Shawn Loeffler of AskMen.com recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
AskMen.com: Where does the title [to the new MEGADETH album, "Endgame"] come from?
Mustaine: There was a bill that was signed into law by our ex-president, George Bush, and basically it gave him the power to create these detention centers that could be used for mass casualties and stuff like that, and in the long run they were like concentration camps to hold people in. This is to the degree where even they take people who were legal citizens if they don't agree with what our ex-president felt were groups that should be on a list of terrorists. For example, one of the groups that was put on this terror list was, Janet Napolitano had suggested this, was a pro-life group — I don't want to get in that whole hang up about abortion or no abortion or whatever — but, you gotta be real careful nowadays about who you call a terror group. Looking back at the heritage of our country, a lot of people who were freedom fighters would have been called terrorists, but I think there's a total difference between someone who would stand up with a sword and want to fight you face-to-face versus somebody who's hiding behind the cowardice of a bomb. There are no heroics in fighting behind women and children; you're supposed to fight in front of them; you're supposed to protect them. The rules of engagement have totally changed is basically what I'm saying.
AskMen.com: Is it harder to write the typical MEGADETH themes when there's a Democrat president?
Mustaine: Not really. MEGADETH, we've been a band that's been functioning for quite some time. Remember Clinton… that was the hardest time for MEGADETH because the economy was flourishing and everybody was fat, dumb and happy, especially Clinton's little girlfriend, and it was not popular to be in a metal band promoting the injustices of the world (laughs). It was kind of like, "Dude, who wants to hear about starving kids? Who wants to hear about people stockpiling nuclear weapons? We've got money to count." We travel to so many different countries that for me [it's pointless] to spit out these political things without making it ubiquitous enough to cover a whole bunch of other different policies, that it could be similar to the democracy in Germany or so on and so forth, so that other people will get it. For me, it's such an advanced, cerebral-type music that it's not something that I can dance to or that I'd want to have sex to or something that you can actually enjoy sports listening to this in the background, unless you're doing something like full-contact chess. We love having our music played [for sports though]; "Reckoning Day" is a popular song, "Trust" was an opening track for a bunch of people because of the great build on it, "Crush 'Em" was specifically for hockey, because I hated Garry Glitter's song. Now, "1,320", I had written a song about drag racing and just found out today that the NHRA are losing their minds; they contacted us about the song, they're that excited about it. And, man, I was tickled pink. They said that they have all kinds of neat things they want me to do, like a celebrity race and I thought, "Yeah!" As long as it's not a foot race, I'm OK.
AskMen.com: Can you interpret the cover of "Endgame" for us?
Mustaine: Yeah, in the middle of the nation we have this one locale where they've got a bunch of inexplicable black coffins that FEMA has holed up on somebody's property (I think it's in Indianapolis or Iowa or something in the Midwest). Nobody's really taking ownership for it — you know, there's no signs out there saying "coffin sale today" — so, it's kind of suspicious-looking. [The cover] is just a kind of lumping of all different kinds of ideas together. What I feel when I see it, is us as sheep being prisoners to the new world order getting led off down this corridor of death with these FEMA-assisted suicide canisters, these "come on, free housing." It's like that 'Twilight Zone' episode where the book said "How to Serve Man," and they couldn't figure out what the rest of the book was. Then this girl comes screaming: "Don't get in the spaceship, don't get in the spaceship," and everybody on Earth is getting into the spaceship, and she goes: "The book, How to Serve Man, it's a cookbook." (laughs)
Read the entire interview from AskMen.com.