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    Megadeth's Dave Mustaine says he and Metallica have hugged out

    Dave Mustaine has a reputation for many things besides his extraordinary guitar playing. He’s a founding member of Metallica and one of the godfathers of what became known as thrash metal, yet he was fired from that band just before it broke big because of his rampant drugging and drinking. His volatile 25-year tenure as the leader of Megadeth has been marked by several classic metal albums and a revolving-door lineup. His long-running battle with drugs and drink led to rehab and eventually his conversion to Christianity. His outspokenness has embroiled him in public spats with his band and others, including Metallica and Pantera.

    Now he lays out the whole story in his autobiography, “Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir” (HarperCollins, $25.99), released as he tours with Megadeth and fellow thrash-metal icons Slayer and Testament. Mustaine had more to say when I caught up with him between tour dates:


    Q: You’ve said that after writing your autobiography, you felt like finally you’d been understood. What were the biggest misunderstandings about you that you wanted to clear up?

    A: The biggest misunderstanding is all of the stuff in the past, the disagreements with other bands, stuff that is so old. None of us care about it anymore. You can see what happened with the “Big 4” reunion (the Megadeth stadium shows in Europe this summer with ‘80s thrash-metal bands Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax) and all of us playing together. It was like there was some kind of enjoyment having disagreements, this feud among all of us. A lot of people have disagreements. But there we were on stage playing together and hugging at the end. How can this be a feud when you have proof right there on film? It will be released on DVD -- the shot heard round the world. It shows you this whole terrible thing has been perpetuated by the press.


    Q: Oh, c’mon Dave. You can’t deny that your relationship with those other bands has had its share of tension and competitiveness over the years.

    A: Like Lars (Ulrich of Metallica) says, there is the relationship we have and the relationship the press thinks we all have. And the proof is when we were all doing the jam on (Diamond Head's) “Am I Evil,” I was listening to how loud the crowd was, and it was as loud when we hugged each other as when we played the song. It gave me chills. James (Hetfield of Metallica) and I being able to embrace on that world platform shows people that metal is a close-knit community. We don’t leave our wounded behind. Kerry (King of Slayer) says to me, “I don’t even know what I was mad about anymore.” What’s important is that the four pillars of the metal community are all in a great relationship right now. It’s a shame our politicians can’t get along as well. In America there is always that good-luck story and everyone wants to see the person win in the end. I’ve had a little redemption watching this whole thing come around full circle.

    Q: Yet in the Metallica documentary (“Some Kind of Monster” in 2004) there is the scene where you and Lars talk and you come across like a guy who has never quite completely gotten over being fired from Metallica in 1983.

    A: I think that’s pretty accurate. I care about those things. I still do. I was drinking and drugging, but I never got any warning from Lars and James when they fired me. They just put me on a bus and sent me home. The movie was something they were doing, and I didn’t know what it was about. I’d been through enough therapy myself, so I didn’t mind being put in that situation. All I wanted was some closure and to have a new relationship with those guys. We did so much damage to the relationship through drugs and alcohol. I still wanted to be friends with him. I knew sitting down and talking with that guy was going to address part of it. I just wanted closure with these guys so we could put the past behind us. We were kids when it all went down. But James wasn’t there when Lars and I had our talk (in the movie). James said to me at the Big 4 concert that he wished he had been there, and I was moved by that. I thought he was a gentleman, I was very proud of him. This is all so fantastic now. I am so exited about this new relationship I have with these guys.

    Q: Is part of the reason for writing the book to give your take on Megadeth’s legacy, its place in rock history?

    A: I am not so concerned about my legacy. I know I see a lot of stuff written about me in the past and it was painful. I’m just trying to live life as best I can, and be helpful to people in the music industry. I saw this tennis player with a really bad reputation when I was young, and I see him now and he still has that bad reputation. Is he tired of being that guy with the bad temper? I’m talking about John McEnroe. I don’t want to be this guy known forever for something that happened when I was 20.

    Q: There’s a sense that the finest eras in rock grew out of a sense of competition, with people like the Stones, Beatles, Dylan, the Beach Boys all trying to outdo each other in the ‘60s, or the CBGB’s scene in the ‘70s. You say in the book after you left Metallica and formed Megadeth that you were “out for blood. I wanted to kick Metallica’s (behind).” Was there a sense of competition between you and the other metal bands in the ‘80s that made the music better?

    A: Anybody whose heart’s beating is going to have a competitive edge if they are proud at all of what they’re doing. I don’t think anyone would outright say we compete because our musical styles are so different. If we all played the same exact stuff, it’d be different matter. But yeah, we were definitely looking over our shoulders at what the other bands were doing. I’d be a liar if I said otherwise.

    Q
    : Was (2009 Megadeth album) “Endgame” an attempt to get back to the so-called classic Megadeth sound?

    A: We certainly returned back to form, which to me means we’re more about the riff and not so much about the radio intent. When trying to work with a record label within the record industry, you have to make compromises. You have to be big enough to withstand that, or be creative enough to not have to do that. And if you don’t do it, you have to be prepared to suffer consequences. We were creative enough to withstand, but also compliant enough to make our way through. Our music has never been categorized by genre, but I thought it was pretty diverse. We got lumped into metal, but we also had our most successful record in 1992 (“Countdown to Extinction”) when it was all about grunge and alternative.

    Q: Do you have a sense why “Countdown to Extinction” was so successful?

    A: When a guy starts a band, you usually get together with guys who happen to play music, rather than musicians. Rarely does a musician find three other musicians to start out. I was a musician who gathered people who played music at first, which enabled me to later find musicians, who enabled me to become a star. We had all our lives to make our first album (“Killing is my Business … and Business is Good” in 1985) and 18 months to make (second album) “Peace Sells … but Who’s Buying?” (in 1986). That sophomore offering is the be-all or end-all of any band. You either go to the next level, or it’s the beginning of the nadir. If you’re second record doesn’t live up, you’re done. You take your best songs to put together your first record, then how do you come up with something just as good in 18 months? You force it, and that impulse was killing heavy metal, the glut of music that had to come out. When my first record came out, you were writing four songs per side. Then CDs came along, and you had to have 12 songs. That’s record-and-a-half every time. It ate up catalogues, cheapened music, made it really hard to consistently put out quality music. But I was pretty far along for a new band, because I’d already done a lot of writing in Metallica. I’ve always been blessed to have great players around me, even the ones I don’t have a lot of respect for. We had disagreements and don’t get along, but they contributed a lot to Megadeth. The “Countdown to Extinction” era, Megadeth reached a point where the musicianship in the band reached a really high level and it didn’t matter what was going on around us. We were trend-proof by that point.



    Source: chicagotribune.com
    Touring for two years was more than my body could take.
    You're there and your head tells you that you have to go on,
    but your body is close to giving out. Five to six days a week,
    i was on stage for about two and a half hours every night.
    Doing that for over two years, my larynx didn't feel great,
    it felt like my vocal cords were just falling apart
    -James Hetfield-

  2. #2
    MetallicA-PwNzZ's Avatar
    MetallicA-PwNzZ Guest
    Good to hear.

    I <3 Mustaine

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