Now that Megadeth is back at it, we thought we'd dig this DM interview to rekindle your passions. You can catch the "BIG FOUR" Tour this summer, featuring Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Should be a fun time......now on with the interview
Dave Mustaine is a busy guy. In addition to pursuing a degree in business at the University of Phoenix, earning a second black belt in Ukidokan, doing the family thing with wife Pam and their two kids Justis and Electra, and dabbling in entrepreneurial interests, he also remains the driving force behind Megadeth, which recently opened the latest chapter in its 17 year history with Risk. The first single, "Crush Em," was featured in the Jean-Claude Van Damme action flick "Universal Soldier, and is taking the radio and sports worlds by storm. We recently caught up with Mustaine between a triumphant appearance on VH-1's Rock 'N' Roll Jeopardy (which airs at the end of October) and a publicity jaunt to Japan.
Guitar.com: "Crush Em" conjures up visions of rioting football fans in the UK.
Dave Mustaine: A hooligan song. Actually that's not far from the source because I'm a rabid hockey fan, and seeing hockey as much as I do, when they score a goal they play that Gary Glitter "Rock N Roll, Part 2" song -- I fucking hate that song. I almost hate it as much as I hate the guy's last name. And I thought, I have to create a song now so that song will never be played again.' And I set out to make a hockey song.
Guitar.com: "Risk" not only covers a lot of ground in terms of mood, but it's full of more sonic subtleties.
Mustaine: I played more guitar on this record than I played on any record probably in the past four or five records. Because I'm doing all these acoustic live shows I got my acoustic chops up. Usually when we would go into the studio, the acoustic parts were handled by Marty [Friedman], but I did the majority of them this time and I did a lot of other guitar playing that Marty would more often than not handle himself. And when he came in he actually complimented me on the amount of work I did as well as the quality, and I was really flattered.
Guitar.com: Do you still practice? Is there a daily regimen that you go through?
Mustaine: How many dentists do you know that go home and practice drilling? How many surgeons sit there and practice tying knots?
Guitar.com: But there must still be challenges that you face as a musician?
Mustaine: I would say, for me, probably the most challenging thing is dodging snot and spitballs and shoes and shit. When I first started, my front teeth were both the same length. I remember one day somebody body surfed to the front of the stage and hit the mic stand. And it hit me right in my teeth cause I sing on the microphone. And he fell onto the stage and I kicked him right in the head. And he stood up and he was about four feet tall and probably around twelve years old and I felt like a total loser. 'Cause I just lost control. I mean, I'd been hit in the mouth a bunch of times by people coming over and this was the first guy that was actually trapped on stage and he was mine.
Guitar.com: I guess that's the rock equivalent of road rage - stage rage.
Mustaine: They say nice guys finish last -- that's absolutely true, but I think that if you knew guys like Clint Eastwood that have the tough guy intimidator kind of persona were really inside good guys even though they portray bad asses, people would change their mentality. It's much harder to have someone cornered and know that you have every right to hammer them and then let them go than it is to beat the hell out of them. There've been so many times when I've had an opportunity, and legally had the right to pound somebody and I didn't do it because I don't need the unnecessary negative press. I don't need to hurt somebody even if they did make a mistake. I know that I have, and may continue to make the same mistakes that people make. It's tough trying to be a good guy.
Guitar.com: Counting to ten is hard.
Mustaine: Oh, I've counted to a hundred a few times.
Guitar.com: Has the music business gotten easier to deal with or have the challenges just changed?
Mustaine: The hardest part is remembering the names of the people. So, it's Dude!' Dude?' Dude -- ' Dude.' Hey, dude.' And if its someone I really like I say, You're the MAN.' What's happenin' DUDE.' It comes down to things like when it's somebody getting something from us, they're on us like a second coat of paint and when it's time for us to get something from somebody, we have to play the waiting game. And that's sad. That shouldn't be how people do business in America. And I'm not implying that it's anybody in particular. It's like that with just about everyone we've encountered.
Guitar.com: Generally though, you seem to thrive on the business side of all this as much as the music. Many artists would just as soon not bother with the business.
Mustaine: That's the people that get fucked. Those are guys that end up like Billy Joel or Stevie Wonder or TLC or any of the other myriads of people who end up getting ripped off. If you keep your mind on your money and your money on your mind you're gonna make sure that you don't ever get into a hole and you don't have to play music to keep the lights on. You play it because you actually love it.
Guitar.com: Has your working relationship in the band changed a lot over the years?
Mustaine: Yeah. We tried it the way of a dictatorship, and then we tried a democracy and then it went down to being pretty much like a group conscience and I was the trusted leader. And that's worked the best. 'Cause I have the final say-so but I want everyone to know that their opinion is important to me because they're all my business partners.
Be sure to pick up Dave and Crew's latest release "End Game"