Megadeth's Dave Mustaine: There's Been a Renaissance With Us
So you've said in the press that the death of Jeff Hanneman gave you a sense of mortality, and that Megadeth is already working on a 15th album. Is there anything you can tell me about this upcoming body of work?
That sounds really weird, how you piggy-backed those two things together. Can you repeat that? Because I don't think I said that.
In an interview a couple weeks ago, you said after Jeff died it gave you a sense of mortality and made you want to immediately start work on the next album. Ellefson said that you guys have been throwing around some riffs, but hadn't really developed anything to a certain extent--
I think someone might have hyphenated what I said, because I would never have said anything disrespectful about Jeff, in his passing away--to piggy-back a sales pitch on the back of it.
Jeff's passing away did give me a sense of my own mortality, yes. And has it made me a little more focused on my health to take care of myself, and pay attention to the people in my life? Yeah. But so did Darrell's [Abbot, from Pantera and Damageplan].
The thing is that it makes you appreciate your friends. You never know what's going to happen. I mean, this whole thing started from a spider bite. And then Jeff got sicker and sicker. But I chose to celebrate his life--I'm not one of those people that when someone dies I'm all boo-hoo. You know, I tend to think about the great times. You know, we did a lot of touring, Megadeth and Slayer, together.
Now, as far as me getting ready to work on the next record. I got really excited when we were out on Gigantour. That's when I started to really get the fire in my belly. So we did the record for Universal, and you know, there's no secret that there were some weird problems during production with John Kay coming and going. Great guy, um, tremendous respect for him, but kinda like the chain came off the bicycle a couple times during the process.
And I love the record, I think it's great. It's one of those polarizing records, though, where people listen to one song and evaluate the whole record off it; which is kinda dumb. But I like it. There's some great stuff on there from Chris and John too. I know they have more stuff they've written, it's just a matter of when the time is right.
There are certain times you have a great riff but you can't put a song around it, it's really weird, I don't know if you are a musician or not. But at that time you just can't fit it. They've got a ton of stuff. It's kinda like when the Iditarod is starting and you have these massive snow dogs that are ready to just run, and somebody has to keep everybody from running in different directions.
With all that strength and power, somebody needs to know how to keep things going in a forward motion if you want things to be successful. I don't confess to be the one with the breaks on or anything because these guys all know the difference between a good part and a great part, and the cool thing is that they can't help but come up with good parts. It's how we decide between the four of us to see what is good and what is great.
So I'm really excited about the prospect of your performing with the San Diego symphony.
Yeah, that is pretty bizarre. When we first started talking about that it was kind of in passing. I was in England, actually, and someone said they would be interested in seeing my interpretation of the classics, because I'm very classically influenced. It's what I like to listen to, but it's not like I played it.
It was tossed around and it went from me being someone who would do a narrative of classical stuff to someone actually playing it.
I was pretty excited, but then they sent over their first two songs that they want me to play, which was some Vivaldi stuff, and as I listened to it I was like, "This is really difficult stuff." When you're playing out of a guitar it's a different mentality, and when you play it on a violin the strings are tuned differently, so it's like going from playing tennis to handball. The same principle still, but a totally different finesse.