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

I Made It Home Alive!

taken from Metal Hammer, December 1995
Robyn Doreian talks to Dave Mustaine


"I made it home alive!" states a totally knackered Dave Mustaine. After a grueling stint of touring, Megadeth are taking a well-earned break. But just what is Monsieur Mustaine up to during his time off? Robyn Doreian talks to him in Phoenix, Arizona, to find out.

Megadeth have just come off the road after completing a world tour spanning 11 months. As any band knows, in order to sell shitload of records you need to play every crevice on the face of the Earth to preach to the already converted and hook a load of new fans. No band looking for any measure of success in 1995 can afford to sit around on their arses!

Megadeth's tour itinerary covered everywhere from Berlin to Buenos Aires and all the cities in between. But the hard work paid off, with the suberb Youthanasia album selling two million copies worldwide.

Suck engruelling schedules can lead even the sanest person to drug and alcohol abuse as a diversion from the loneliness of anonymous hotel rooms and endless overnight tour bus journeys. But these days the Megadeth touring machine is lean, mean and clean, and as a band they are playing the best shows of their lives!

After years of experience, they know their strengths and weaknesses and plan a world tour around their own requirements, rather than be at the mercy of night-after-night gigging for a whole year. Early on in the "Youthanasia" tour, Mustaine was plagued by continuing health problems, and so enforced a regime where he was able to take slabs of time off between commitments in order to ensure he was fighting fit when he took the stage.

Eight months later Mustaine has survived, and - along with guitar virtuoso Marty Friedman, bassist Dave (Junior) Ellefson and skin basher Nick Menza - is now taking a well-earned spell away from life on the road.


Robyn Doreian: When did you finish the tour?

Dave Mustaine: September ninth was our last show on the "Monsters of Rock" tour. We played with Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Therapy?, Paradise Lost and Faith No More in South America.

RD: How did it go?

DM: It was great fun. A lot of people think that that was our last show, because they announced in Spanish that this was the last concert of the tour and that we were going home to do the new record. But that wasn't true. It's just that a lot of people didn't comprehend my poor Spanish.

RD: Who do you think was the best band on the Monsters bill?

DM: I really liked Therapy? I've seen Alice Cooper before. On the first day when everyone played, I watched a little bit of Ozzy and then left.

RD: Did you hang out, or just go your separate ways after the show?

DM: We kind of goofed around a bit with the guys from Therapy?, and Nick was hanging around with the guys who play with Alice Cooper. Junior [Dave Ellefson] is pretty much a loner. He does his own thing.

RD: What does he do after a gig?

DM: He just goes to his room and calls his wife. She's expecting a baby.

RD: So is this tour finally over?

DM: Yeah. We could tour for another leg if the AC/DC tour opened up, or if a really smart tour came up for us, but right now we're really enjoying our time off.

RD: Did you go everywhere you planned to go?

DM: Yeah, but we wanted to go to South Africa but the marketplace wasn't ready for us down there.

RD: What do you mean that South Africa wasn't ready for you?

DM: The last time I heard, the promoter in South Africa had paid the manager for us not to come. I guess the promoter thought we would have lost money if we would have come down there, because the ticket sales wouldn't have been good.

RD: Have you shot any live footage from this tour?

DM: Little bits, but nothing that I've seen for quite a while. Nick has taped every show.

RD: What was the criteria for choosing the support bands you had?

DM: Melody.

RD: What about a band like Fear Factory [who supported Megadeth on some dates in the USA]?

DM: They have an underlying sense of melody and an edge to them.

RD: Did you realize that Dino Cazares [Fear Factory guitarist] was relaying a few stories about how your paths had crossed over the years?

DM: Oh really? Like what?

RD: How you sold drugs to her sister...

DM: Oh, I did, yeah. Well, she bought 'em. It would be different if I held her down and shoved them up her arse - or anybody, for that matter. You can't sell unless there's a buyer.

RD: How long ago did you know Dino?

DM: Oh, God, 10 or 12 years ago. That was a real long time ago. I saw his sister not so long ago and she was really nice.

RD: Megadeth are reputed to be real fascists on tour, with the policy of "no spitting, no smoking, no partyin', no throwing water" or you get thrown off the bill.

DM: What?!!

