DAVE MUSTAINE: 'We Live In A Generation That Looks At Getting Songs Over The Internet For Free'

April 5, 2008

Dennis Cook of JamBase recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

On the U.S. government:

"The crux of all of it is this is a good country full of a lot of good people. Every once in a while there's one guy that gets in there and spoils it for everybody. There were a lot of people who thought [George W. Bush] was great but then things started to fall apart, same as the last one. Bill Clinton was amazing for our economy, and I'm sure there's a whole contingency of fat chicks in America that feel special. Look at what the Bush administration is doing. Do you really think we need to be getting most of our oil from the Middle East when there's enough oil up in Alaska for the U.S. to survive on? Why won't we drill? I remember them saying they didn't want to drill because of the caribou. Well, you know what I say? Shake 'n' bake. Caribou tastes like pork [laughs]."

On the band's eleventh studio album, "United Abominations":

"It was an important record for us because a lot of people were wondering where we'd go after 'The System Has Failed' (2004). ['Abominations'] just picked up this anti-U.N. sentiment. It was written during the period of the recent Lebanese/Israeli flare-up and the second installment of the Iraq War brought to you by the Bush family, Haliburton and whatnot. You've got all the nations of the world able to apply spin to the grievances they commit and that has nothing to do with the charter of the United Nations. Most people just go about their business and don't worry about it as long as it doesn't take anything out of their pocket. The reason I got upset with the U.N. was there was a Russian diplomat that came to the States and allegedly ran a stop sign and killed an American. Nothing happened to him, nothing, [because of] diplomatic immunity. The guy didn't even have to get any kind of counseling for his alcoholism. He just went back to Russia. If we went over to Russia and ran a stop sign while drunk and killed somebody we'd still be peeling potatoes."

On MEGADETH's longevity:

"MEGADETH has been around for a really long time, and it's not because I won't go away. In fact, there's been times where the thought of me going away has been all I could think of. But the public has made it clear to me that they still appreciate the work I do. Establishing Gigantour has made it even more fun for me to be a musician. I can now enjoy a lot of the flavor and fruit that's been produced. I'm booking a festival where I'm giving young bands an opportunity to come play with me. Gigantour is not like 'Dave Fest' like Ozzfest. It's something that can continue on whether MEGADETH is on it or not. There's still a couple things I'd like to do. I've talked about doing something for our troops overseas, perhaps a broadcast performance from a secret location on a military base here in the States for the men and women who are protecting our rights and freedoms. I wouldn't mind doing one of those corporate gigs where you do a concert for one kid for his birthday, where he gets a Big Wheel and there's snot gurgling out of his nose and I'm playing 'Holy Wars' [laughs]."

On the perception that there's nowhere Mustaine is happier than onstage causing a roiling crowd of fist-pumpers to lose their minds:

"I'd say that's probably pretty true. There is one place I'm happier and that's being with my family, and family is tough. There's ups and downs but that's the beauty of relationships and the beauty of going out on the road. You get to come home and bring your belt of shrunken heads you've gotten to present to your tribal queen [laughs]. Being a daddy has made me appreciate how complicated their little lives and their little minds are. People thought that when I got married and had kids I was going to get weak. Well, my wife used to kickbox and my son takes martial arts, so I think the family that beats people's asses together stays together."

On MEGADETH's artwork on their albums, t-shirts, website, etc. which reveals an intricate, well-thought-out landscape:

"It's a facet that's overlooked by most bands because they don't work closely with their merchandise line. I don't think they realize what they can create internally for fans. It's another layer to the music, and with the industry imploding and I try not to gloat about many of these record companies getting what they have coming to them ultimately, we don't have a lot of places to generate revenue anymore outside of the live arena. With people just ripping and ripping and ripping stuff, we live in a generation that looks at getting songs over the Internet for free. There are people who respect bands and pay but there's a whole generation that doesn't pay. Once you embrace that and you're okay with the idea of records being calling cards then you make a great record, you go out and tour and you give people what they want. We have a great new guitar player right now [Chris Broderick] and we're doing fantastic. It was almost like falling upward when [guitarist] Glen Drover quit. It's almost like more than new blood, we were on a dialysis machine and just had a bunch of veins replaced, too [laughs]."

Read the entire interview at JamBase.

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