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!

Tour of Consequences

appeard in Metal Hammer, March 1995
by Robyn Doreian


Touring in 1995 has called for reassessment of the way Megadeth have done things in the past. The imposed metal clichés are gone and the rigorous schedules dispensed with, allowing space for a band who just want to be themselves and do things on their own terms. Robyn Doreian tracks down the mellower Mustaine and co. in New York to check the aggressions barometer.

Dave Mustaine and producer Max Norman sit at the mixing console at the Hit Factory, New York. It's minus four degrees outside. But inside the walls of these renowned studios, the likes of David Bowie can be seen strolling from room to room contemplating their next hit record.

The Megadeth frontman is here making final adjustments to the B-side of "A Tout Le Monde". The new song, sensitively titled "Bullprick", reverberates around the timber walls. It's aggressive lyrics and pounding guitar riffs have the trademark Mustaine sound stamped all over it.

On first listening, the chorus "On your back/Down your throat/Up your arse" hints at some form of deviant sexual behavior. But with Mustaine, you learn never take things at face value. Actually, it is an innocent tale inspired by a piece of drilling equipment capable of boring through 12 inches of concrete. Spotted whilst on tour in Texas, the barbarian apparatus made a lasting impression.

"I knew that a lot of people would think we were homophobes if they took 'Bullprick' the wrong way," explains Mustaine. "But it's about this construction tool we saw in El Paso. A big tractor had this long arm that hung out and had this metallic thing with this monster drill bit. It's one of the fiercest tools they have aside from dynamite. I asked the guy what it was called and he said 'Bullprick'."

"'Iron Man' was such a cool Black Sabbath song that I thought 'Bullprick' would be a great kind of thing too. This guy who just comes and destroys things with it. It's just the mentality of the thing: someone having a fun time with this evil machinery. If you're going to get mowed down by this thing, basically every part of your body is going to become an orifice, as it will puncture holes straight through you..."

With tonight's gig only two hours away, Mustaine instructs the fifth member of Megadeth to make one final adjustment to the sound of the hi-hat, and he is gone. Walking up 53rd Street, clad in a black Megadeth tour jacket, Mustaine remains anonymous to the cab driver who takes the longest route possible to the Roseland Bowl.

Outside the venue, lines of fans clamor to get their backstage passes for tonight's meet-and-greet for the food drive the band has organized throughout the US tour. Security guards escort Mustaine in through the stage door, much to the amusement of onlooking fans.

Plagued with health problems, Mustaine's first priority is back and neck adjustment to relax and prepare him for the demanding 90-minute performance which awaits. His condition has also called for a rethinking of the touring schedule, giving the singer adequate time off to maintain optimum fitness.

"I've had a lot of trouble with my stomach because of stress and an adverse reaction I had to some antibiotics I had to take for some dental work. Before I go onstage, it's really difficult to eat and swallow. Recently I've had severe sinusitis surgery, where the doctor had to completely laser out my sinuses to get rid of all the drug damage I'd done to my nose. It's helped my singing and my general health."

"As soon as I'm onstage I don't feel anything, but if I'm soundchecking with all electricity coming down the microphone, it will go into my teeth and makes my whole mouth feel like I've been hit with a hammer! After I'm done playing, that's when the adverse affects set in."

"What we need to do now is to stay consistent, as we lost our momentum in the eighties and early part of the nineties due to drug abuse and instability of management. Right now I think things are set positively enough where we can work to tour the entire planet properly."

"The other guys in the band might not feel comfortable taking 10 days off, and I might not feel comfortable with that, but it's important for the first show after that 10-day break. For the kid at the last show before the time off, he may not be getting a good show unless I take the break to cool my voice down, do the medical stuff required, and get focused with my family life at home. If there's something going on with my family, I don't want to play!"

"When all my house is in order, then I can go out there and have fun. I really get off on bringing pleasure to other people's lives. That's part of the reason why I don't get off on picking on the crowd, because I've seen how I've affected people. I can't tell you how may people have come up to me and told me how I've helped them through some really hard times!"

How do these people get in touch with you?

"They just come through the Internet, through backstage entrances, out of the audiences, at the food drives, at the truck stops and hotels."

"A guy told me that I helped him through a divorce. Another guy came up to me and cried and said that I had saved his life! I did an intervention on someone that was suicidal in New Zealand over the telephone!"

"It is God's will for us to run into each other, and that's what happens. For whatever reason I've gone through the stuff I have, it's given me the credibility to talk to these people about these things. We can relate and I can say: 'Look, I've had all these things go wrong in my life, and I'm still here, healthy, alive and successful.'"