RD: Fear Factory were saying that if they smoked they'd get thrown off the tour?

DM: That's not true. If you smoke up on the stage, it burns the flooring, as we put down this special surface.

RD: So what about the no swearing/smoking/spitting/drinking/throwing water policy?

DM: The throwing water thing, yeah, because it made the stage all slick, and by the end of the night it's real slippery. The "no drinking" is crap, as we gave them alcohol - it was part of their rider. I know they do their drug thing, and they smoked when they wanted to. As far as I know, I didn't think any of them smoked. We won't allow people to smoke on our stage, as cigarettes burn our floor covering and fuck it up.

RD: How has your health held up during this tour, as you had a lot of problems?

DM: It's alright - when you go and see chiropractor regularly. When you go out on stage and have guitar hanging around your neck for and hour and a half for six days a week, you tend to get a little problem. But everything is cool now. I'm in good health.

RD: Did you adhere to your plan of taking time off at regular intervals whilst on tour?

DM: Kinda. Sometimes we did and sometimes we didn't, depending on which territory we were in and if it cost too much money to keep everyone on a retainer and fly everyone home.

RD: Was this tour very different to the "Countdown to Extinction" tour?

DM: Yeah. We did a lot of good work on this tour.

RD: In terms of as a band?

DM: A lot of prepair with promoters, audiences, radio stations, fans and all that kind of stuff. With previous tours, things were up in the air a lot of the time; our shows weren't always consistent. We have made considerable improvements with this show.

RD: Did things go as you had planned them for this tour?

DM: I made it home alive! I kinda wished the bands would have had more of a chance to hang out and stuff, but I think, if anything, there was so much talent and so little time to get on the stage that everyone was rushed a lot of the time. Four bands with union charges for overtime is really hectic pace, and sometimes that pace makes people a little bit nervous. If you are nervous, then you really don't want to hang out and shoot the shit.

RD: How did you deal with your time off between gigs?

DM: I did all kinds of stuff. I would answer my e-mail on the Internet and just keep busy.

RD: Have you written any new songs?

DM: Yeah.

RD: How many?

DM: I don't know, I don't keep track. I just write down the names.

RD: Have you written stuff whilst you've been out on the road, or have you come home and written material?

DM: Both. It's easier to write on the road, because you have the whole band to play your ideas to. When I'm at home it's more of an lyrical process for me.

RD: How much stuff have you got?

DM: Probably at least one song - one good one, anyway. We've got about 20 songs, but I'm sure that there is at least one good one.

RD: Did you have a lot of songs left over from the Youthanasia sessions?

DM: Yeah.

RD: Will any of it be used on the next album?

DM: Some day it will be used. I don't think it will appear on the next record though.

RD: You don't seem to like spending too much time away from working and recording.

DM: Well, no. You have to demo stuff up and write music, and it either goes onto the record or onto the thrash heap.

RD: Do you have any schedule for when you'd like to put another record out?

DM: Next spring or summer. I'm tired of touring during the winter when we do all the shitty places. Next time we'll do it the other way around, and do the cold places during their summer.

RD: What ever happened to the song "Bullprick", which was meant to appear on Hidden Treasures?

DM: It's around. It was supposed to appear on that album, but the British didn't like the lyrics. We're not talking about the British fans here, because they would have loved that song.

RD: Do you socialize with the other band members when Megadeth comes off tour?

DM: No. It's just absence makes the heart grow fonder. If we're going to be on a bus again for almost a year, we want to spend as little time together as possible if it's not work related.

RD: Do you think your struggle with drugs is over?

DM: It's never over, because there will never not be any drugs.

RD: But do you have a personal commitment never to get involved with drugs again?

DM: With people that are using drugs and stop using drugs, there are always times when they are going to think about it. Sometimes they do it, and the bottom line is whether or not they can continue to live their life normally. If I was sober, and ended up using drugs and went back to being sober again, that's cool. If I knew that drugs are going to kill me, and then started using drugs again and I was full-blown addicted, then that's suicide. My life has improved in so many ways, I don't see myself going back to addiction.

RD: There would be no reason for you to start again?

