Patrick Prince of Powerline recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Powerline: When ["Countdown To Extinction"] has its 50th anniversary, it can still be relevant.
Mustaine: Yep. If there is a USA fifty years from now.
Powerline: There will be, but who knows what it's going to be like. There may not be a Middle East fifty years from now.
Mustaine: Personally, if it were me, this whole thing in Afghanistan, I would have been a little smarter and I would have said, "Why don't we check how the Russians did there?!" And after ten years of getting their ass handed to them, I would say that they are comparable to us as a military force, so we've got a little bit of an edge over them. Why would we want to get engaged in a war that there's seemingly no way to win? Well, because of the poppies.
Powerline: After going to Dubai (on this last tour), I think you had seen a Middle East that is different than what you expect.
Mustaine: Well, Dubai is different. The Sheikh Mohammad and his brother-in-law and his dad, they're very Westernized, even though they are very faithful to their belief and whatnot. What I found in Dubai to be really endearing to them is the fact that they have a mosque there and they allow westerners to go in there and see what it looks like. The only place in the world where you can go into a mosque as a westerner and see what it's like. The other thing, too, they have people that live there that are Jewish, Christian, Catholic, Muslim, atheist, agnostic and they all co-exist and you don't hear about the same kind of religious intolerance and murders and bombing going on there. I was talking to the guy who took us out on a safari there — my wife and daughter and I — and he said ten years ago the word "bomb" was never part of the vocabulary. And I went, you know, you're right. You're totally right.
Powerline: And India made an impression on you.
Mustaine: Now, India was a different story. I love our fans there, but that's a really messed up situation there. It's like really filthy, the pollution is terrible. My heart goes out to our fans. Part of the reason we wanted to play there was because of the poverty level there. There is no middle class there. You're either filthy stinking rich or you're absolutely mind-blowingly poor. And we wanted to go there and bring our music to bring some joy to the fans out of there. Because let's face it, young kids around the world — no matter where they live right now — because the West dictates a lot of things and because our economy is so messed up right now, anybody that graduates out of college, they're not gonna get a job. I mean if they do get a job it's certainly not going to be in the fields that they're studying for. And you see these kids over there … the guy that was my promoter rep over there in India, he just graduated from college and he goes, "Our minimum wage here for a person to work is one dollar a day." A day!
Powerline: There are a lot haters who will take one thing you've said and … you know what it is, the Internet, basically. Twenty years ago you didn't have this.
Mustaine: Because people would get their teeth knocked if they said the stuff they say nowadays. You know, you can hide behind a computer and then you just change an IP address and nobody knows who you are or where you are. But the good thing about all this is there's One who sees everything and I've got a pretty good relationship with Him, and my whole thing is: I treat people the way I want to be treated. Even when we were in the Czech Republic and people were upset about the whole debacle with W.A.S.P. not playing and took it out on us [Editor's note: Dave Mustaine is apparently referencing the Zadar, Croatia show of Metalfest Open Air on June 7. See video below.]. That wasn't our fault but they still were taking it out on us and when we were in Dubai we did a meet-and-greet and a woman and her little boy came up. And she said, yeah, he saw you in the Czech Republic and he was supposed to meet you after the concert and you guys finished early. And I was gonna say, "Yeah, but …" and she said he cried because he didn't get to meet you. And I thought, "You know what?! Son of a gun …" The guys that acted out there, I understand why they did that. They wanted to see W.A.S.P., they don't know why that they didn't play and somebody had said something that it was our fault. It wasn't our fault. We don't decide whether W.A.S.P. plays or not. And they had been out in the sun drinking and they thought it was a novel way to express their disdain for the way things took place was to throw objects at us. I understand. I totally understand. I would have handled it a little bit different. I'm not a pussy who throws rocks at artists. They may not love me, but I still have love in my heart for them. And I'm not going to write the Czech Republic off just because of these few people who mishandled themselves that day. I think that if the guys who actually did that, if we sat down and talked, we'd probably have a lot in common. Because I don't dislike W.A.S.P. I'm actually friends with Blackie [Lawless] and I probably would have wanted to see them play as much as their fans did — well, probably not as much, but it's funny how similar a lot of us are when you get down to it, but this mob mentality gets people fired up and you're afraid to say what your convictions really are because … You know, I saw a letter about three years ago. It was the vice president of GE and I'm thinking it was an open letter about how afraid he was about the way things were going and how he doesn't think he'll be able to write the same letter several years later because of the fact that if anybody who says anything negative right now about a politician is going to be vilified and, man, damn if he wasn't right.
Read the entire interview from Powerline.