Megadeth Interviews


On the Phone with Dave :: Out to Lunch :: So Far, So Good for Megadeth :: Rust in Peace :: Dave the Human, Mustaine the Artist :: A Founding Forefather of Thrash :: The Outside Corner :: Music Is Our Business... And Business Is Good :: Deth Rally :: Trial by Fire :: Megadeth Conquers Globe :: Megadeth: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered :: Shooting from the Hip :: I Made It Home Alive! :: So Far, So Good... Now What? :: Megadeth: Online and Onstage :: Sodom and Gomorra :: Metal Is Still Their Business... But Who's Buying? :: Shooting from the Hip II :: Country and Western :: Metal Church :: Get in the Van :: Foreclosure of a Team :: Last Men Standing :: Without the MTV Support :: Set the World on Fire :: Dave Mustaine University :: Heavy Metal Marines :: The Real Line-up of Megadeth :: Risk Factor :: The World Will End in Megadeth :: Megadeth: Crush'em with Ferocity and Finesse :: An Ugly American :: Try to Sue Capital Records! :: Big Boys :: We're Pissed Off Again :: Dave Mustaine's Symphony of Reconstruction :: It Wasn't Fun Anymore :: Metallidethica :: Answers to the Questions Everyone's Been Asking :: Dave Ellefson: Life After Megadeth :: Die Another Day

Sodom and Gomorra

taken from Highway666.com, 1995
Sheila Rene talks to Dave Mustaine


Sheila Rene: I'm still not through with the last album. I'm still listening to "Architecture of Aggression" and others.

Dave Mustaine: "Architecture of Aggression" was a particular song. It was written with Saddam Hussein in mind but using a book based on the underground shelters for World War II. The allies versus Adolph. The book was given to me by our assistant management in England. It belonged to the woman who runs that company's husband and the book mysteriously disappeared. It was a very rare book and it was top secret information of war headquarters, shelters, and tunnels. I don't know if it fell into the wrong hands or not.

SR: Is "youthanasia" a word that's been on your mind for a long time?

DM: No, I heard Dr. Jack talking about it. He was talking about being a seller of euthanasia and with the end of the "Holy Wars" I said something about the lack of mercy killings. I believe that the American Medical Association and the insurance companies of America are scamming people that are comotose and by all means their bodies have signaled that it's time for them to depart this physical shell. The greed of doctors and insurance people to keep these poor victims on life support machines. The way that it got twisted into being spelled with a 'yo' is a neological word play where it combines young people turning to drugs, gangs, crime, violence, teenage pregnancy and ultimately suicide whether it's quickly or whether it takes a long period of time. The course of "youthanasia" says that you tell us how to run our lives and we run the "youthanasia" because we just don't want to deal with it. It's inbred that we would want to be our own gods when Eve bite that apple. She made the decision to choose for herself between what's right and wrong and it's inbred with children to do that. Parents like to get social mileage out of their kids. As soon as a child shows any kind of autonomy then the parent feels shamed in society and they turn their back on this child. So what happens? Who ultimately suffers? The parent? The whole world does because we keep putting these baby-makers onto the planet that have bad templates of caring and nurturing. If a child watches his dad treat his mother like shit what's he going to do with his wife? Treat her like shit. I'm making amends to myself and reprogramming myself on the way that I handle my son.

SR: I'd hope a lot of people would get your message.

DM: You never know. A lot of people live vicariously through what I do, say, sing about and play. I'm not the messiah; however, I do firmly believe that if there was the greatest man who lived it would have to be him. A lot of people don't even believe he ever existed, but it all comes back to the basic rule - do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It took a long time for me to come to that rationalization. That it was a necessary component for me to be able to stay in my own skin.

SR: Did the cover come out like you wanted?

