MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine spoke to the Argentina's national newspaper Clarin last week in Buenos Aires. Several excerpts from the chat follow:
"I don't use drugs anymore, but I'm not like those Hollywood nuts who become fundamentalist of a healthy lifestyle. I still like to have a drink, and I enjoy a good cigar when I have something to celebrate."
"Man, the Argentine audience is incredible. When the plane was flying over Buenos Aires, my heart was beating so strongly that I thought it would come out of my chest. . . When they told me that we were here the band with the most fans after THE ROLLING STONES and the RAMONES, I couldn't believe it."
On recording the MEGADETH "Rude Awakening" live album in the U.S. and not in Buneos Aires, as originally planned:
"Yes, after the World Trade Center many Americans were fearful about leaving the country and among them there was our guitar tech. Due to having no time to hire another one and teach him all the parts for both guitars we decided to do it there. But we are making a DVD here, because I want to take care of this debt I had with the Argentine fans. The Chilean fans were telling me, 'We are better than the Argentines,' and I couldn't answer. I mean, being a guest in their country I couldn't go and tell them that Argentines are the best audience in the world and not them. The guys in the band couldn't believe the reception of the Chilean fans, but I kept telling them, 'Wait 'till we get to Buenos Aires.' This DVD will be double; one of them will be dedicated completely to Argentina . He has video of their arrival to Ezeiza airport (where they were received by fans), in the hotel, in the backstage and in a mini acoustic show they did in Plaza Francia in front of a handful of fans who couldn't believe it."
On the song "Holy Wars ...The Punishment Due":
"It doesn't have to do with the Islamic Jihad. One time when I was in Ireland, somebody talked to me about 'the cause,' the reason why they were killing so many Catholics and Protestants. To me this made sense, and from the stage I dedicated a song to 'the cause.' The next day, we received threats and had to travel in bulletproof bus: It turns out 'the cause' was the way in which Irish would call the IRA. I never felt so stupid."
On celebrities that get involved in politics:
"When I saw the picture of [actor] Sean Penn in New Orleans with that shotgun I couldn't believe it. What the fuck are you going to do with that shotgun, Sean? Are you going to shoot somebody? If he wanted to express his opinion and support those who suffered the disaster, the fact that he was there was marvelous, but it got ruined when he came out with a weapon."
On how he through drug rehab:
"It was one of the most difficult things I had to confront. I lived in a state of interior negation, which made it much more difficult. However, I don't regret it. All these things, good and bad, are what made me who I am today."
On the arm injury he suffered in 2002 that made him unable to play guitar:
"I didn't want to hire a guitar player and dedicate myself to singing only because I'm essentially a guitar player. In fact, I would have probably been checking what the sessionist would be doing, and would fire one every couple of days. I practically had to relearn how to play from zero. And in a way it was good, because it allowed for me to eliminate some of the bad postures (while he says this he shapes an imaginary chord with his left hand) which I learned when I was young."
On spending his 40th birthday in 2001 with METALLICA's Lars Ulrich:
"My birthday was only two days after the [9/11] attacks. All planes were grounded and were not flying over U.S. air space and, as if this wasn't bad enough, I had to spend my fortieth birthday, a milestone in the life of any man, with whom? No one other than Lars fucking Ulrich! Lars played dirty with me. He asked me if I would mind if they filmed the meeting, because they were doing a documentary and they wanted to have me in it. But then everything started to become too emotional. The good thing is that he always said that I was a temporary member and not a great guitar player, but now it turns out he wants me in his movie. So, he was lying before or he is lying now. But don't get me wrong, I like METALLICA, although I don't like Lars as much as I like James (Hetfield) ...I think that the whole world feels the same."