This past Friday (March 22), MEGADETH's Dave Mustaine took part in a signing at the Heavy Metal booth the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), a Chicago fan convention dedicated to comics, pop culture, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and television. He was also interviewed by Syfy Wire about MEGADETH's new graphic novel. The 350-page graphic anthology, "Death By Design", features comic book stories inspired by the songs on MEGADETH's 35th-anniversary greatest-hits compilation, "Warheads On Foreheads".
Speaking about his songwriting process, Mustaine said (see video below): "Music, for me, is timeless. It just doesn't age. When you write lyrics, depending on what your lyrics are about, I've always tried to write lyrics that were timely and timeless so that they mean the same thing today as they would when I first wrote it. For example, 'Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?' That's a lyric that is as relevant today as it was when I wrote it back in 1983. And believe it or not, that's one of the tracks that didn't make it on to 'Warheads…' because it's been on everything else. So it was one of those tracks that was kind of easy to skip, but…"
Asked how long it usually takes him to write a complete song, Mustaine said: "I wish there was an average. For me, there's no telling. I've only written one song in one sitting, and that was a song called 'In My Darkest Hour', and that was because someone that I loved very dearly" — referring to METALLICA bassist Cliff Burton — "had perished in a bus accident. And I kind of found out [about] it in a really kind of lame way, because the people that were closest to this friend of mine didn't tell me. I found out through a pretty far removed party. I was really shook up over it. And that came like that. Usually, the songs… the music and the lyrics are totally disconnected, and it's kind of trying to fit 'em all together."
MEGADETH, working in close collaboration with Heavy Metal, collected an unprecedented pool of talent for "Death By Design", making it any comic book or MEGADETH fan's dream. Brendan Small (creator of "Metalocalypse") teams with Belen Ortega ("Girl With The Dragon Tattoo") for "Hangar 18". Dan Fogler ("Fantastic Beasts And Where To find Them") writes an apocalyptic tale insanely drawn by Andy Belanger ("Southern Cross") for "Rattlehead". An A-list talent pool rounds out the roster featuring Tim Seeley ("Hack/Slash"), Ben Templesmith ("30 Days Of Night"), Brian Wood ("DMZ"), Justin Jordan and John Bivens ("Spread"), Leah Moore and John Reppion ("Judge Dredd"), Joe Keatingue ("Popgun"), Christine Larsen ("Holy Diver"), Frazier Irving ("Annihilator") and more than 50 other talented creators.
"Death By Design" comes in four different editions and will be in comic stores on June 5.