MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine is the focus of the latest episode of VH1 Classic's "Rock Icons", an original documentary series profiling the most legendary artists in the history of rock music. You can now watch the full episode below. A few Mustaine quotes from the show follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what has kept him going all these years:
"For me, wanting to be the best is something that has driven me for a very long time. And wanting to be the biggest band in the world… well, that's not gonna happen. But having some self-respect, being able to know that there aren't very many people that can do what you do… that's cool."
"I've always been somebody who… I try to stand for what's right with people. I still stand by what I believe in, and I think that if you don't have something to believe in, you don't really have any purpose. And if you do believe in something, you need to be willing to fight for it."
On band dynamics:
"Here's the thing that I think that ruins most bands. When your goal isn't the most important thing. Sometimes bands will get together and it'll be like four friends from high school. And they'll play for a little while, but one of 'em sucks. And they never make it, because their friendship is more important than their desire to be successful. And sometimes you've gotta tell people, 'Hey, you know what?! You're my best friend. I love ya. We're gonna be friends forever. But you're out of the band.'"
On being part of METALLICA's early incarnation:
"There was a feeling that James [Hetfield, METALLICA's guitarist/vocalist] and I had when we would stand next to each other and play. I think people saw that there was a real brotherhood there. We were a really great guitar duo."
On his decision to form MEGADETH after being fired from METALLICA:
"Growing up and having all of the defense mechanisms I'd gotten over the years, I was pissed. I was gonna fight. I mean, when you're scratching and clawing to have something to eat, someone takes away your livelihood… This means war."
"I don't really know that when MEGADETH started that it was anything other than just pure revenge. It was all about, 'You know what? You're not gonna make me that kid, the one that's picked last again.' We wanted to be the utmost heaviest, ultra-furious metal band. Period. It doesn't sound like my last band. I wanted to do it for me — not because of something I lost. It was because of what I still had."
On MEGADETH becoming a commercial success:
"When 'Rust In Peace' came out, we realized it was like a mighty oak; that was what the band was becoming. It went to platinum, and it was just mindblowing for us. All we needed to do as MEGADETH was just stay tight as a unit. The outside world would go away."
On what caused MEGADETH's classic lineup to fall apart:
"At that particular time, it was drug addiction. The story of MEGADETH and heroin addiction, that was a big part of our past.
"My problem was that I had money. I was able to stay intoxicated."
On reporting from the Democratic National Convention for MTV News during the 1992 election and appearing in "Rock The vote" public service spots to encourage rock fans to vote their conscience:
"As much it did give me credibility in certain things, it also was an albatross around my neck with responsibility to not write pablum. And when you talk about things that matter and put it in a way someone can understand, that was my new personal goal."
On being honest in his interviews:
"Truth is the most radical thing that you can do — speaking the truth. That's why people get so upset with me when I say stuff, because I don't really have a filter. I just say what I think."
On MEGADETH's accomplishments:
"MEGADETH's music and myself, we're just a testimony of being victorious."
"When you look at everything that's happened, where this has all come full circle right now — making money, doing the wine. It's a celebration of life."
"When you get knocked down on the ground, you have a choice — to stay there or to get up. And my sensei told me, 'You get knocked down six times, you get up seven.' And that's always been my motto."
"No matter what, don't take shit from anybody. Don't ever give up. Keep fighting."