Interview with Dave Mustaine of Megadeth:
«The boring interview»
By Robert Pally

Read what happens when you ask boring questions to a guy who is not interested in doing interviews. BTW: Dave Mustaine of Megadeth does not like any questions about Metallica.

E.C.: In 2002 you announced that you would disband Megadeth because of the injury of your arm. But now you didn’t. How come?

Dave Mustaine: I did disband Megadeth!!

E.C.: For how long then?

Dave Mustaine: Where do you think I have been for the last 2 years?

E.C.: I don’t know. You tell me?

Dave Mustaine: Wait a second. You just said that I did not disband Megadeth.

E.C.: No, I said that you announced that you would disband Megadeth

Dave Mustaine: And I did. We broke up in March 2002. Right.

E.C.: What made you change your mind?

Dave Mustaine: I was going to do a Dave Mustaine record. And the publishing company said that I owed them another Megadeth record and I had to give that to them first.

E.C.: Is the new album a kind of a new start for Megadeth for you?

Dave Mustaine: I don’t know. Have you heard it yet?

E.C.: Yes, I have. It’s a kind of a progressive Metal album, at least to me.

Dave Mustaine: (Hmm) I don’t know if it’s progressive Metal.

E.C.: It’s definitely not a straightforward Metal album. Just think for example of the many breaks in the songs and the winding instrumental parts.

Dave Mustaine: I guess that’s a matter of opinion for you. I even don’t know what progressive Metal is. To me that’s supposed to be like Dream Theater or something like that.

E.C.: In the Metal genre for me it sounds progressive. Off course one can discuss what is progressive or not.

Dave Mustaine: I don’t wanna discuss what is progressive or not.

E.C.: To you were does the new album stand compared to the older ones?

Dave Mustaine: Guitar wise its similar to stuff around «Rust in peace» and «Youthanasia». From the vocal point of you it’s close to stuff from «Cryptic writing» up to the present. I learned a lot when I did «Cryptic writing». Those 2 records contain my best vocal stuff. I used what I learned there on the new record. «The system has failed» is a bit of the old and a bit of the new. And I am pretty excited about all that.

E.C.: You said in the first place that you wanted to release a solo album and then you couldn’t. How actually would then sound a Dave Mustaine solo album?

Dave Mustaine: Have a you heard the new record? That’s it. That is what the Dave Mustaine record was going to be.

E.C.: So it would not sound any different?

Dave Mustaine: No, not at all. It would just say Dave Mustaine on it instead of Megadeth.

E.C.: I read the press sheet that «The system has failed» is a culmination of frustrating moments over the last 12 to 14 years. What was so frustrating then?

Dave Mustaine: I don’t know from were that even came from. Somebody said that and that really pisses me off.

E.C.: So it’s not true then?

Dave Mustaine: I don’t know what that means? «Culmination of frustrating moments». I never wrote that. I don’t know the hell from where that came from. I think what they maybe saying it could be about how the music was or some of the lyric and stuff like that. I don’t understand that. Off course, I had a lot frustrating moments.

E.C.: Like everybody.

Dave Mustaine: If I had to put my frustrating moments onto one record it would be a triple live CD.

E.C.: When you write songs. What mood do you need to be in? Do you need frustrating moments (smiles)?

Dave Mustaine: No, that’s what I am saying. I don’t know were that came from. I can write songs in any mood. It depends on what I am doing and how I am feeling. More often than not I am feeling pretty good and I enjoy my life. I have a very, very, very, very cool life because the fans believe in me and they have been very loving to me.

E.C.: In what moment did you write then for example «Die dead enough»?

Dave Mustaine: I wrote that last summer in San Diego. I was asked to write a song for the movie «Tomb raider II». I wrote that and then we turned it in. They liked the song and said here is the budget to record it. But it was not enough money. They only had $25000 to do it. You cannot make a fucking song for a movie with this amount. You can’t.

E.C.: Some people can but maybe on your level not.

Dave Mustaine: Well not for a movie, you can’t. Not in America. You are maybe able to do it in Europe. You are maybe able to make a piece of shit song and get it in the movie. But if you are making a song that’s supposed to stand up to the critics you need more. And who pays for the band? If I did it for free and just for the costs. Recording costs, studio costs and stuff like that. Then it could be done for $25000. But then, what’s the benefit for me going into the studio? And kicking my own ass to give somebody a song for free? It’s a business!!

E.C.: From what years are the songs on «The system has failed»?

Dave Mustaine: The songs are from this year. The parts in the songs are made up of bits and pieces from 1990 to when I started to write the songs.