"When I first got off the smack, I was into no drugs, no alcohol; you do this around me and you had better leave. Now it's like I'm comfortable in my own skin, and if you are going to do that it's cool. Sometimes its good for me to see, because I see how stupid people are when they're out of their minds."

"The reason I got kicked out of my former band [Metallica] was because when they got drunk they got happy; when I got drunk, all the abuse from my childhood came up, and because of my anger I wanted to fight all the time. That's why I got into martial arts. I was not fun to be around, because I could hurt people. And I don't like hurting people."

In more ways than one, the "Youthanasia" tour is very different to its predecessor. Gone are all the clichés of the all-in-black metal brigade, leaving room for the band to express themselves as four individuals. A more relaxed touring schedule will ensure that there is no danger of Mustaine heading for a relapse similar to his reported drug overdose of '93. Enforced time off and a newly found band unity have put Megadeth into a more singular frame of mind. The stories of band members traveling to gigs separately are a thing of the past.

"The band is getting along so much better now. We have better guitar techs, lighting and sound guys, better everything."

"We're playing a very fluid set. We understand pacing, and we have moved away from the things that are so stereotypically heavy metal. We just do what we want to do. A lot of people have given me shit about me cutting my hair and what I wear, but I just do what I want and I don't have to answer to anybody. One night if I'm in a small club I may wear blue jeans, the next day I may wear leather pants. It depends on how I feel. I'm tired of living within the confines of being stereotypically pigeonholed. A lot of people are purists and want to see things a certain way and are scared of the change."

Do you think your fans expect you to always be dressed in black, with a bullet belt slung around your waist?

"The thing is that you expect the unexpected from me. You never know what I'm going to say or what I'm going to wear. I think what it is that we're doing a little bit of finding ourselves."

"This is what made Youthanasia so fluid. There was a congeniality we all experienced with the making of this record. We had made the technically perfect record with Countdown to Extinction; you couldn't put a bug's dick in between any of the notes they were so tight! We needed to do that, and I was thinking, 'Well, what is a good heavy metal band?' A good heavy metal band is about breaking down the walls!"

Do you still consider yourself a heavy metal band?

"Yes I do."

With the new mellower Mustaine, how do you maintain a sense of anger?

"I haven't changed, I'm still as combustible as ever. I just have my priorities straight! People really get off on watching me fuck with people, but it doesn't make me feel good at the end of the day. When I strap that guitar on and get onstage, I turn into a motherfucker! When I come off and reflect on what I've done and who I am today, I don't really like doing that to people."

"I would rather play to the new fans who aren't aware of all the past shit that's taken place. There are a lot of them, and we play the old catalogue for the fans who have been there from the beginning. A lot of people will be disappointed because I don't act vile, but are they there to diss somebody or are they there to hear us play?"

One incredible positive development is the food drive the band have initiated across America. In exchange for 10 pounds of canned food deposited at a local bank, fans receive a pass to meet the band after the show. So who was the mastermind behind this?

"When I first left Metallica, I had been in severe financial depression and I was borderline homeless. I was living in Dave's van and Dave was living in his van. We were living off really unattractive people, just having sex with people for food or money or drugs. We would steal stuff, sell drugs or do whatever we could to get fed.

"We were at one of our team-building meetings and I said that we needed to go back to day one, and anybody that has ever helped us from the beginning of our career until now, we need to acknowledge and thank them. There will be a lot of people we'll never see again, so we need to do something that's just going to be a gesture of goodwill. If we do something like food drive, that would be really cool because it will help a lot of these people out.

"It's so beautiful! They've been hugging us and telling us how much they love us. Some of them are so nervous they don't know what to say. I think a lot of them are doing it to just meet us, but it is planting a seed."

"A lot of people who meet me think I'm the person they read about in the magazines, but I am not how the press portrays me. On MTV they edit what I say; in the press they misconstrue what I say to the point where Dave becomes this evil person. If they get the chance to talk to me on the Internet they go, 'You are so different, you are really involved with your fans and you really care.' Yeah, I do care!"

The whole metal scene has changed so much. Are you having a hard time adjusting?

"Well, we're not having an easy time right now. Spiritually we are getting along and we are enjoying ourselves. Radio isn't really interested in heavy metal, MTV isn't either, and television doesn't want to talk to us. They see the name Megadeth and they're scared of it, so that's why we play places like this. It's a small venue, and kids can get close to us and dig what they see. It is important, and it's not what's comfortable for us. But it is important that we show our fans no matter how successful we get, we are not going to sell out!"


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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