Megadeth Press Articles


So Far, So Good... So Mega! :: Marty Friedman's Stepping Stone :: Clash of the Titans - Mighty Megadeth :: I'm a Rock Star, OK? :: The Big Four :: Rust Never Sleeps :: Good Times, Bad Times, Dave Times :: Clash of the Titans :: The Secrets of Hangar 18 :: Simply Symphonic :: Deth Metal! :: Love it to 'Deth! :: A Kinder, Gentler... Megadeth :: RIP Reader's Poll Winner - Best Album: Countdown to Extinction :: I Was Dead and They Brought Me Back! :: Godzilla vs. Megadeth :: Tour of Consequences :: Mustaine Mouths Off :: MD.45 - The Mustaine Side Project :: There's a Lot of Fire on This Album! :: Dethspotting :: Megadeth: Secret Mission :: At the Start It Was About Revenge :: Escaping Capitol Punishment to Reach Sanctuary :: Megadeth's Really Over!

Mustaine Mouths Off

taken from Hit Parader, July 1995
by Sam Beecham


Dave Mustaine found himself sitting on the horns of a dilemma. With Megadeth's latest album, Youthanasia, doing solid - if unspectacular - sales business, and demand for Megadeth concert tickets at a solid - if unspectacular - level, Dangerous Dave needed to confront a ticklish issue head-on. Did he want to make a bold attempt to escalate Megadeth's career by venturing into larger concert venues than ever before, or did he want to take what would be perceived throughout the music industry as a "lateral career move" and choose to return to the same mid-sized halls that the band had filled to capacity the last time they were on the road? The decision, to most mortals, would have appeared obvious... go back to the mid-sized places. But then, Mustaine has never played by the same rules as the rest of us human peons. After all, he loudly and proudly proclaimed at the time of Youthanasia's release that this was destined to be the disk that pushed the Mega-men over the top of the metal mountain. A "lateral" move under such circumstances could well be construed as a little more than outright "surrender" to the ever-ambitious Mustaine mind.

"This album has a feeling of greatness about it," Mustaine said. "That's what we were aiming for the moment we started writing the songs. The goal this year is to make everything reach that same level whether it's the live shows, the videos or anything else we might try to do. I like to believe that with what we're doing now we've gone beyond the normal categories people place on music. I've heard critics label this album everything from 'thrash' to 'metal' to 'rock', but I don't think they really know what they're talking about - which is certainly nothing new. It maybe be all of those things, but labels don't do those songs justice."

Despite Mustines's occasional shots at the media, rival bands, or even his record label (who he believes have been slackers in some regards when it comes to properly promoting Youthanasia, but more about that later), Megadeth has emerged as one of the most beloved groups of the hard rock genre. In fact, it's often been asserted that it is The Dangerous One's often arrogant stance that has served as the catapult that has launched the Mega Metal Machine into the rock stratosphere. After all, who wants a mild-mannered, overly-polite, soft-spoken frontman for the band that widely hailed as the single most lethal unit to ever hit the top of the charts? But even Mustaine wasn't prepared for some of the harsh criticism that he and his bandmates (bassist Dave Ellefson, guitarist Marty Friedman and drummer Nick Menza) received for the controversial cover and album title that adorn their later platinum platter. In particular, a number of pro-life factions took umbrage at the band's cover choices.

"It's hard to judge the way people will react to things," Mustaine said. "The title Youthanasia was more of a play on words than anything else. It's far from the first time we've done something like that. But you can't read anything into it. The fact that we had a cover with babies strung on a clothesline with the title Youthanasia above it caused some misguided people to assume we were making some grand political statement about abortion or something like that. It's just now so. In fact, this is the least political album we're ever done. People can read what they want into anything we do, but unfortunately most of the time there interpretations are totally incorrect."

It's hard to say whether or not any of this controversy has had any detrimental effect on the sales of the band's latest release. Yet it is known that some major retail outlets gave the group's label, Capitol Records, an initially hard time about stocking the supposedly controversial disk. Mustaine admits that he finds any heat placed on Capitol rather amusing since the band is in the midst of negotiations with the label. Much like his former bandmates in Metallica - who a few months back successfully sued their parent company, Elektra Entertainment, in their bid to renegotiate what they viewed as an antiquated contract - Mustaine holds the strong belief that some folks in his labels upper echelon aren't dealing very fairly with Megadeth this time around. He believes their attitudes have had a detrimental effect not only on the band, but on the acceptance of their latest disc as well.

"It can be difficult when you're in the middle of renegotiating with the label," Mustaine said. "But, in all honesty, it shouldn't be. Capitol is giving off the impression that Megadeth isn't any more important to them now than we were when we first signed with them. That's a very strange attitude for a label to take when you're one of the biggest rock acts that company has. Sometimes I wonder if they even know how to properly treat a rock act. They totally messed up our album cover and now I sometimes get the impression that they're trying to mess us up as well. But I hope they realize that any of the mind bums they're playing won't work with us. We started out as a small band on an indie label, and if it means having to go back to being an indie band, that doesn't scare us one bit."

Harsh wordshave never been known to intimidate Mustaine in any way, shape, or form, and the issuing of such dictums comes as naturally to him as tuning a guitar. Yet when all is said and done it seems most unlikely that either Capitol would run the risk of losing their most profitable hard rock act, or that Megadeth would want to play the dangerous game of alienating their label prior to their contract having run its course. At the present time, the Mega-men owe Capitol at least one more studio release (with the additional option for a live disc or "greatest hits" album at that label's discretion). So it seems as if new contract or not, Megadeth is tied to Capitol's purse strings, at least for the next two or three years. But, as with everything else in the entertainment world, things can change in a hurry.

"We're trying to work out a new deal," Mustaine said. "But we want to be sure that they're as supportive of us now as they were a few years ago. It always seems like certain top-level people come aboard who just aren't as positive about you as their predecessors might have been. After all, they didn't sign you in the first lace. But if that's the way it is with us, all they've got to do is tell us - which they're not doing. They seem to feel everything is great. Well, I guess we'll find out about that in the near future."


So Far, So Good... So Mega! :: Marty Friedman's Stepping Stone :: Clash of the Titans - Mighty Megadeth :: I'm a Rock Star, OK? :: The Big Four :: Rust Never Sleeps :: Good Times, Bad Times, Dave Times :: Clash of the Titans :: The Secrets of Hangar 18 :: Simply Symphonic :: Deth Metal! :: Love it to 'Deth! :: A Kinder, Gentler... Megadeth :: RIP Reader's Poll Winner - Best Album: Countdown to Extinction :: I Was Dead and They Brought Me Back! :: Godzilla vs. Megadeth :: Tour of Consequences :: Mustaine Mouths Off :: MD.45 - The Mustaine Side Project :: There's a Lot of Fire on This Album! :: Dethspotting :: Megadeth: Secret Mission :: At the Start It Was About Revenge :: Escaping Capitol Punishment to Reach Sanctuary :: Megadeth's Really Over!

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