MEGADETH Bassist Says He Is A 'Specialist' In Getting Along With 'Really Tough Personalities'

Melanie (Sass) Falina of UnRated magazine recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH bassist James Lomenzo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

On having played with several different bands over the years before joining MEGADETH in 2006:

"Except for perhaps WHITE LION, I would have preferred that it would have been like it is right now forever and ever in other words, I'm perfectly happy in the MEGADETH band. Everyone has the ability to contribute and be a part of it. In other bands throughout most of this it's been that way too, but it's so funny because I think it was John Kalodner ['80s A&R guru] who told me, 'You know all these bands that I've worked with? They're all just a series of dysfunctional families.' So you're always just waiting for Grandma to say the wrong thing on Sunday afternoon. And then the whole thing blows up, and that's usually what happens eventually.

"So yeah, I would have preferred to have stayed in any one of those bands for its eternity. And then one particular one, when Zakk [Wylde] and I started up the PRIDE & GLORY band, which probably no one's heard of, that was a really special band to us because it was the first band that we put together to break away from our 'corporate gigs' WHITE LION and OZZY OBSOURNE. When we started that band we had all high hopes and in some regards that band was just about kind of dictating the way we'd make our music with extended jams and basically about playing music for the moment. And all kinds of things happened there, and some of them I won't share with the audience and some of them I will. The record company changed hands at the wrong time, et cetera, et cetera. So before you know it, you're off to the next adventure.

"Having said that, in retrospect looking back at all these bands I've played with I'm kind of a specialist. Not that I'm a specialist bass player I'm a pretty good bass player but a specialist in that I can get along with what people consider these really tough personalities. I love these people; I totally respect them to no end. I think what makes them what they are is this unyielding vision of their own perception of the way people see them. They follow that through and there's something inspirational about that. It's got all the minefields and things like that, but I do well with people like that."

"As far as going back and playing with people again, always a nice thought, [but] I don't really think it can work. Not that I leave on any bad terms, it's just that it seems to me there are these little spaces in time where things work really well. But there are people that I'd love to play with who I've always considered my heroes; Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and people like that. I get so off on so many these great musicians, these are the things that excite me like the opportunity to play with people like this; having said that, I am really glad to be in MEGADETH as well. At this juncture, Dave [Mustaine] has been nothing but a rallying person for this band, he's really made it feel like a band and he's opened all types of opportunities for all of us in the band. And we're doing this sort of thing where how many times does a band come back I wouldn't say from the ruins because I don't think MEGADETH ever found their way there, but found their way back from basically being done. You know it happens all the time, you see these bands and they're just kind of done. And that's something that happened to WHITE LION although they've had opportunities to come back but for a lot of reasons they weren't able to build on those opportunities and get together and resolve conflicts. So I think Dave has been smart enough to realize that a lot of MEGADETH is based purely on his own vision. And he's kept that pure and he's kept that strong, and if it took other musicians to reach that vision then so be it; a lot like STEELY DAN, maybe."

Read the entire interview from UnRated magazine.


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