Illinois Entertainer recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Illinois Entertainer: You're taking heat for the rock 'n' roll material on the record. To what do you attribute the inability of some thrash metal fans to accept the mid-tempo forays ("Super Collider", "The Blackest Crow", the THIN LIZZY cover "Cold Sweat")?
Mustaine: To each his own. I think that thrash metal fans, when you label them as "thrash metal fans," of course they're not going to want to accept a rock track. It has nothing to do with MEGADETH or the greatness of the band and its music. Heavy is heavy. Look how heavy BLACK SABBATH is, and they're not fast. I think the fastest song they ever did was "Neon Knights" with Ronnie James Dio. It's all relative, I guess. Do I want to play it safe and play the same record for 40 years like some of these old dinosaurs do, or do I want to really try and follow where the music takes me? Because a good song will tell you what it wants. When we were doing "The Blackest Crow", for example, I knew that was going to be a risk. The thing is, in the thrash metal community right now, a lot of these thrash metal fans, God bless 'em, what they think is thrash metal right now really isn't what thrash metal was back in the day. It wasn't about the tempo of the music, it was about what the music was about. It was the lyrical content, it was the energy of the song, it was the modality of the chord progressions. There were a lot of bands that would just play one note and pedal super, super fast and barely have any movement, and those bands fell by the wayside. You had to have some artistic merit at some point, where the songs had melody, or people would just lump you in with all those other bands that sound the same. I mean, my God, I've been doing this 30 years, you think I would learn something.
Illinois Entertainer: You told "Rockline" that "Super Collider" is introspective and tries not to alienate listeners with politics. How has the two-party system affected MEGADETH in recent years?
Mustaine: I think what has happened is that politics and the liberal media have really infected my message with my music, and no matter what I say, how I say it, it's going to be misinterpreted. So I think probably our time would be better if I answered some other questions. I mean, I would love to talk politics with you, but our country is really in a very precarious position right now, in all the parties: Republican, Democratic, Independent, Green Party. You ask young people, they thought that Ron Paul was the answer, until he said that we're just like the Taliban. I ain't like the Taliban. I don't cut kids' heads off. Who do you believe in? I think the most important thing is: Exercise your right to vote, vote, know what the topics are about, educate yourself, don't listen to all these talking-head celebrities that get up there and endorse politicians and stuff like that. That's them telling you to do what they want. Make your own mind up. I do.
Illinois Entertainer: Classic rock bands such as JOURNEY and STYX are saying that making new studio albums is futile. They aren't saying they're hanging up their hats, but they're saying this may be the end of the studio album. Tours used to promote albums, but now albums promote tours. What's your take on this?
Mustaine: A lot of times when guys get old, they lose the fire in their belly. I still feel like I'm a teenager inside. Granted, some days I wake up and my neck, after being fused together, tells me I'm 100. But I still feel really young, and I've never tried to act like I'm above our fans. I still like macaroni and cheese and you may see me rolling through a hamburger drive-thru once in a while because I'm a normal guy. I think that when you get up in your ivory tower, you start taking things for granted. Yeah, you lose sight of it. Who wants to hear from a guy that's driving a Rolls-Royce around what it's like to be 16 and confused?
Read the entire interview from Illinois Entertainer.