MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine recently spoke to Pit Magazine about the group's comeback effort, "The System Has Failed", and the upcoming presidential elections, among other topics. Several excerpts from the interview follow:
Pit Magazine: The cover painting [on the new album] is very striking. It marks the return of band mascot Vic Rattlehead who is accepting payoffs from politicians. Where did the idea come from and weren't you going to use longtime MEGADETH artist Ed Repka to do the cover?
Dave Mustaine: "That was my idea. I talked to Repka, but he got weird with me. We talked about a price, but he is another ingrate. He was a college kid who I put on the map. He wasn't doing anything, we had him do one record cover and then every record cover after that he used the same exact paint that he did 'Peace Sells' with. He must’ve bought too much paint. THE CIRCLE JERKS record was done in the same colors. We talked and we had everything worked out and then he started jacking the price up. Then I said goodbye and this time it's forever. I got a guy named Mike Learn to do it. A lot of people see Bush up front and think that I'm anti-Bush. But everybody is there. The Clintons, Arafat and Blair, the Arabs; nobody is guilt-free. Even though Bush is waving his finger at Vic, what Vic stands for is so much deeper than anybody is on the cover. And the point of the cover is that you can get away with murder in America. You can buy your way out of it."
Pit Magazine: Speaking of politicians, it is an election year in the United States and that has many famous people endorsing presidential candidates. You did the opposite because you recently said, "musicians should shut the fuck up and play music because they don’t know anything about running a country."
Dave Mustaine: "You see Al Jourgensen of MINISTRY going around saying 'Fuck Bush.' And I've always liked MINISTRY but I know that guy has a legendary drug problem so you can't really take what he is saying seriously. The United States is the strongest country in the world for a reason. Now I'm gonna vote for Bush. I voted for Clinton, but I don't give a fuck because I vote for the lesser of two evils. Kerry is a mistake. He will ruin our country. But the fact that people would vote based on who a celebrity endorses is just stupid. Don't vote for Bush because I'm voting for him. Don't vote for Kerry because you hate me."
Pit Magazine: More celebrities should take your stance, but they don’t.
Dave Mustaine: "Yeah you've got Tom Morello from AUDIOSLAVE walking around talking about freeing the people in South America while he is walking around in his fucking Gucci silk suits. Spare me, what do you know about that? Talk about hypocrisy. Natalie Maines from the DIXIE CHICKS said that she is ashamed to be from the state of Texas; well I'm ashamed that you are fucking from America. I saw her at a Nashville Predators game, talk about somebody who needs to go on a diet. I don't know if she was pregnant at the time, but she sure looked it. But the fact is unless you are a politician, shut up. What do they know about politics? (With a southern accent) Oh well I'm gonna vote for a guy that gonna raise taxes on the fucking rich. You stupid twat. You are in the upper income bracket in America, you are gonna get taxed. And when small business owners get taxed, jobs are lost. How stupid is that? You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about, shut up.
Pit Magazine: I know you weren’t happy with the footage of yourself in the METALICA documentary "Some Kind Of Monster", but I was wondering how you felt as a musician of METALLICA’s current musical direction?
Dave Mustaine: "I don’t listen to them anymore and I haven't listened to them for a very long time. I wouldn't even know what they are doing. I heard their last song on the radio and I was pretty surprised that it was them. I would have listened closer if I knew it was.
"I've talked about the movie enough. I wasn't happy about it. They know it. They used my footage and I told them not to. I'm not going to be talking to Lars ever again. That's basically the long and the short of it. After a while, you just kind of ask yourself if I was so unimportant and such a temporary, shitty guitar player for so many years and with them ignoring the fact that I even existed, why is it so important that I’m in the movie?"
Dave Mustaine's entire interview with the Pit Magazine will be published in issue number 49. More information is available at www.pitmagazine.com.