Steven Rosen of Ultimate-Guitar.com recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: It’s been a long road from there to celebrating MEGADETH‘s 30th anniversary with the release of “Super Collider”.
Mustaine: I am very proud. There are gonna be people who are gonna take exception with the record because they’re people that wanna hear “Black Friday” the rest of their lives. And I feel for them, man. I know the first time I heard AC/DC versus what they put out now, it’s a different time. I think that’s the whole thing about if you’re really a fan of the band, you grow with them or you stop being a fan. I always loved early AC/DC and I totally respect older AC/DC, but I was weaned on Bon Scott.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Do you feel after 30 years, you’ve earned the right to make any kind of music you want?
Mustaine: I don’t say I have a license to make bad music. I remember this one guy, and I won’t say his name, but there was a guy I really, really, really looked up to, and he wanted to get out of his record contract, so he made a record that was utter crap. He knew it, I knew it and he duped his fans with it. I thought, “This is not the way that I ever want to conduct myself as a businessman.” I know what it was it like to be a poor kid. I was brought up on food stamps and welfare. I hate dentists, because we went to the dentists where they’d strap your hands down and put blocks down ’cause they’d run out of Novocaine. So my first trip to the dentist was like “Marathon Man”. That’s what I tweeted about the other day. I’m like in the chair and the guy says, “You’ve got a cavity” and I’m like, “Noooo.” It’s not like they were saying your dog’s pregnant. “Oh my God.”
Ultimate-Guitar.com: This is the first time since “Cryptic Writings” that you’ve kept the same lineup for two consecutive albums.
Mustaine: It’s like when you’re watching a two-on-one breakaway in hockey. You see the two players and they know — step, stride, pass and everything. Note by note they are synchronized. When you see that and the outcome when they’ve practiced, it’s poetic. If you see a two-on-one and the guy has no clue what he’s doing and doesn’t know which end of the stick is which and he’s just like a goon out there, it’s totally different. For us right now, we feel like it’s Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. You watch those guys and it’s like, “Wow, that is just amazing.” And you feel it too when you’re onstage. There’s an awkwardness when you’re playing with somebody and they’re behind or they’re in front of you or they’re playing the wrong stuff. It’s kinda like, “Dude, do you really wanna be here?”
Ultimate-Guitar.com: You mentioned earlier that people might take exception to the record. What did you mean?
Mustaine: We did that with the song “Blackest Crow”. It’s a little weird the way that came about. I was told my mother-in-law had Alzheimer’s and it really, really messed with my head. My mom just died on the stop — no warning, nothing. Gone. I got really close to my wife’s mom and she kind of became like a surrogate role mom. You know what I mean? Now that she has Alzheimer’s and I don’t know if you know anybody that has this disease but it’s a motherfucker. Excuse my language. We’ll be sitting there and she’ll forget who we are, what we’re talking about and can’t finish a sentence. She looks normal and she’s healthy and looks like she hasn’t lost any weight. But mentally it’s like an ice sculpture that’s melting before our eyes. Part of me just wants to shake her and say, “Stop fuckin’ around.” But it’s not like that.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: What was it like having David Draiman [DISTURED, DEVICE] in the studio?
Mustaine: It was very cool. He came out and helped a little bit with some ideas and I was just really open-minded to the whole process this time. I had my ideas and what I wanted to do and I thought, “You don’t know if you don’t ask.” So he came and we hung out and he had some really cool ideas. The actual melodies for “Dance in the Rain” for the chorus, he had. He had a part to do with that and in “Forget to Remember” there’s a little ad lib part right before each chorus. I wouldn’t have done something like that, but he did and it was like, “Wow, this is really cool.”
Ultimate-Guitar.com: So David Draiman did push you in a slightly different direction?
Mustaine: Actually, with “Dance in the Rain”, we had asked another artist to do this, but he thinks a little highly of himself was keeping us waiting. And it’s like, “Well, dude, we’re mixing. Well dude, we’re mastering.” I was out in Austin and went to dinner with David and his lovely wife Lena and I went back to his house and was listening to some of the DEVICE stuff because they’re on Gigantour and I was so excited about that. The funny thing was he was thanking me for giving him the break with this band, and it was like, “Hey, c’mon, we’re friends. The band’s great. You don’t need to thank me for that. This is gonna be a fantastic summer with my friend.” So, anyways, we went back to his house and we were listening to DEVICE and listening to some of the TRIVIUM he just produced, and I just had this idea. I just said, “Hey, you know what? Why don’t you sing this end part here?” It’s supposed to be like 1984 and the whole song is about how society is going to the dogs and how people have to work more and more and more and more to be able to make ends meet. And at the very end it’s like, “OK, here we go. ‘Endgame’.” The loudspeakers are telling you what to do and my voice going from me being the main character to being the voice in the speaker just wasn’t as cool as having a guest. When David did it, it was like, “Oh my God, dude. You totally nailed this.”
Read the entire interview from Ultimate-Guitar.com.