DM: It depends. If you're talking about the picture. The picture is fine. A lot of stuff got changed. The first 700,000 copies of the album cover were printed without the band's approval. I had to specifically fly in there to have a conversation with the art director for the fourth time on how to do it right. I ended up finally going in there with a microcassette recorder and taping the whole conversation. I then made a copy of it and sent it to my attorney. I mean when it comes down to protecting myself I'm very clever at doing what's necessary. Now it's all on tape. I said everything on tape. He was there and he was talking on it. It was a real cassette and I had witnesses there. So if it ever comes down to a court of law I can say "look it was all documented and this person for lack of a better word was unfacilitated with limitations on board and just didn't do what I asked". We were in England and Capitol dropped the other shoe on me. I saw the album cover for the first time and I was so hurt and disappointed and we're still going round and round trying to get it straightened out. Snoop Doggy Dog had a record come out and in six days they [Warner Bros] printed 2.7 million records. Capitol could have straightened out that problem. They could have thrown away those 700,000 bogus covers but they didn't. So this is a good indication of things to come. This is the fourth administration at Capitol and there's never a dull moment there for us. I mean the music never changes. It just gets better, but it's like what next? What we put inside the record you can count on, but what's on the outside your guess is as good as mine.

SR: My favorite song that says it all about my life today is "I Thought I Knew It All."

DM: I wrote that song with Dave Ellefson. Me Too is his name.

SR: Which came first the studio or Max Norman?

DM: Max built the studio that we recorded in. We took it all apart when we finished. I left and I was all sad. I didn't want to look back. It was like Sodom and Gomorra. I knew if I looked back I'd turn into a pillar of salt. I'll never see that place again.

SR: The whole project sounded like so much fun.

DM: It was. It was very creative.

SR: Was the move to Arizona a good one for you and the family?

DM: Yes, very much so.

SR: What is it that gets all you rockers to move there? I know of many groups there now. No taxes?

DM: Whoever said no taxes in Arizona is full of it. There's taxes. They may not be as substantial as they are in California. I think that what your fine governor there uses to pad his bank account. He sure isn't using it to build proper roads. Drive on a freeway in Arizona and then drive on one in California. You'll bounce yourself to nasua in California but in Arizona they're smooth.

SR: Can we talk about the information highway and Megadeth, Arizona? Megatravelers can compete in contests, drop into the Digital Drive-In for video clips and music videos and television interviews, play games and a lot more.

DM: Sure. It's pretty particular. It's new to me. I have so little time and I'm so consumed with mixing and this artwork problem and doing interviews I haven't been on the highway much yet. I'm so backed up with my Quicken program that unfortunately for me is very important and I have statements for a couple of months that I haven't entered. I just got completely oblivious to the outside world during this mix process.

SR: Talk about Max Norman and how it was to work with him.

DM: You know it's always a challenge because Max is really intelligent and sometimes you don't know if he's kidding with you or if he's being insulting. You'll do something that's good or may not be good and he'll use different words to qualify what he thinks the performance was. Is he serious or does he think it's shit and he's just being sarcastic? Or does he really like it or does he not like it?

SR: You eventually get around to finding out don't you?

DM: Yeah, sometimes but you know it's more fun to just let it roll off the cuff and be spontaneous like that.

SR: How was the Black Sabbath tribute project for you? Was it fun?

DM: It just kinda came and went. It was one of those things where it was a no brainer. I haven't heard the album yet.

SR: Your version of "Paranoid" is exceptional. Everyone is a little paranoid.

DM: You like that do you? That's why we chose it. We played all their records and listened to every song. Some of them could have been done well if we'd done a little bit of arranging work on it and changed a couple of the riffs not the notations so much just the way it was played. We felt that kinda like being blasphemous. It was easy to do to do to a Sex Pistols thing and a Nancy Sinatra thing but it was a little different with Sabbath. After we got fed up with listening to everything and not being able to decide. I got pissed and just got into "Paranoid" and that's what we did.

SR: You sound like you have the flu.

DM: No. We did this live thing for MTV last night for Halloween. It's called the "Night of the Living Megadeth." It's going to be aired at 8:00 o'clock and at midnight.

SR: I'll be home watching. I hate to go outside on Halloween.

DM: Yeah, it's a sad state of affairs when you can't enjoy going out like that. I can remember when I wee tot they wouldn't let kids go out because of needles, razor blades and apples and poisoned candy. Now it just so dangerous. It truly has become the night of the dead.

SR: Is that you on the cool first solo on "The Killing Road?"

DM: No, I take off after the stops. It's really been a blessing for us to get Marty into the band because when he's not soloing he's helping and when I'm not soloing I'm arranging. We both can play off each other a lot. I can't really write Guitar Solos as much as I can sing what I hear. For example I played the solo on "Train of Consequences." He did the first one and then I said I wanted to play a solo so I played my solo and I showed him how I wanted it to go and this is what you need here. You need a climax at the end and I came back in and they said "we changed Guitar Solo check this out and see if it's OK?" It got the initial point across that I thought was necessary which ultimately removed the necessity for my solo because the first attempt at it was climatic.

