MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine says that he has no intention of voting for Hillary Clinton in the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
Asked by a fan on Periscope if he is a fan of controversial Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Mustaine replied: "Am I a Donald Trump fan? Well, he's a very successful businessman. Am I gonna vote for him? That's none of your business. And if I did, I wouldn't tell you. If I didn't, I wouldn't tell you. I can tell you one thing: I am not voting for [presumptive Democratic presidential nominee] Hillary [Clinton]. I am voting for [MEGADETH mascot] Vic Rattlehead."
Mustaine also commented on the recent surge in high-profile violence around the world and the fact that we are regularly waking to the news that somewhere in the world, and sometimes close to home, someone has been slaughtered in what looks like an epidemic of terror.
"I just saw my buddy Vernon Reid from LIVING COLOUR posted something about a knife attack in Japan. Nineteen people dead," Mustaine said. "And, of course, some asshole had to say something about guns right away.
"People are gonna kill people. If they wanna kill 'em, they're gonna kill 'em. It doesn't matter if it's a gun, if it's a knife, or if it's incredibly bad music you have to listen to death.
"The world is so full of hate right now. There's a lot of love. I mean, I have love in my heart for you guys, even when you pick on the band and me. I can take it. It's kind of sad when you do it to people like [Dave's MEGADETH bandmates] Kiko [Loureiro] or Dirk [Verbeuren] or David [Ellefson], 'cause they don't deserve any of that shit."
Mustaine appeared willing to accept some of the responsibility for the negativity that has occasionally surrounded MEGADETH over the years, explaining: "I know that my mouth sometimes gets me in trouble. I'm trying to really get a grip on that. I look at people like [late boxing legend] Muhammad Ali, who was really controversial in his early life and he turned around to such an amazing, amazing ambassador for professional sports. And also, he was a very, very loving Muslim person. In the beginning of his career, a lot of people were mad about that and the way he conducted himself. People accepted it and pretty soon it was not the way he was defined; he was defined by his actions, not by any label of faith or race or gender or sexual orientation.
"I truly wish that… I hope that that's how I'll be remembered — as somebody who may have had a bad start, but finished really well."
He then thanked his fans directly, saying: "I've gotta tell you, I'm so grateful for you guys giving me so many chances when most people that do the stuff that I've done in the past, they don't always get another chance."
Mustaine made headlines in early 2012 when he voiced his support for ultraconservative Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. He explained at the time that the Pennsylvania politician looked "like he could be a really cool president… kind of like a JFK kind of guy." That same year, he drew ire on social media when he suggested onstage at a concert in Singapore that President Obama was behind the mass shootings in Aurora and at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
Mustaine later blamed media outlets for taking his statements out of context, explaining that never said he officially "endorsed" Santorum. As for the Singapore concert, he claimed to have been repeating the theories of Larry Pratt, a pro-gun activist who runs the organization Gun Owners Of America.
Also in 2012, Mustaine revealed his "birther" opinions on a talk show, saying he doubted President Obama was born in the United States. He told radio host Alex Jones: "With all of the proof about his birth certificate being fake… And you see the signs in Kenya that say 'the birthplace of Barack Obama.' Hello?! C'mon, guys. How stupid are we right now?"
Mustaine has consistently denied that he is a Republican, telling Artisan News in a 2012 interview: "I'm an independent, not a Republican — I've never been a Republican. I've always said that. I don't belong to any party — I'm non-partisan. And for me, the sad thing is, instead of voting for the best man, I have to vote for the lesser of two evils."