DAVE MUSTAINE: 'There's A Terrible Lie Out There About Me And My Reputation, How Difficult I Am To Work With'
April 18, 2016
MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine was recently interviewed on "Elliot In The Morning", the morning radio talk show hosted by DJ Elliot Segal. You can listen to the chat in two parts below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On connecting musically with new MEGADETH drummer Chris Adler (also of LAMB OF GOD) in the early stage of the songwriting process for the band's new album, "Dystopia":
Dave: "It felt really natural to me. I didn't think anything of it. There's a certain rhythm that you have when you're really good at something that you do. It's kind of like, imagine when we were kids and we were playing catch for the first time. I mean, there's some of your friends that still, to this day, throw a ball like a dork, and there's other people that just… they just got it, and it looks totally fluid watching a person go back and forth. And that's kind of how it was with us; it was just absolutely fluid and natural. I think probably the most amazing thing was watching Chris's ideas when he first started sending stuff back to me, because I was working on stuff here and he had taken some of the stuff that I had that he didn't hear that I had worked on and put his ideas on it, and we kind of listened to both ideas at the same time, and it was the same kind of drum ideas. So it was great right from the start."
On whether he got the sense that Chris Adler was being a bit cautious with his opinions at first:
Dave: "I'm sure he was. You know, let's not kid ourselves. Unfortunately, there's a terrible lie out there about me and my reputation, how difficult I am to work with, and Chris will attest now, after working together, that it's B.S. But going into it, his whole outlook towards it was to just perform and do the absolute best job he could, and he didn't really want to write anything. He said he would help with the arranging and stuff, but that he wanted to just kind of let me do my thing and he wanted to hear 'his MEGADETH' again. So now, at this point, I think he's probably much more excited about contributing to the next record."
On whether he is bothered by his reputation as someone who is difficult to deal with:
Dave: "No, I don't care about it. I think it's kind of a bummer, though, sometimes when people, for the first time, come up to you. It's such a pregnant pause when people will go… they'll meet you and go, 'God, you know, I heard you were such an a-hole,' and you just kind of look at them, like, 'Uh-huh.' Again, it's like… This reminds me of when I was a kid and my first dance. I went up to a girl and I asked her to dance, and she said 'no,' and I walked away and I thought, 'Screw you! You don't know what you're missing.' And I figured I would commence to destroy her reputation in school. I'm kidding, of course, but that's kind of what we do when we get any kind of rejection; we make the other person out to be really horrible. Evidence of that was when I parted ways with METALLICA. Neither one of us really wanted to tell the absolute truth about what happened; we wanted to make the other party the bad guys. And I think that's what took so long for us to come to the truth that, 'Hey, we still really love each other a lot. And it was never meant to be, but that doesn't mean we can't be friends.'"
On how the relationship with other MEGADETH members was at times strained with some of the previous lineups:
Dave: "Like the part right before we parted ways with [drummer] Nick Menza. He would sleep on the bus until thirty minutes before the show. And he would say, 'Wake me up thirty minutes before the show and we'll go on.' And we were kind of going, 'How did it come to this?' And you don't really know. It's like that old saying, 'It's the dust that accumulates that makes mountains.' We didn't know how it happened; we just know that it happened. And everybody kind of went their own spiritual and emotional way, because everybody had their own ideas about what MEGADETH was. And I knew what it was not, and what it was not was what everybody else thought it was. It was what my idea was since the beginning."
On how the more positive feeling behind the scenes translates to a stronger live performance:
Dave: "I am feeling much better about what we're doing on stage and playing and stuff. It's really hard when you're playing with people… And I'm not trying to do any kind of sideways nonsense about anybody from the past, because if anybody has been difficult to play with, it's been me. But, you know, when you have some kind of a disagreement with somebody and you've gotta go out on stage and play with them, it's really hard to not let that come through. I mean, the perfect example: who would have ever thought that the guys from AEROSMITH would be knocking each other off stage? [Laughs] C'mon, dude! If it gets to that point where people are knocking me off stage, I quit. [Laughs]"