DAVE MUSTAINE Praises DIAMOND HEAD: 'They Had A Great Singer, And I Thought The Guitar Riffs Were Amazing'
January 9, 2023
The SiriusXM YouTube channel has uploaded a video from MEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine's September 2022 appearance on Liquid Metal where he discussed the musical impact of the early recordings from New Wave Of British Heavy Metal legends DIAMOND HEAD. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "[DIAMOND HEAD was] probably one of the most influential bands in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, if only for the fact that they were in the right place at the right time. I thought they had a great singer, and I thought the guitar riffs were amazing. And the press had gone as far as to say that they were the heir apparent to LED ZEPPELIN. That was a massive compliment for DIAMOND HEAD. So at the time, when I first heard them, it had come through my last band, METALLICA, from the drummer, Lars [Ulrich], who was evidently touring with DIAMOND HEAD; he would be a fanboy and follow them. I got to meet them on a little different level; I met them as equals, or as myself, as an established musician. So I got a chance to kind of really, eyeball to eyeball, meet this guy Brian Tatler, the guitar player from DIAMOND HEAD. And just a sweet man — a tremendous talent on guitar.
"The DIAMOND HEAD that I know and love was the DIAMOND HEAD in the beginning," Mustaine explained. "And I'll tell you, there were so many of those songs that we played in METALLICA: 'Helpless', 'The Prince', 'Am I Evil?' And a lot of people think those are original songs in METALLICA. They're not; they're DIAMOND HEAD songs."
Mustaine has been very vocal about what a "massive influence" DIAMOND HEAD and Tatler were on him and the music he wrote for both MEGADETH and METALLICA.
Tatler, for his part, has repeatedly expressed his gratitude over the years to METALLICA, who have covered four DIAMOND HEAD songs and kept the band in the spotlight.
Three and a half years ago, Tatler spoke to "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" about a collaboration project he began with Mustaine but never finished. Asked how the idea for the project came about and what became of it, Tatler said: "You remember [Mustaine] did an album called MD.45 [in 1996]? So he did that, and then maybe a year later, we got in touch with each other. And he said about that album, he said, 'I'd like to do another album like that, with yourself,' and he named a couple of other players. And I thought, 'That sounds fantastic. I'm up for that.' So I started writing material, and I would send stuff over, and he'd say, 'Yup. I like that. And I don't like that. And I like this.' And on it went for maybe a year or so. And every now and again, he'd apologize and say, 'I'm ever so busy. I'm doing the MEGADETH album,' and this, that and the other, and it seemed to drag on a little. And eventually, he said, 'I'm not gonna be able to do it.'"
Tatler continued: "Do you remember [Dave] hurt his arm [in 2002]? He went to sleep on his arm. And so he couldn't play guitar anymore. He sold his gear. MEGADETH stopped playing. That was the end of it. So he couldn't do our project either. So I just thought, 'Oh, okay. That's life.' One good thing: it forced me to write some songs, so I had about 30-odd song ideas that I wouldn't have otherwise, had I not had this opportunity. I had a fantastic reason to get my fingers out and start writing. And so some of these songs I've used on various albums that I've done since. That's the good thing that I took from that, negative. And we stayed friends, and MEGADETH offered us a support tour in 2005 — we did 22 dates all across Europe, opening for MEGADETH. So they did us a favor in the end — a return favor. And that went really well. It's all good."
It was announced in December 2017 that DIAMOND HEAD had inked a management deal with Thrashville Management, the company founded by Dave and his son Justis Mustaine. Several months later, the affiliation came to a sudden and unexpected end, with DIAMOND HEAD switching over to Siren Artist Management, which also handles SAXON, EUROPE, URIAH HEEP and THIN LIZZY.
In 2019, DIAMOND HEAD bassist Dean Ashton said "it was an awesome experience getting to work with Dave." As for the failed partnership, DIAMOND HEAD vocalist Rasmus Bom Anderson admitted: "It was a big blow to all of us, as there was so much great stuff happening in the wings, and it all fell to pieces. I have nothing but great respect to Dave Mustaine and Justis Mustaine. They were super friendly and supportive, and I believe [they] wanted this to work out as much as we did, but sadly it didn't."
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