DM: Well, you know, sometimes you think you're totally in love with person again, and then you see them and you just want to punch them out! Nothing is ever a definite. There are only two things that are certain in life: one of them is death, and the other is taxes. "I'd like to say I'd never do it again, but I may have done, and already have. I may do it right now, I may do it in the future.

RD: You had no relapses on tour?

DM: It depends on what you call having relapse. If you're talking about going to a doctor, or going out and smoking crack and shooting heroin with the brothers, there is a total difference. I did my tour, I showed up, I played my butt off, I went home normal, and that was pretty much the long and short of it. There are obviously going to be times on any tour when you are going to feel blue and feel like going home. I think everyone in the band felt like, "God, this is such a gruel, I want to go home!" But it never got to the point where anyone said: "I'm leaving!"

RD: What do you do in that situation, when you are out in the middle of everywhere and want to go home?

DM: It's called companionship. You've got to be close to your friends, be honest with them. And if something goes wrong, you need to get some direction and get some advice, or shut up and hold your peace and never let it affect you as a person. For example, Nick is very much capable of having a beer and a joint and coming and playing. I, on the other hand, know that if I smoked a big old joint before I went on stage I would forget the words. Its just a matter of being aware of what you can and cannot do. Things are totally light around our camp. For someone to say that we said they couldn't drink, smoke cigarettes or do drugs, or cuss on stage or spit on stage, I think that is taking things totally out of context. In the pavilions in Woodlands Hills, in Texas, there was a fine imposed on anyone who used vulgarity. That has nothing to do with us, it was the facility. If they [Fear Factory] said we said they couldn't cuss, they are correct that at that particular show they weren't allowing anyone to use profanity. As far as smoking, I couldn't give a shit as long as it doesn't burn the floor. The floor was $8,000. I know those guys are just starting off, and would rather have that money in their pockets than buying a piece of flooring for us to stand on. As far as the drinking goes, I told our tour manager to buy each one of those bands a bottle of Möet champagne on the first day of the tour. Maybe they were joking; we had a really fun time with Fear Factory.

RD: Maybe the "no smoking, no drinking..." policy was misinterpreted as if they did it around you, you couldn't handle it.

DM: That is probably 100 percent true coming from someone else. But coming from me, I couldn't care less. If I'm taking a leak in the bathroom and someone is slamming in their arm right next to me, it might be a little uncomfortable. If I go to take a shit and someone next to me is sniffing a bunch of coke off the back of the toilet, it might make me a bit uncomfortable. I don't care if people drink around me; with pot smoke in the air, there's nothing I can do about it expect leave.

RD: What does it remind you of when you see people doing that shit?

DM: It doesn't trigger anything. There was a period when I was really weird about all that shit, but I don't care about it any more. If you're going to do it, cool; maybe I'll join you someday, who knows? Right now it's the farthest thing from my mind.

RD: What about religion - are you quite religious?

DM: I'm not "born-again", if that's what you're talking about. I heard someone say that I was born-again. From the first record, "Looking down the cross" was on it; and the second one says: "What do you mean I don't believe in God?" I've always believed in God, I'm not born-again.

RD: Were you ever approached to play Donington?

DM: No.

RD: Did you want to do it?

DM: Of course, we'd like to do anything that fits in with the band. Lars [Ulrich, of Metallica] had said that with us having done Milton Keynes thing it was the same territory, and he felt it wasn't right. And I have to agree with him to a certain extent.

RD: Do you have any resolutions for 1996?

DM: I would like to continue to be married, be a good dad, be a great touring musician, and not have any problems with people.

RD: You don't have any problems with people any more, do you?

DM: No, there are only two or three that I can think of. There used to be more. With the advent of the Internet, there's a lot of anonymous letters being sent to me wielding their machismo from behind the keyboard on the other side of the world, but I can only laugh at it. Someone called me a homo, and I'm like, you can be calling me a homo whilst I'm still fucking my girlfriend?!

RD: What are you doing right now?

DM: I'm working - ssshhh. This is a Megadeth interview, so I can't tell you what I'm doing at this moment in time.

RD: Yes you can. I know you are in a recording studio - and it's not with Megadeth.

DM: I'm doing a little songwriting, a little guitar playing and a little recording. I'm demoing and writing stuff with Lee Ving from Fear. That's it. I'm going to save what is really going on for the next installment of the Dave chronicles.


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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