MEGADETH's Dave Mustaine has named "Holy Wars" and "Wake Up Dead" as the songs that contain two of his favorite guitar solos that he has ever written.
Mustaine discussed his lead guitar playing while filming a new video message on Cameo, which lets users hire celebrities to record brief, personalized video messages about virtually any topic.
Addressing a fan named Nick who had a question about Mustaine's favorite solos, Dave said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's kind of hard to say [which one is my favorite], because there's certain solos that have a great payoff, but we haven't played 'em live for so long, I've forgotten so many of them — two hundred songs and all of the solos and stuff. Out of the songs that we play live that I'm really familiar with, the solos that we play that we like, I like 'The Threat Is Real'. I love 'Holy Wars'. 'Wake Up Dead' is a great solo for me to play too; I really like that. That was one of my first really big solos that got everybody interested in MEGADETH. That and '[In My] Darkest Hour' too.
"I will be showing people here at Cameo how to do those solos — piece by piece, little bit at a time, so that it's not too much for anybody to handle," he added. "I don't really give guitar lessons, so this isn't a structured kind of format for lessons or anything like that. So I hope if I do this, and I hope if you do it with me that we'll have fun together. If not, just say it's somebody from another band."
Ranked No. 1 by Joel McIver in "The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists" book, Mustaine is credited by some with godfathering fast-heavy-metal guitar generations, first as the original lead guitarist for METALLICA, and then as the founder of MEGADETH.
Asked in a 2009 interview with Classic Rock how it felt to be No. 1 in McIver's book, Mustaine said: "It was especially sweet when I found out that Joel has written books on METALLICA. I looked at my copy of the book – I wasn't on the cover or the back. I figured I'd be somewhere like No. 69. So I thumbed through it; it's a really comprehensive, good book. I got to No. 50 and I thought, 'Am I in here?' I'd been told that I was, but not which position. So I got No. 16 and I saw [James] Hetfield. I thought, 'Wow', because I respect James. I'm a better lead player than he is, but he's one of the three best rhythm players in the world, [the other two being] Malcolm Young [of AC/DC] and myself. Malcolm kept it basic but brought a whole new style of rhythm playing to the world. So I got to the Top 10… I still wasn't in there. Every page I turned, I became more excited. I get to No. 5 and it's Kirk [Hammett], and I thought, 'Thank you, God'. At that point, it didn't matter [which position I was]. To be better than both of them [Hetfield and Hammett] meant so much — it's been one of the pet peeves of my career and I've never known how to deal with it. I didn't realize that it has had so much bearing upon my life. Then I got to No. 2 and it was John Petrucci [of DREAM THEATER] and I froze. I was No.1. What made it better still is that the guy wrote: 'This isn't about Dave as a person because he's been a cock These four pages are about his guitar playing, which is the best. There are people who are better at one thing that Mustaine does, and others that are better than another, but no one who's as good at everything.' All I thought was… I win."
In the past, Mustaine has repeatedly taken credit for coming up with the guitar solos that were played by the various lead guitarists in MEGADETH. In the March 2008 issue of Revolver magazine, he said: "I sang almost every single note of Marty Friedman's guitar solos." He doubled down on those claims in a 2009 interview with Guitar World, where he said: "You know, people have heard me say that I 'sang' solos to Marty in the studio, and I did. I did it to [former guitarists] Jeff [Young], Chris [Poland] and Al [Pitrelli], too. But [then-MEGADETH guitarist] Chris Broderick? I only did it two times [on MEGADETH's 2009 album 'Endgame'], and there are literally hundreds of thousands of notes on 'Endgame'. Now that is a testimony to a guy who has studied his partner."