MEGADETH's DAVE MUSTAINE: 'If I Don't Like You, You're Going To Know It'

August 24, 2017

Dave Mustaine has once again responded to people making assumptions about his character based on hearsay.

The MEGADETH frontman has gained a reputation as one of the most divisive personalities in metal — particularly in the years following his expulsion from METALLICA in 1983.

But the 55-year-old musician has a much simpler explanation for the perception that he is hard to work with.

"I look at it like this — the ultimate form of revenge is to speak the truth and I try to be really honest in what I do, how I play, and who I work with," he tells Ultimate Guitar in a new interview.

"I don't lead people on. If I don't like you, you're going to know it.

"I think that's one of the things that the music business really needs — someone who will shoot straight.

"We don't all need a participation trophy. There's a first place and everyone else is last place. You know what I mean?

"When I was a kid, if I would have signed up for little league just to get a trophy like everyone else does, I wouldn't have done it.

"I think a lot of it comes from what is the award for achievement for things that we do."

Mustaine went on to discuss the interpersonal dynamics and organization culture within MEGADETH, which has gone through more than a dozen lineup changes in the past thirty-four years.

"Some people want fame, some people want fortune," he explained. "All bands have ever broken up over power, property, prestige or pussy — the dreaded four P's. You can't get away from it. It's just how it is.

"A band is together for a while and it’s just like that movie 'Spinal Tap'. People say that's a comedy and I love the comedic value of it, but the bummer is how true to life it is.

"There are so many things that happen in that movie that happen every day and it's not funny if it's happening to you but when it's happening to somebody else, it's hilarious. Like where they say, 'We're going to do 'Spinal Tap Mach 2',' or, 'We're going to have a make-over' or, 'There's somebody already in the organization' — all these things, we've experienced all those things [in MEGADETH].

"The label tried to change our logo, they tried to change our music, and then we had a band member's wife try to get into managing us. 'Spinal Tap' lives. Every day."

Mustaine previously defended his reputation in a 2016 interview, saying that it was a "bummer" when strangers approached him and said that they expected him to be an "a-hole."

Speaking to with "Elliot In The Morning", he said: "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… it's B.S.

"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 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.'

He continued: "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."

MEGADETH recently toured North America with MESHUGGAH and will play arenas later in the year as the support act for German hard rock veterans SCORPIONS.

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