SR: Another favorite for me is "A Tout Le Monde."

DM: It means to all the world.

SR: Is "Elysian Fields" about heaven?

DM: To some people it's heaven and to some people it's Valhalla and to others it's the final resting place. And to others it's the field of the dead. It just depends on who you're talking to and how they perceive it. It comes from Greek mythology.

SR: And what about "Family Tree" where you say the tigers eat their young?

DM: It's symbolic. It's a parable about how parents feed off their children to clean up their past.

SR: Did you pick the most excellent photographer Richard Avedon for your band photos on the album?

DM: Well, we had a couple of people we wanted to talk to. But when Richard came into play we just said "how can you deny the greatest photographer of all times?" We had talked to a couple of other people who were equally good but they just were not great. Just in comparison, Annie Lebowitz is supposed to be the greatest rock photographer. Well, Richard is the greatest photographer, period. His greatness is incredible. He captured our spirits. You know because they say that behind the eyes lie the mirrors to the soul and you can look into our eyes and really see who we are for the first time.

SR: What about the group picture on the CD itself?

DM: That's us playing air guitar. We were listening to the Ramones when we did that. Marty is a Ramones freak.

SR: What's the touring looking like?

DM: Well, like I said we did our first live show last night. We play the first single on Jon Stewart's show on November 4. Then on November 24 we play the MTV Europe Awards Show in Berlin. We don't play at the awards show but there's something called the club tour which happens after the ceremony just for the MTV awards audience. We head down to South America on November 29 and tour until December 16. Somewhere around that date we'll be in Mexico. We start in the US the first week of January.

SR: Who are you taking out this time?

DM: We've got a lot of groups we'd like to take out but until we say who it is, we'd just be promoting other bands. We don't want to give any ideas to other bands that are searching for cool support. Every band we've taken out had achieved super stardom. We took out Alice in Chains and they're multi-platinum. We took Stone Temple Pilots out when they were unknown and they're multi-platinum. I think it's so wonderful to see these young bands that we listened to and liked and watch the trend of the Americans follow suit in my taste. It just reminds me that I still have half a brain functioning. Then when you see it happened with Pantera and a couple of other groups like The Almighty who's just starting to break it out. We just don't want to divulge that information at this time.

SR: Are you real happy now that the band has jelled so well?

DM: No, I'm really bummed that we get along. I don't know if we're any closer than before. It's just that we communicate better. Besides all that bullshit in the past is part of the creative process. It was very necessary. Every time you go through the fire, you get forged.

SR: I find it very interesting that your bio on this album was written by Dean Koontz who's the best-selling author of "Dark Rivers of the Heart" and other novels.

DM: His books have circulated our bus for many a tour. I didn't know he was going to do this and neither did he. I think it was in the cards though. He's been writing all these books just to get practice.


On the Phone with Dave :: Out to Lunch :: So Far, So Good for Megadeth :: Rust in Peace :: Dave the Human, Mustaine the Artist :: A Founding Forefather of Thrash :: The Outside Corner :: Music Is Our Business... And Business Is Good :: Deth Rally :: Trial by Fire :: Megadeth Conquers Globe :: Megadeth: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered :: Shooting from the Hip :: I Made It Home Alive! :: So Far, So Good... Now What? :: Megadeth: Online and Onstage :: Sodom and Gomorra :: Metal Is Still Their Business... But Who's Buying? :: Shooting from the Hip II :: Country and Western :: Metal Church :: Get in the Van :: Foreclosure of a Team :: Last Men Standing :: Without the MTV Support :: Set the World on Fire :: Dave Mustaine University :: Heavy Metal Marines :: The Real Line-up of Megadeth :: Risk Factor :: The World Will End in Megadeth :: Megadeth: Crush'em with Ferocity and Finesse :: An Ugly American :: Try to Sue Capital Records! :: Big Boys :: We're Pissed Off Again :: Dave Mustaine's Symphony of Reconstruction :: It Wasn't Fun Anymore :: Metallidethica :: Answers to the Questions Everyone's Been Asking :: Dave Ellefson: Life After Megadeth :: Die Another Day

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