things weren't his ideas," in terms of his life. I feel like you two have extremely different viewpoints.
You know, David Ellefson is a really unique individual, and I don't know anyone that hasn't met him that hasn't just fallen in love with the guy. He's just a sweetheart. Our problems we had in the past were of such enormous size that if he wasn't such a great unique person there's no way we would've reconciled.

I've always loved him as a brother and we make great music together. The first time we hung out after all those arguments we were testing the waters. And it just felt so right.

Him saying that I'm focused, yes; that's an understatement. When I left Metallica and traveled to LA it was a straight shot, there were no stops along the way. When Dave and I crossed paths and began to work together it stuck. I think it's because we both had these great plans, and he talks all about it in his book. As a young musician he was very focused.

And when it comes to how "the best things weren't his ideas"--that isn't true. That isn't true. No, he's done a lot of really wonderful things in life and I'm gonna be the first to cry fowl about that. He's fathered two wonderful children. He's played some of the most significant poignant bass riffs in metal history. And he's been an ambassador in a genre where most people think we're fucking miscreants...

I mean, I can't think of another guy... maybe John Paul Jones or Geezer Butler, but in that upper tier of those bass players; there ain't a lot of people like him. Those other two people are the only other two that come to mind as far as that humility and begin able to destroy with one note from the bass. [Laughs]

How was the tour you guys just got off with Sabbath? In Latin America, that's one of Megadeth's greatest audiences still, right?
Well I think there's been a renaissance around the world with Megadeth lately. Latin America was one of the strongholds where we never really lost any traction. But you know music trends come and they go, especially in a place like the United States. And in South America they like their metal.

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4 comments
hogskin7
hogskin7

Why can't people just comment on the article and music?  I don't really care what you think about the person. Leave the drama to yourself.

Patrick Bohler
Patrick Bohler

Not as big of a dick as Hetfield. Or Lars Ulrich.

bigbadbruce1
bigbadbruce1

@No Venator So are you. Takes one to post a comment like that. No offense of course.


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