Former MEGADETH and current SAVATAGE guitarist Al Pitrelli recently spoke to The Pure Rock Shop about Dave Mustaine's decision to disband MEGADETH and the Pitrelli's current and upcoming activities. Here are a few select highlights from that conversation:
On whether Mustaine will be able to return to form following hand injury:
"I don't think that's an issue. I mean, you've got athletes that undergo microscopic surgery, who a couple weeks later, come back and do their thing. I think that with the proper treatment and the proper care, Dave is going to be in pretty good shape."
On collaboration with former MEGADETH bandmates David Ellefson (bass) and Jimmy DegRasso (drums) in a new project:
"I always want to be careful in the wording of that. It's not like MEGADETH is going to find a replacement for Dave Mustaine. That would be an impossibility - Dave Mustaine is MEGADETH. But, the three of us being pretty decent musicians and not over the hill just yet, would like to find a singer or somebody to go out and write with and just do something cool.
"I'm pretty sure that Sanctuary [Records, MEGADETH's record label] would support it. I would hope so. This isn't something that we've spoke to them about yet, because it would be kind of like putting the cart before the horse…obviously Sanctuary would be our first choice, because we love the label and they're a great bunch of guys. They take great care of us in MEGADETH. We'd like to do business with them post-MEGADETH."
On rejoining SAVATAGE:
"I never really left SAVATAGE to be completely honest. I mean obviously musically or professionally I wasn't really in the band, because I was with MEGADETH but you know my heart was never that far away from the camp. I had played on the Poets & Madmen album. I am still the musical director for TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA. So, I never left the camp. It was just like, 'OK, I can't perform with SAVATAGE right now, because that's not going to work'. I was looking forward very much, regardless, of doing another record with them at some point, and now I can put my name on the record and my picture on the record. It's not a surprise, it was just like 'that makes sense, let's go'. In this world there's not too many things I can do other than play guitar."
On recently-completed shows as part of SEBASTIAN BACH's band:
"Well, [BACH guitarist] Paul Crook and I had been friends for a couple of years. Paul was in ANTHRAX when ANTHRAX and MEGADETH were opening for MOTLEY…Sebastian had seen me play with WIDOWMAKER, and he was a big WIDOWMAKER fan. And, obviously he was a huge MEGADETH fan. So, they called me up and said, 'you want to do like half a dozen local shows?' 'Yeah, what the hell.' (he replied). And that was pretty much that, it wasn't a big process. In the day, I was a huge SKID ROW fan, and I've been keeping my eye on what Sebastian's been up to. I mean between his Broadway things and his solo records, he's just an incredibly talented person."
To read Al Pitrelli's entire interview with The Pure Rock Shop, click here.