MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine recently spoke to U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine about his forthcoming autobiography, "Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir" (formerly "Hello Me... Meet The Real Me"), which is due later in the year via HarperCollins's It Books imprint (focusing on pop culture, sports, style and content derived from the Internet).
"Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir" was co-written by New York Times journalist Joe Layden who also authored "The Last Great Fight" about what is considered by many to be the biggest upset in the history of boxing: James "Buster" Douglas' tenth-round knockout win over Mike Tyson in 1990.
On whether his conversion to Christianity has turned his autobiography into a somewhat tame account of his life, with the scowling, venomous rage of the past replaced with placatory serenity and good will to all men:
Mustaine: "It's still a little bit edgy. You've got to take into consideration that we live in a very litigious time now and people will try you and they sue because they spill coffee on their crotch, you know? So the publisher took a look at the book and took out everything they thought would be controversial to the point where I'd get sued over it, but it still definitely has teeth. It's a funny book. It's got great moments and there's still a lot of sadness in it, too. It's all factual. It's a story of my life and my life isn't about name-calling and mud-slinging."
On being one of thrash metal's chief inventors:
Mustaine: "It didn't ever occur to me that I was doing anything out of the ordinary. Because the guitar player that I looked up to was Jimmy Page and I set the bar so incredibly high for myself. If Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] had never come into my life, I probably would never focused on them, I would've focused on just trying to be like LED ZEPPELIN and none of this would've happened. But it's great to be recognized for all this. It's so fun to look back on my life now and say, 'Dave, look what you did!'"
On firing guitarist Jay Reynolds, who briefly held a position in MEGADETH prior to the recording of 1988's "So Far, So Good... So What!" album:
Mustaine: "I was so mean to Jay... Why would I do something like that? Well, it's because I never faced up to the way things transpired with METALLICA and I don't know that I had the tools at the time to see my part in it and that they did what they thought was right, even though it was questionable. James [Hetfield, METALLICA frontman] was hurt. I don't think Lars cared and he just wanted to be successful, and that's OK. I wanted to be successful and I made those kinds of decisions, too. Unfortunately, I was on the receiving end of it as well. Now, when I have to let somebody go, it's so much easier because it's business and it's not personal anymore."
On whether he senses a degree of disappointment that the story ends with the revelation that Dave Mustaine turned out to be a good guy after all:
Mustaine: "You know, I became a Christian and I found a better way of life for me. Most people will say, 'Uh-oh, he's going to become one of those people who says one thing then acts a different way,' but that's not who I am. I think I will see the day come when people say, 'Dave's not a bad guy.' I've tried to be consistent. I've tried to be the best guitar player I can. And whether you agree with what I say or not, you know you never have to ask me what I'm thinking! [Laughs]"