MEGADETH Drummer Says People ‘Stealing Music’ Has Affected Every Facet Of The Industry

Sergio Pereira of South Africa’s MusicReview recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH drummer Shawn Drover. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

MusicReview: It’s been stated that [MEGADETH‘s new album] “TH1RT3EN” consists of new compositions and older material, which [MEGADETH mainman] Dave [Mustaine] had written earlier in his career. My question is this: how do you guys know, or decide, when it’s time to revisit the older material?

Shawn Drover: What happened with this [was] we were talking about ideas for the new record and stuff, and Dave [Mustaine] brought up the idea of “What do you think about us doing ‘Millennium Of The Blind’ and ‘New World Order’?” They were recorded as demos years ago and were released on the “Youthanasia” remaster, I believe, just as a couple of bonus songs that were laying around in the vault somewhere. I really had to back for it, because I think the songs kick ass and were never really recorded properly. I thought if we go in there and re-record the songs and make them sound killer and all that stuff, a lot of fans will dig it, because — obviously they’re fans of our songs — but they’re really good songs as well. And I thought it was a unique idea for us to do something like that, [as] it’s not something we’ve really done a whole lot, to be honest. At the end of the day, those songs kick ass; that’s the long and short of it; we’d never try re-record a couple of songs that suck, you know what I mean? I thought it would be cool thing for the fans and they’re just great songs as well. I really had to back for it, after the initial idea was brought forward by Dave.

MusicReview: Do you think there’s one specific song on the new album that is really going to surprise MEGADETH fans? Something that you haven’t done before?

Shawn Drover: I don’t think so. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here [in our music]. I think we recorded another batch of metal tunes, knowing what our fans and ourselves ultimately want to hear. There’s a mix on the record: there’s fast tunes, there’s some slower tunes, there’s mid[tempo] tunes. It’s a good collection of heavy metal songs. That’s really it. We never really go into studio with any preconceived notions of what we’re trying to do; we just know we got to write a bunch of new metal songs, or, in this case, [rework] a couple of old metal songs [which] were included on the record. I don’t think there’s anything on there really that is that musically different that fans are going to go, “Oh my God, why they’d record that kind of music?” At the end of the day, they’re all metal songs.

MusicReview: This is your final album on your current label, and, reportedly, Dave [Mustaine] has mentioned that MEGADETH will likely be releasing albums independently in the future. Have you guys sat down and discussed the next step, and secondly, can fans expect new music sooner rather than later now that labels are out of the picture?

Shawn Drover: No, we haven’t sat down at all about that. We’re in the “now” right now. We’re focused on this record coming out on the first of November, and the subsequent world tour that we’re going to do way into 2012 — and God knows how long we’re gonna be on tour for this record. We usually go out for about a year and a half for any record we do, so we haven’t really sat down and thought about anything beyond this tour that’s coming up. Obviously, that conversation will come up [about] what avenue we’re going to take. I honestly have no idea what we’re going to do. But that’ll happen down the road. We’ll ultimately have the conversation of what direction we want to go… [if it’s] going solo with new music, with the way the whole record industry is on its ear right now, anyway… Who knows what can happen two years from now? Maybe some kind of new format will come out, or they’ll resolve this whole crazy issue of definitive piracy, which is continuing to [cripple the industry]. The problem is that too many people are stealing the music that it’s affected every facet of the industry: recording budget, touring budget, bands getting dropped because they’ve only sold X amounts of records… With that said, some bands are taking it upon themselves to release it on their own. Whether we’ll do that or not, I have no idea, to be honest with you. We’re not that far along on that conversation. We’re just focused on what we’re doing right now, which is getting ready to go on tour and release this new record. That whole topic will come up when the time is right, and we’ll deal with it accordingly.

Read the entire interview at MusicReview.