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

Megadeth: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

taken from Hit Parader, May 1995
P.J. Merkle talks to Dave Mustaine


Megadeth's Dave Mustaine is growing rather tired of people telling him how great his band is... how big they're gonna be... how important a role they're going to play in shaping the course of hard tock's immediate future. It's not like Dangerous Dave doesn't like hearing that stuff - in fact, he loves it. It's just that in his heart and soul, Mustaine believes it's about time to both put up and shut up. There's already been enough talk about what Megadeth should accomplish; with the release of their latest album, Youthanasia, it's time to start attaining all the lofty goals that so many rock pundits have long predicted for Mr. Mustaine's mob. Sure, their last effort, Countdown to Extinction, attained platinum certification - quite an accomplishment in itself. But now the sky's the limit for the Mega-men, and nobody knows it more than Mustaine himself. We recently confronted the controversial vocalist/guitarist/producer/song writer about the pressures inherent with fronting what may soon be the biggest hard rock band in the world.


P.J. Merkle: Let's start with something a little different. Why did Megadeth choose to use fashion legend Richard Avendon as your album photographer?

Dave Mustaine: Avendon is more than a fashion photographer. Over the years he's worked with everyone from the Beatles to John F. Kennedy. It was suggested to us that maybe we wanted to get away from the normal circle of rock photographers for this record and that seemed like a good idea to me. He's one of the world's greatest photographers, and since we felt we had a great album in Youthanasia, we wanted everything to have a tough of greatness about it.

PJM: You call Youthanasia a great album. What makes it great?

DM: It's such an effective summation of where Megadeth is at the present time. I think it's surpassed all the categories that are rock and roll yet touched upon all of them at the same time. It's been called a thrash album, it's been called a rock album, and it's even been called an alternative album. To me it can only be called a Megadeth album. That should be enough. We have carved out our niche in the music world. I think one of the best accomplishments of this band is that when you say "Megadeth" to most fans, a certain sound and image come to their mind. I like that.

PJM: It seems that Youthanasia is more of a band effort than past Megadeth albums. Is that true?

DM: I think we started to go in that direction on Countdown to Extinction. But this album is very much a total band effort. But on the other hand, I've got to say that the final call is mine. If there's a musical part, or a song section that I don't like, it isn't going to make the album. Case closed. But I did give everyone more freedom this time and I think they made the most of it

PJM: How much of the new album do you figure you'll be playing on stage?

DM: I would like to play a lot of it. But the fact is that we've got a pretty healthy catalog of material now, and a lot of fans want to hear some of the older things too. I'm sure we'll come up with a good balance between the old stuff and the new songs.

PJM: There have been rumors that you're unhappy with the way the cover of Youthanasia turned out.

DM: Let's just say that the record company ended up using their own version of the cover, not ours. We didn't have final approval of the cover, which is unfortunate. They let a lot of little mistakes make it through the final version, which never should have happened. I think we may be having some problems with the label in the future. But that's another issue. I think Hugh Syme, who actually did the cover artwork, did an incredible job. We presented an idea to him and he took it from there. It really captures the feeling that we wanted for the album, which is all any cover can ever hope to do.

PJM: You brought up the fact that you're not particularly happy with your record label at the moment. Is that just because of the way they handled the cover art?

DM: Nah, there's more to it than that. We're in the middle of renegotiating our contract at the moment, and some attitudes we're getting from them are a little troubling. They're coming across with a vibe that Megadeth is no more valuable to them than we were when we first signed with them eight years ago. I don't think it takes an economics professor to realize that's a very questionable position to take.

PJM: Did your problems with Capitol Records occur before or after you knew that your former bandmates in Metallica were having a similar problem with Elektra Records?

DM: I wasn't aware of their problem, nor do their problems have anything to do with us. The only thing that might be similar is that we're both bands that have independent backgrounds that signed long-term deals a long time ago. Other than that, I know nothing about their legal situation. I'm only interested in our own situation - and hopefully that will be worked out. If our current label doesn't realize that we're worth more now than we were eight years ago, there's something very wrong.

PJM: Dave, one last thing we want to ask you about is your health. It's well known that you suffered through a variety of drug problems over the years. How does it feel to be clean and sober?

DM: By now, it's become very much a part of my every-day life. I've been clean for a number of years now, and the temptations aren't even there any more. I used to think that I had to get myself in a certain state to be effective in the studio, but I've learned that's absolutely not true. I can be just as wild, just as crazy when I'm clean as when I went in to record totally fried.


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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