MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine has issued the following update from the "Priest Feast" tour, also featuring JUDAS PRIEST and TESTAMENT:
"Today, I woke up at 5:45am to crawl out of the bus to the Radisson SAS Scandanavia in Gothenburg, Sweden. After some additional shut-eye, I went down for brekkie and then, after answering email and voicemail, I was off to the gym.
"I am finding it harder to stay in good shape, and I feel like I am losing ground to the Grim Reaper — and I don't mean Nick Bowcott's raging band GRIM REAPER!
"I am really concerned that I deliver the best shows I can for you all, and sometimes 'the rib' flares up. Especially at the end of 'Peace Sells', where I jump up and time my landing with the last cymbal hit. There has also been no sickness on the tour yet, praise God and knock on metal!
"We had a great 'hang' last night with the TESTAMENT boys, and I got to spend a lot of time with E.P. [Eric Peterson] and Chuck [Billy]. It's hard to believe we have been friends for almost 25 years. Wow!! Anyway, we talked about Gigantour, and the Clash of the Titans, and Eric's side project DRAGONLORD, since I already know about Chuck and the DUBLIN [DEATH PATROL] guys.
"It's really funny how everyone thinks we are so scary and mean, and how much we actually respect and care about each other and our roles in the whole scene. TESTAMENT are a very important band in metal history, especially killer Bay Area thrash metal; since there hasn't been anyone new that has come out lately, and I am unaware of anyone new, there aren't that many bands that come to mind when I think of new Bay Area metal bands — I mean, are there?
"I have seen the metal uprising in L.A. and I am so glad to be a part of this whole scene exploding again. Whether I am an elder statesman, or a young warrior out on the frontlines, I want this, and I want to be able to thrash with you all. I am also so very grateful for the place that I am finally able to acheive with my family, my band, and my wonderful fans.
"We will be trying feverishly to finish the [new MEGADETH] record while I am out here, but there have been many, many distractions, some of stupendous proportions, but I know as long as I keep on keeping on, and keep praying, even for my enemies, that this stands the chance of being the best record I have put out since 'Countdown to Extinction'.
"I mean, come on! We all know that Mike Gitter [at Roadrunner Records] is renowned for his A&R prowess, and his ability to tell and pick good bands, and good songs, and he has been so excited with what I sent him, it has completely invigorated us, and that is just the rhythm tracks with no vocals and no lead or extra guitars, and no extra effects.
"I, for one, am excited! I played some songs for my wife Pam's best friend in the U.K. — Taryn Hill — and she has worked with me since the 'Rust In Peace' tour as the TV and radio promotions person for MEGADETH, and she flat out said that there were some really great moments on this record, some even worthy contenders for TV and radio again, and we flat-out did not approach this record with TV or radio being the goal.
"I am taking my time with these last stages, and hopefully once I get back from Germany and finish my commitments from the tour and the [Musikmesse Frankfurt 2009 fair] in Frankfurt, Germany, I intend on finishing my medical procedures for my neck and back, and then, once convalesced, I will return to the studio to finish up the rest of the record. I am unsure of [producer] Andy Sneap's whereabouts right now, so I am unaware of his availability to return, so we will just keep plugging away until he can get back, which we hope is as soon as we can get right with the time difference.
"It is my unfortunate duty to let you know that I won't be going to appear at the Dean booth at the [Musikmesse] merchant show, but please don't let this lead you to believe that I don't love my VMNTs, or that I don't support the company 100%. With the economy being so bad, I think it was a wise decision of the CEO of Dean to suggest that I don't go, because it will save them a lot of revenue that I would prefer they kept just for making their excellent guitars.
"I am going to be at a function on April 1 there, and I had hoped that I would be able to go to the Dean booth just to let the world know that I may not have been brought to the dance, but I still made it, and I am still dancing! I had also hoped that I could appear there as a gift back to the company, and a token of my appreciation for the presence on their site. I know they have so many other important artists there that have to share the limited times.
"Elliott [Dean Guitars CEO Elliott Rubinson], thank you for endorsing me with your guitars. I would like to, if possible, stop by to at least say thank you, even though you didn't bring me there, and you probably thought I wasn't going to come, or may have had doubts that I wiould come by because of someone else bringing me, but I am a loyal and dedicated endorser. I don't know what any of this means, I just wanted to put this out there.
"Lastly, I know it is April Fools Day on the 1st of April, but this is no gag! there is going to be a new product released that I use exclusively, and you will able to get it too. Be sure to check back to get the posted times, if and when I can meet you at the Marshall Amplifiers or Dean Guitars booths.
"Thank you all for your support, especially all of the fans that have seen us on this new tour. I may have been a little nervous at the start of the tour, but I am as confident in my playing now as I do know my own name."