NUCLEAR ASSAULT/ex-ANTHRAX bassist Dan Lilker has slammed MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine for threatening to pull out of several festival appearances in Greece and Israel because two of the support acts on the bill were "full-on Satanic" bands called ROTTING CHRIST and DISSECTION.
Mustaine, who converted to Christianity several years ago, explained his position in a posting at the official MEGADETH web site. "Yes, I did say I would prefer not to play on concerts with Satanic bands," he said. "That doesn't mean I won't, it doesn't mean I would not talk with the bands either...But to make a life-altering change and then not have some kind of effect would not have been a change at all, would it? It's not much different from staying away from booze if you have made a decision to be sober."
Mustaine added, "If I don't feel it is right for me to do something, then (I) would just respectfully decline. I would not ask that anyone be taken off if they were already confirmed...I have to draw the line and stand for my beliefs or they aren't beliefs at all, are they?"
In his regular column published in the U.K.'s Zero Tolerance magazine, Lilker took Mustaine to task for his "evangelical arrogance" by "using his influence as an icon in the metal scene to attempt to prevent bands with anti-Christian and Satanic viewpoints from getting exposure amongst people who want to see MEGADETH." Lilker's entire rant on the subject is republished below:
"Maybe this is gonna be old news by the time you end up reading this, but that can't be helped. The indignation I feel is current as of mid-May, so here we go...
"It seems that MEGADETH's Dave Mustaine has had DISSECTION thrown off a festival in Israel that MEGADETH is headlining, and has similarly had ROTTING CHRIST booted off a couple of Greek shows where they were supposed to support MEGADETH. Why?? Wellllll, it appears that Dave has found God! Yes, Dave Mustaine says he is now a born-again Christian, and bands like DISSECTION and ROTTING CHRIST, with their rather obvious anti-Christian idealogies, are not allowed to play with MEGADETH now. To me, this is nothing short of absolutely ridiculous, so allow me to elaborate...
"Let me get something out of the way first. I'm a pretty tolerant person for the most part, and if Dave wants to follow that particular path in life, well, it's not for me to pass judgement and condemn him. It's his life, and he can do as he pleases IN HIS PERSONAL LIFE. Ah, now we're getting somewhere! The problem starts when it becomes apparent that Dave's new-found values clash with the values of the underground metal scene, and instead of saying to himself, 'Well, I guess now I'm a little out of step with things,' he arrogantly and selfishly decides that anti-Christian bands can no longer play on the same stage as him. The point being, HE is the one that should no longer be playing with these bands, since his values no longer reflect those of the metal scene in general. HE is the anomaly now. Therefore, the more appropriate move would have been to say, 'I don't think I want to play these shows with these types of bands anymore, so we ain't doing them.'
"However, the thing is that Dave has chosen to be born-again. Here in the States, 'born-again' is synonymous with 'evangelical,' and evangelical Christians feel it is their duty to save as many souls as possible. They are also extremely arrogant and closed-minded. Now, we can mock the guy from KORN for turning into some bizarre Jesus freak, but to his credit, at least he upped and left the scene he was once a part of and didn't try to stick around impose his new way of seeing things on the rest of his band and their fans. Dave, on the other hand, is doing just that. He's still using his influence as an icon in the metal scene to attempt to prevent bands with anti-Christian and Satanic viewpoints from getting exposure amongst people who want to see MEGADETH. That is where the evangelical arrogance comes into play. In some twisted way, perhaps Dave thinks he is saving souls by continuing to remain in a scene he no longer has anything in common with. 'What a challenge, to cleanse metal of evil!'
"Dave, break up the band, and pursue your new love for Jesus on your own. Leave the rest of us out of it."
(Thanks: Zero Tolerance)