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Megadeth Cover Budgie & Fear For New Album, Mustaine Says: “The Internet Is Full Of Websites That Lie”


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Megadeth frontman/guitarist Dave Mustaine has given Rollingstone.com and had a lot to say. Some excerpts from the chat can be found below with the full read available at the above-mentioned link:

On their new album progress:

“We have 15 tracks — 13 originals and two cover songs. We did “Melt the Ice Away” by Budgie and “Foreign Policy” by Fear. At this point, the drums are all done and Chris [Adler] is back home. Kiko finished all his rhythms and he’s now doing solos. He’s an amazing musician, very well-rounded. He did a lot of acoustic stuff, both steel-string and nylon-string, and he played a little piano at the end of a song called “Poisonous Shadows.” It’s a really haunting piece, and the part that he played is very Chopin-meets-Megadeth, if that makes sense.”

On other new songs:

“There’s a song called “The Emperor Has No Clothes,” and another called “Tyranocide.” Several have working titles but I don’t want to say what they are. After we write the lyrics they’ll come. You know, when we did our first record out in Nashville [1997’s Cryptic Writings] — and granted it was a different time back then, and a lot of stuff was different about who I am as a person — all the songs had working titles and they all had something to do with a genitalia reference and something satanic, like “Beelzebub’s Ballbag” and “Devil’s Sac,” stuff like that. And it was like, “Oh my god, you guys. I can’t believe we’re calling these songs this crap!”

On the sound of the new songs:

“Over the years we’ve always said, “We’re going back to our roots.” But the naysayers, they just want Rust in Peace 20 times, which is never gonna happen. Because I’ve never written the same song twice. Unlike a lot of other rock and metal bands that, you know, they rely on a set formula, I try and make the songs all different. The funny thing, though, was that when Ellefson was doing the bass tracks I was telling him, “This is the ‘Tornado‘ [‘Tornado of Souls‘] part,” “This is the ‘Bad Omen‘ part,” “This is the ‘Black Friday‘ part,” “This is the ‘Holy Wars‘ part.” Because a lot of the things were in that kind of vein. Now, is it going back in time? Hell, I don’t know. But I like what I’m hearing.”

On the failed attempt at reuniting the “Rust In Peace“-era lineup of Marty Friedman and Nick Menza:

“…Contrary to all the scuttlebutt that’s going around, I wish those guys the best. But their recollections of the events that led up to it and happened after are considerably different from my recollection. But here’s the thing — a lot of people, they either love or hate me. If I tell anybody what happened it’s not gonna change the way they feel about me. But it’ll probably change the way they feel about them. And I don’t want to hurt anybody. All I can say I think they’re both tremendous musicians and talented guys.”

On having Lamb Of God‘s Chris Adler handle the studio drumming for the new album:

“Our hopes were to have a permanent drummer, but the option to do a record with Chris was really exciting to me. So I thought, “Well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. We’ll figure out what we’re gonna do about live shows, who’s gonna take the drum throne.” And we’ve looked at a lot of people. I talked with my friend [ex-Dream Theater drummer] Mike Portnoy, who I think is an amazing talent. I talked to [ex-Slayer drummer] Dave Lombardo. [Current Dream Theater drummer] Mike Mangini‘s name has come up. But there was just something telling me to pause, saying, “Really think about who you’re gonna play with, Mustaine. Make sure you’re going to do something that’s really going to excite people and that is not predictable.” But we do have some live shows coming up and we have a drummer committed to our dates so far this year.

But one of the things that was great about having Chris come in was he’s been a fan for 30 years and he was able to say, “Well, this is the stuff I like about my Megadeth.” And it was “OK, cool.” Because you know, when we started we were a thrash and speed metal outfit, and as we got more successful and got more critical acclaim melody seeped in. I’ve always had a melodic content to my songs — it’s kind of an innate thing from being brought up with three sisters who listened to Motown. But I think that being forced toward the end of our tenure with Capitol to try and become an alternative band, it muddied the water. And we did turn ourselves inside out a lot during the later Nineties and early part of the 2000s.”

On a new album release date:

“We’re hoping to get it out sometime in the latter part of the year. An interesting thing management told me is that, now, if you do a release at the end of the year it’s not affected by the holidays because of all the digital downloads and stuff. My belief was always that when the holidays come around after Thanksgiving, radio shuts down and you start listening to “White Christmas” and crap like that. People go on vacation, and people like me that live to work have to be put on suicide watch.

But I’ve been in the business almost 35 years, if you go back to when I started with Metallica, and I’ve seen a lot of change. David Ellefson just told me recently, “Oh yeah, we only get paid now every six months instead of every three months.” I was like, “Huh?” Because I knew that every six months we’d get paid from the record company and every other six months we’d get paid from the publisher. I didn’t know it had changed. I said, “That’s very interesting…”

On the persistent backlash he faces online:

“…The Internet is full of websites that lie. It’s all about character assassination right now and there’s so much misinformation about me. Anybody prints something, there’s a lot of people out there who are very gullible and think it’s true. And the truth of the matter is probably 95 percent of the stuff that’s written about me nowadays isn’t true. I also think there’s a lot of people who really do know who I am and what my character is, and they get equally pissed off when they see some of the stuff that’s been said about me. But, you know, I don’t really worry about it. A lot of times people are doing it just to get me to engage and say something back. But I figure that dogs with no teeth bark the loudest. I’m not gonna get into a pissing match with somebody who doesn’t matter.”

There’s a lot more from Mustaine to be read over at Rollingstone.com.

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