E.C.: Also in the press sheet was written that you never got the chance to use this bits and pieces before. Why didn’t use them earlier?

Dave Mustaine: Part of that is because whenever a record would be done it would be done. If you have a song it’s all written and you are working with another song and it needs one part. And that one part is in another song. You take a part out of a song. You got an entire song you sing is not used. Whenever I am in a dressing room or on stage I would always sound check because I don’t practice. The only time I really practice is when I am playing. The only time I really write is when I am playing. If the only time when I am playing is when I am in the dressing room or on stage it’s probably a good idea for me to always be taping because it’s the only chance I get when I write.

E.C.: Do you have a collection of riffs and stuff that use for songs then?

Dave Mustaine: Yes, exactly.

E.C.: Metal and Hardrock is very popular at the moment. Do you hear the influence of Megadeth in some of the current bands?

Dave Mustaine: I hear the influence of me in some of the new bands. Although it’s a kind of hard to say I hear Megadeth because the way I played in Metallica and the way I play in Megadeth is a little different but to me it sounds the same. And I hear that in a lot of guitar players.

E.C.: Can you name me any guitar player?

Dave Mustaine: I don’t know their names. I don’t sit there and say: Hey, that sounds like me. Lets write down their name.

E.C.: Do you listen to current music and bands?

Dave Mustaine: Sometimes. But lately, I don’t have so much time because I have been working a lot. Also for buying record. Actually, the last record I bought was something because I needed to check a word on it. It was an old Iron Maiden album «Killers».

E.C.: What did you think about the Nu-Metal genre?

Dave Mustaine: In America? I am not familiar about it.

E.C.: For a couple of years. To me the music is more about image then about music. People form bands to become famous. What was your reason to start music?

Dave Mustaine: I liked playing music and I liked the lifestyle that went along with it if you were in a band. Because it was a kind of like you are in a gang. Every time you went into the other gang had to give up their girls. It was fun for me. After I got married that went away. It was really cool to experience traveling and meeting people, and playing in front of people around the world.

E.C.: What is the reason for you today making in music beside that you live of it?

Dave Mustaine: I still like it. You know it’s not for the money. I am doing ok right now. If I got in trouble I would sell my house. I am wearing a t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans right now. I am not some stuck up Rockstar.

E.C.: Together with bands like Exodus, Anthrax and Metallica you were a kind of the forefathers of Metal and Nu-Metal. Did you ever think that this scene would get that big?

Dave Mustaine: I didn’t know that it would become this big. And don’t think anybody thought that it would become that big. It’s almost a phenomenon.

E.C.: How is your relation to this band today?

Dave Mustaine: I saw Anthrax 2 days ago in Greece. We were hanging out in the hotel I was doing my promotion. They had gone and do a festival. I haven’t talked with the guys from Exodus for quite some time. And I haven’t talked to the Metallica guys for a while either. I actually prefer that we don’t talk about Metallica in this interview.

E.C.: ok.

Dave Mustaine: thanks buddy.

E.C.: Which is your favorite song on the new album?

Dave Mustaine: It depends on what kind of mood I am in. I like «Truth be told». It got some really heavy riff at the end and it reminds me a lot on «Five magic’s» from «Rust in peace». And I also like «Die dead enough» because its one of the hookiest song on the record. There are a couple of other song that I melodically like «The scorpion», «Something I am not» and «Of mice and men». And there are the fall on / fall out Heavy Metal song «Back in the day», «Blackmail the universe» and «Kick the chair». It really depends on what kind of song I wanna listen to. If I wanna listen to Metal, real Trash-Metal. I gotta make up my mind. Is it «Kick the chair», is it «Back in the day» or is it «Blackmail the universe».

E.C.: How long did it take you to record the album?

Dave Mustaine: I think it took us 2 month to record the album but that’s not really fair because it was over a 5 to 6 month span. The days we spent were probably 45 to 50 days.

E.C.: Were there a lot of first takes?

Dave Mustaine: No (smiles). Only a few. We really worked very hard on it. As much as I like to say my arm is a 100% right now it wasn’t then.

E.C.: What are the doctors saying? You won’t have any problems anymore?

Dave Mustaine: I am 100% healed.

E.C.: What did you do that healed that well?

Dave Mustaine: I prayed, I did physical therapy, I lifted weights, I took a bunch of vitamins and worked out a lot. And I rested.

E.C.: Will you be touring in Europe?

Dave Mustaine: Yes, I will be touring next summer, hopefully. Depending on how the public receives the album. If they want me to come over I am coming over. If the record is successful how can I not come over?

E.C.: You have always been more successful in America then in Europe.

Dave Mustaine: Yes, to a degree. It’s a shame.