MEGADETH's MUSTAINE: 'I'm Not Caught Up In What People Have To Say About Me'

Shawn Macomber of Foster's Online recently conducted an exclusive interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. Several excerpts from the chat follow:

On his perseverance and resilience:

"Maybe I'm too stubborn to quit. Maybe I'm too obnoxious for anyone to say get out of here. My revenge is my success. I'm not one to waste a lot of time thinking, 'Oh, the world is out to get me.' If I sank down to a level where I was playing the victim, I would lose a lot of my appeal to my fans. There's a huge difference between a victim and a survivor, and the public at large understands that very well."

On whether he resents the bad press and all the intensely personal message board sniping:

"I'm not really that caught up in what people have to say about me. I very rarely read reviews. At the end of the day, I have more supporters than haters. As far as the press goes, most journalists are not out to get me. They're out to get everybody. If the subject of the interview is a moron, he's going to get himself in trouble. I try not to be a moron and I do okay."

On having learned over the years that whenever he doesn't follow his heart, catastrophe surely follows:

"It's ironic that when I do what I like, the fans seem to like it too. But when I try to do what I think the fans would like? I'm usually wrong and don't connect. If I try to make them happy, I don't. So therein lies the rub if you dig.

"Metal fans are purists. They like what they like and, man, they will tell you if you're putting something in front of them that they don't like. Trust me, I know from first-hand experience."

On the resurgence of the heavy metal genre:

"Heavy metal fans have always been here, they just fell out of favor with mass media outlets. They've been buying records and going to concerts. Now metal has become trendy and swayed those people that just go along with the flavor of the month. Before that it was hip-hop. It's always something. But no trend lasts forever."

On Gigantour:

"At some point, I got to pass the torch. The intention was to build something that over the next few years fans of heavy music will be able to rely on as a concert that has talent, that is affordable, that has a great atmosphere. Every one of the bands on Gigantour has a unique style. That's what it came down to. There wasn't a single band on the tour that I wasn't excited about inviting to be part of this tour.

"When I first started this whole process of putting together Gigantour my goal was to have what we have right now. It couldn't have been any better if I'd assembled this all out of heavy metal musician 'Stepford Wives'. The first one will always be the first one. We'll always look back at the maiden, inaugural voyage of this thing and I think that I did it in style."

On the fact that Gigantour isn't selling out arenas in the same manner MEGADETH sold out large clubs last year:

"It's a tough atmosphere out there because there are still a lot of people who just won't go to concerts. It has nothing to do with MEGADETH or DREAM THEATER or any of the bands on this bill. A lot of fans are fed up with going to concerts and not getting their money's worth. And I don't blame them.

"You can say 'Oh, we're different, our ticket prices are less, our talent is better,' all you want, but that ain't enough," he continued. "You got to come in, do something great, and hope the people who were there tell the people who have been burnt to come out next year. It's a building process."

On closing up the MEGADETH shop and leaving "The System Has Failed" behind as a giant exclamation mark on the band's storied career:

"People ask me all the time, 'Why would you walk away from something like this to start over again?' Well, basically just so I would know that I could do it again. So that I know that everything that's happening right now with me and this group of guys I'm playing with right now is based on me and this group of guys and not any perpetual momentum from before. . . "I've also worked 20 years to make this into what it is and it's a huge successful monster. It's what I'd call a moral dilemma. Either way, I've had a really good run. Most guys don't last ten years in this business, let alone twenty.

"When I figure out what I'm doing, the fans will know. I am completely genuine and transparent with them. They don't have to guess what I'm thinking."

Read the entire interview at Foster's Online.

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