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!

RIP Reader's Poll Winner - Best Album: Countdown to Extinction

taken from RIP, December 1993


Megadeth's tour manager claims his health is always at its peak when he's out on the road, but the minute he steps foot inside his own front door, he immediately succumbs to illness. You'd think it would be the other way around, considering what we hear about the stereotypically debauched world of rock 'n' roll excess, but things have been a bit topsy-turvy ever since Megadeth decided to clean up their act. A full-time trainer now accompanies them on tour, keeping guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine in tune through the physical and mental discipline of martial arts and conducting personal fitness programs for bassist Dave "Junior" Ellefson, guitarist Marty Friedman and drummer Nick Menza.

Mustaine is the first to admit that it wasn't always like this. He recalls a time when road life was particularly volatile: "Our drummer at the time, Gar Samuelson, was being an idiot. He threw a drumstick at me, and it stuck in my guitar strap and made me look like I had an arrow in my back; so I put my guitar through his drum kit. There was a hole in the bass drum; I just sat the guitar in it. He picked it up and threw it, and the head snapped off. I went backstage and grabbed a bottle of tequila and broke the neck off and said I was going to fucking gut him like a catfish. This was way back when I was in active addiction. I was drunk, and I wanted blood. I would still be lifting weights in prison if it wasn't for one of our road crew, who pushed a locker in front of the door, turned to me and said, 'Kill me, if you're going to kill someone.' I saw the humor in it and thought, 'You son of a bitch, now I need another guitar'!"

Glasgow, Scotland, isn't exactly Hollywood, California. Nothing of any great consequence seems to be happening in this industrial city in northern Britain, surrounded by lush countryside and rugged hills, apart from the arrival of a bunch of thrashers from Los Angeles. Barrowlands looks like it used to be quite a nice theater, but over the years both the glamour and the seats have disappeared. For the next couple of hours the wooden floor will quake with the strain of holding up a couple of thousand sweating, moshing Megadeth maniacs.

The band soundchecks using riffs from the new material they are constantly working on. At one point Nick Menza steps down from the drum stool and churns out a few chords on Mustaine's silver-plated axe. Afterwards Junior can be found in the dressing room, tapping away on the keyboard of his laptop computer. He takes it with him everywhere to file his on-the-road diary and input people's names as he meets them, hoping to avoid future embarrassment. Marty Friedman mirrors the martial arts moves of the band's trainer in another small room just off the stage.

Pantera warms up the audience and enlists many converts to their brutally energetic cause. Some nights they come awfully close to whipping the ass of the headliners, but Mustaine and his men have a secret weapon, the lacerating stealth-guitar riff. During their one and a half hour set, Megadeth hurl out lethal favorites like "Symphony of Destruction," "Skin O'My Teeth," "Holy Wars," "Tornado of Souls," "Sweating Bullets," "Countdown to Extinction" and the compulsory punk anthem "Anarchy in the UK." The show over, the punters walk away satisfied that Megadeth can still deliver a tight set of riff-heavy apocalyptic classics. The English press, however, has been harder to convince this time around.

"A lot of people are getting really critical of us. I guess the climate and timing are right for it," Mustaine shrugs. "In the past I would have been really concerned what the press said, but I'm finally at that point in my own head-space where I don't get caught up in what other people are saying. I just enjoy playing. Someone said to me that people were disappointed with the synchronized headbanging and the shirts coming off at the same time. The few times that I do that, I just look down at my guitar, and Junior runs up and wants to headbang with me because we're pals. Sometimes it looks a bit hokey, I'll admit. The day before I heard this, I said to the band, 'We've got to stop doing this Judas Priest stuff or we're going to end up looking like Warrant.'"

The band hustles out to the tour bus, which is surrounded by kids hoping for a closer look at their heroes. Nick holds up a newspaper picture of a topless woman, and the fans react with loud applause. A few moments later he reappears with a video camera and instructs Marty and Mustaine to repeat their rush to the bus so that he can capture it on tape for posterity. "When I say get on the bus, I fucking mean it," he barks in intimidation of some obnoxious Hollywood bigwig. Marty complies, but Mustaine politely tells him to fuck off.

Back at the hotel Junior and Marty head for their rooms, clutching, of all things, boxes of cereal. In need of serious carbohydrate fixes, they disappear into the elevator. Where other bands are gluttons for cold brew, Megadeth prefers Mueslis.

Mustaine seems tired, but he's pleased with the way the British leg of the "Countdown" tour is panning out. Having beaten down the demons of his past, he's an altogether happier and more relaxed cat. His quest for natural thrills to replace the pharmaceutical ones he used to get off on has led him to such hair-raising recreational activities as skydiving and surfing.

"I love being out in the water," he says, "because when you're out there, paddling around, you're so removed from the whole world. Sometimes, though, you'll see a shadow underneath you, and you think, 'Please be a seal.' I can't think of a more violent way to die than from a shark attack."

Inevitably the topic of Metallica comes up, and Mustaine has a firm view on this period of his life.

"I figure that Metallica are such an integral part of me - what they do, how they think- because of how we all started, these three minds. Maybe I'm flattering myself by drawing the comparison, but I think there are a lot of similarities that people deny. The mannerisms that James and I have onstage, some are identical. A lot of the things Lars says are things I used to say. In those days I used to handle all the interviews. When I watch them, it's like I see a part of me, and I'm so happy for them."

"I talk to Lars all the time," he continues. "For whatever reason, James and I haven't really sat down and ironed out the past. I was so hurt by getting fired with no warning that I had a lot of resentment. I was very jealous as I watched my baby go away from me. I watched their success for so long, and for the longest time I was so bitter. But then I realized that I still get royalties from the songs I wrote, and people still make the connection between us."

It seems odd, then, that Megadeth fans usually hate Metallica, and vice versa.

"I think they're getting involved in something they have no business being involved in," Mustaine says. "They're getting into personal affairs that are something out of the past. I was very bitter and jealous, but now I wish the best for them. If someone comes up to me and says, 'Metallica sucks,' I tell them that's not nice. If people can't deal with that coming from a pig rock star like Dave Mustaine, then fuck 'em. I don't want them for my fans anyway."

Four nights later, on the last night of the band's British tour, an incident occurs that will live in the minds of the road crew for some time to come. The merchandising truck, en route to Canterbury with some 18,000 T-shirts aboard, is hijacked by armed robbers. What appears to be a police car, complete with roof-mounted flashing lights, signals the truck to the side of the road: then two men masquerading as members of the local constabulary approach the driver with sawed-off shotguns and demand his money, his briefcase and the ignition keys.

The shaken driver flags down a passing motorist and finally gets word of what has happened to the real boys in blue. Sometime later the truck is found, but is placed in custody for fingerprinting. Meanwhile, the T-shirt screeners in the States are rousted out of bed to produce emergency merchandise for the next show, in Helsinki, Finland .

When Mustaine learns of the crime. he has only one thing to say: "Well, that's proof our T-shirts are in demand, regardless of whether they can pay for them or not!" Hey, after all he's been through, it'll take more than a few stolen shirts to bring him down.


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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