MEGADETH Drummer: DAVE MUSTAINE Is 'Very Educated, Very Smart And He Writes Good Lyrics'

Kadri Pärna of Free! Magazine conducted an interview with MEGADETH drummer Shawn Drover prior to the band's July 4, 2010 performance at the Tuska festival in Helsinki, Finland. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Free! Magazine: I saw your concert that was broadcasted through satellite. The "Big Four" concert. How was that experience for you?

Drover: Did you see it in the movie theatre?

Free! Magazine: Yeah, it was an interesting experience.

Drover: I'm sure it was, I've would have wanted to see it too if I weren't playing. But it was fun. We all had a lot of fun. Of course during our gig it started to rain like crazy but still it was fun and we had a good time. And, of course, the big thing we did at the end (performing DIAMOND HEAD's "Am I Evil?"). That was a lot of fun. And I think the whole thing was a really good experience for me and for the band. We had a really great time.

Free! Magazine: What about your last album, "Endgame"? How happy are you with it – musically and commercial wise?

Drover: We're very happy with it. In terms of success — the way things are with the Internet downloading and stealing music it can't be compared to earlier time when records sold platinum — times have changed. That's the way life is and how the music industry is right now. Bands don't sell as much as they used do which sucks but it's a very critically acclaimed record, many people really love it, our fans love it. As long as we have fans, there actually isn't anything to worry about. And we get new fans every time. We just keep doing our best and hoping for the best. And the sales have been down for everybody. But I still consider this album a success.

Free! Magazine: I read that you are working on a new album and it should be out in 2011. Is that right?

Drover: We're talking about it. We have been in a tour mode at the moment, but we have started to work on a couple of ideas. But just very few ideas only. During a soundcheck we recorded a few ideas but we're going to finish this world tour and then come together and start working out these ideas. We hope it will be out next year, but we'll see how things will go.

Free! Magazine: You have received many awards. How important are these awards to you?

Drover: Well, I've never gotten a Grammy award (laughs). I've been in the band for six years (since 2004) and we were nominated with the song "Head Crusher", but we lost that to JUDAS PRIEST. It's cool to be recognized by the industry, it's nice to have been offered awards, to have been nominated. We appreciate it a lot. It's like 25 years later and MEGADETH still gets nominated. So, I think it's a really good thing. We just try to make good music with every record. People still like us after 25 years so we have to be doing something right.

Free! Magazine: You have been to MEGADETH since 2004 so you have played mostly to bigger audiences. But maybe you have also played to smaller audiences. Which is a better place to play — to more intimate and smaller places or big audiences like this festival?

Drover: I think they are both good for various reasons. When you play at a smaller place, it's fun because you can pretty much almost see everybody and it's closer. But playing like this festival is fun, too, because you can see all your friends and other bands. You know the CANNIBAL CORPSE guys are here and we're very good friends with them. They are all fun for different reasons. The "Big Four" stuff with METALLICA and ANTHRAX was a lot of fun, too.

Free! Magazine: MEGADETH is famous for its political lyrics (some songs). But how do you feel about politics? Are you interested in politics?

Drover: No. Dave's [Mustaine] very intelligent in very different ways and he's very educated with politics. He writes about many things he knows and politics is just one thing. He's very educated, very smart and he writes good lyrics. Every time we have a song, the lyrics are very good. Politics is a cool heavy metal thing to write about. It's good to write about many things not just one subject all the time.

Free! Magazine: Many artists and bands have released their official biographies. MEGADETH doesn't have an official biography. Could it happen one day?

Drover: There is the "Behind The Music" that is on VH1 in America but it went only until 2001. So much has happened after that so I think that at some point the whole story should also be told. We haven't done that yet — this year has been very busy, we've been touring, then the "Big Four" thing and we also have a DVD coming out and also new record coming out so we haven't had the time to think about it. At some point it would be nice to do an official video biography from the beginning until this day. I hope we do that some day but right now we are quite busy. There are a lot of interesting things to talk about.

Read the entire interview from Free! Magazine.

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