MEGADETH's DAVE MUSTAINE Explains Why He Is 'Difficult To Work With'

October 6, 2016

Greg Dwyer and Bill Obenauf (a.k.a. Bill Michaels),who host a morning show on 97X in Davenport, Iowa, recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On being "honest" about himself in his autobiography, "Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir":

Mustaine: "I think that when you look at some people, that their careers have been out in the open, and I've been really honest about everything that I do and how I've worked… To lie about it just makes people loathe you. And part of the reason that I'm difficult, I think, to work with is because I demand the best that I can possibly do myself, and I think that when you do that, you kind of sometimes tend to expect that from others. I know that a lot of times, when I say 'no' to people, they take it wrong. It's not like I'm saying, 'No. Hey, hit the road.' It's something more along the lines [of], 'No, I think maybe there's something better,' or, 'Maybe not right now' — that kind of thing. But a lot of times, people, they don't like rejection. I certainly don't like rejection. I don't know; maybe that's something that's cool with you guys, but it's not for me. So when I say 'no' a lot of times, people get mad. I remember the first time I had asked a girl to dance in high school and she said 'no' to me, I thought, 'I'm gonna tell everybody what you are.'"

On expecting a lot from his bandmates:

Mustaine: "In order to win, you wanna surround youself with champions, and I think that if you let everybody off easy, you get what you deserve. And I think part of the reason I've been successful for thirty-five years and had two great bands that I've been in and nearing a hundred million records in sales and stuff like that is because I've really pushed myself. And sometimes when you push yourself, other people get pulled along and sometimes they get pushed, and I think that that's… If you have a coach and you're on a team or something like that, you want somebody who's striving for perfection; you don't want somebody who's gonna say, 'That's good enough.'… It's like those trophies they give to kids when they lose. You're just breeding inadequacy, and, 'Oh, it's okay to be a loser. Everybody else gets a trophy. We all win.' And in the music industry, when people say there's no competiton, I cry foul. I think that's crap, because there's numbers on the charts for a reason. If there were no numbers on the charts and everybody just said, 'Oh, hey, great record,' we'd be living out the days of Woodstock again. But me, I like pushing myself. I've always really pushed myself, not only musically, but in all areas of my life. I really try and go out of my way helping people."

On what he would say, as a born-again Christian, to people who find themselves close to giving up when tough times arrive:

Mustaine: "Well, first off, don't give up. The thing about people saying I found Jesus and stuff like that, I think that's one of the biggest misnomers about me. 'Cause I was baptized as a Lutheran as a kid and I went to Sunday school; who didn't? But my mom became a Jehovah's Witness when I was seven, and that totally ruined my life. You know, when everybody stands up and does the Pledge of Allegiance and you've gotta stand there like a dork with your hands at your sides, and everybody's having birthdays and you're not, and no Christmas, and you can't have any friends because they're all Pagan, that really scarred me. So when I found out that God wasn't this gnarly God with gnashing teeth keeping the hottest corner of Hell waiting for me, I realized, you know, this isn't that hard. I've made a really, really difficult thing out of something that's really beautiful. And I think that if you were to really sum it up, it's just treating people the way that I wanna be treated and just loving people as much as I possibly can. You know, I see things that happen on TV, and it just saddens me to know that… When we go down the street and we see homeless people, I'll go over and give them some money. And some people go, 'Why are you doing that?' Well, that's the one chance I get to tell them that God loves them and ask them, 'What happened?' You know, by the grace of God, there goes me. I could be homeless. I was so close to it. [MEGADETH bassist] David Ellefson and I lived in his van in the beginning of our career, because we were so committed to making it, we did not wanna take any time to take our eye off the ball. And if was gonna say anything to anybody that was feeling like giving up, if you change your playmates and your playground, there's a good chance that life will look up for you. I did."

MEGADETH's tour with AMON AMARTH, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, METAL CHURCH and BUTCHER BABIES kicked off on September 20 in Casper, Wyoming, with dates booked through October 15 in Camden, New Jersey.

MEGADETH is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, "Dystopia", which came out in January.

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