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!

Simply Symphonic

taken from Metal Hammer, November 1991


David "Junior" Ellefson and Dave Mustaine are wrapped. No, make that really wrapped! Megadeth and Max Norman, who co-produced their last opus, the ground-breaking Rust in Peace, are into the last stretch of what has been, in Megadeth terms, a mammoth recording session for their eagerly-awaited new album. Today is the first day of final mixing; the songs are all completed in their raw form on tape. All that remains is for Norman and the ever-present Dave Mustaine to tweak the frequencies and tone the levels and, in the case of a couple of numbers, add some choice sound effects! Adrenalin is running high in the Megadeth organization with everyone, from band themselves to their record company staff, fired-up about the new material.

Ellefson, hyper-exhilarated bassist, and a quietly confident Mustaine are eager to talk about the new single, the crunching power groove "Symphony of Destruction". It's quite possibly the most direct song they've ever written, welding a straight-ahead churning central riff to an addictively-hooked chorus that has Mustaine spiraling the words, 'Just like the pied piper, led rats though the streets, we dance like marionettes, swaying to the symphony of destruction' around a deceptively simple rhythm. His previously peevish whine mutating into a mutinous sneer of malevolent discontent.

Ellefson's words tumble out in a rush of excitement.

"Well, we kinda took a new attitude, you know? I think that we have always been playing music very similar to this, only this time we've slowed down a lot of the stuff so that you can actually hear it! I think that it's every bit as progressive and has as much attitude as our previous records but it was actually a lot harder to play this stuff slower. It's a new technique for us, to slow a couple of the numbers down and lock into some heavy grooves."

In direct contrast to Megadeth records of the past, there's a definitely a more relaxed and spacious feel to the new songs. The band no longer feel that they have to prove themselves as musicians, which has lead to a new air of confidence that has allowed them to stretch out and explore with the new material.

"I think that it's really obvious," explains Ellefson. "Partly because we really took our time in finding the best groove for each song, you know? On the demo that we did for 'Symphony of Destruction' the song was a little bit faster. It wasn't until we were in the studio to record the song properly that we really messed around with the tempos on all the songs to make sure that they were all 'in the pocket' as they say."

'Symphony of Destruction' is, believe it or not, a Megadeth track that you can actually hum. I wouldn't go as far as to say that it's a ditty or that your parents will be commenting that 'oh yes it's definitely got a good beat!', but it does have mainstream acceptability stamped all over it. Acceptability married to credibility.

"I used to go about it the wrong way before," says Mustaine with consummate honesty. "I used to write music that was complicated for the sake of being complicated and unless you play guitar, you know what it sounds like? It sounds like you go t fucking hornets in your head! You know, you can't figure out what I'm doing. I'd lost sight of everything. So this time we're coming back full circle, 'a dog always returns to his vomit' as the Bible says, and we're playing music that we like! You know what? 'Symphony of Destruction' was written in a couple of days - it was one of the simplest songs I've ever written and it comes across as one of the most acceptable as far as people liking it goes. I realized that you need personal instinct gratification, you know, P.I.G. That's me, I'm a P.I.G.!"

This is more thoughtful Megadeth than in the past. Two years without the distractions of drugs has left the two Daves with clear bodies and highly focused minds.

"You know, we had fun this time," says Mustaine in measured and careful tones that strangely avoid his 'hothead' reputation. "It's almost like going through a childbirth again [Mustaine has a young son, named Justis]. This is the first time that I've been really this tuned-in to the project from beginning to end and really sat and made my opinions known to everybody. On the last record I was just freshly sober, I'd just kicked heroin and free-basing and I was still kinda working the bugs out of my brain. It's almost been two years since I've done smack or crack and I feel really good!" he exclaims. "Before, we were setting out to plant our flag and reclaim our territory and show everybody that we didn't sell out and this time it's like 'you know, if you think that we've sold out then fuck you'. But if people think that, well that's OK because you know what? The record's still gonna sell, and we're still gonna tour and you know what? We're gonna have fun while we do it! It's the first time I've made a record from beginning to end that I cherish every single note of."

This "new" Dave Mustaine, sky-diver, father and (unbeknowed to most) keen supporter of charity, is keen to stress that maturity has blunted none of his venom or aggression.

"Things are still as violent as ever! One of the songs we have is called 'Captive Honour' about a guy that goes to prison and gets butt-fucked the moment he walks inside the door. And you know the strange thing? It's that stuff like that really happens! That was one of Junior's songs."

Another of the newies, the cast iron "Sweating Bullets" concerns itself with Mustaine's fight against addiction. He reckons that if he can beat drugs then anyone can. You are what you make yourself, he says.

"People recover. I did. People just don't like what they see when they hold the mirror up." The last couple of years have been a time of non-stop motion for Mustaine and co. First was the release of their most successful album to date, Rust in Peace, then came the mammoth world - encompassing tour including two headline tours, shared top - billing on the two "Clash of the Titans" tours and the final jaunt around Japan to round things off. Rather than being exhausted with the seemingly endless road life, the buzz given off by the new album means that they actually can't wait to get back out there spreading the Megadeth disease come the early summer. Extensive touring has lead to a tighter band unit and an important realization that in the pas t they didn't always get things as musically right as they may've imagined.

"We thought a lot more about the writing of this album," says Ellefson. "After playing our music around the world for two years we had a much better idea of what worked with us and what didn't. There are little bits of our songs that we can't stand listening to! This time we totally focused on what works. It was all about taking the time to make sure that each one of us knows exactly what note, or drumbeat, or line the other one is playing or singing. None of us are showing off this time. Marty is playing some great guitar and Nick is playing drums so well it's brilliant! This is very much a band."

For now, though, you'll have to satiate yourself with the weird and wonderful "Symphony of Destruction" single before the full album is released in a month's time. Mustaine promises that Countdown to Extinction has "So much variety - it's typical Megadeth. One song might slowly drag the point home and another will know your dick right in the dirt because it's so fast!"

Ah hah! Vintage Mustaine at last! Ponder if you will the interesting fact that the man is seriously considering a move to Scotland, prompted by his wife who trains horses for a living.

"It would be great to get some land and get some horses." Realizing he's blowing his hell-raiser image he adds laughing, "obviously I'd be dueling the horses not riding 'em!"

Start the countdown to the Mustaine detonation in July! It's gonna be a monster!


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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