MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine was on hand yesterday (Wednesday, January 23) at this year's NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, to show off his new Dean double-neck guitar.
Originally a one-off which was built for Dave to play at the "Big Four" shows, the guitar will go into full production this year.
A six-minute video interview with Mustaine conducted by VintageRock.com after yesterday's press conference can be seen below.
On what the artwork on his new guitar represents:
Mustaine: "It's basically the battle of good and evil. I think a lot of people misinterpret heavy metal fans as all of us being lost and deranged and being drug addicts and alcoholics and being satanic and stuff like that. I mean, we all have a little bit of darkness in us. But as far as the battle of good and evil, that's something that everybody encounters every day. The stop sign: do I roll through it or do I stop?
"The guy that did this artwork is a guy named John Lorenzi. He's done a lot of artwork with us in the past. When you tell somebody something and they have the vision to be able to do it without you having to go, 'OK, dude, listen…' I mean, there's a lot of really great artists out there, but sometimes their vision, it doesn't really line up with what the artists' visions are, and I think we've been really fortunate with him.
"We're in the studio right now doing a new record, and we were just talking about the artwork for the new record. It's not gonna be an illustration; it's actually a think that we're naming the record after. So we're trying to figure out how to use illustration in that. But if it's something that looks cooler when you take a picture of it, why draw it?"
On MEGADETH's current record-company situation following the band's split with Roadrunner Records:
Mustaine: "We're with a great new label. We're doing a press release about it soon. I can't say who it is; I'd love to tell you who it is. But we're not with Roadrunner anymore. That was some good years for us there, and we really look back with great fondness on our times with Roadrunner. But the excitement level for us right now is just insane."
On MEGADETH's touring plans:
Mustaine: "Yeah, we've got some dates this summer with [IRON] MAIDEN over in Spain, Italy and France and some headlining shows in the U.K. and we're coming back to the States and doing some concerts here. And we've got some stuff lined up at the end of the year with Gigantour — not only in here in the States, but also down in South America. We've got some really interesting lineups for that. Most people would look at the lineup and they would think, like, 'Dave's not gonna tolerate your crap at all.' Because there's a couple of people that we have that are on the lineup — and we're hoping for the best — but they're notorious bad boys. But when people grow up, they kind of grow up; they don't just grow old. And we're hoping that the music is gonna be the most important thing so that the fans will get what they want. Because it's undoubtedly… The people that we have, so far, as far as we know, for Gigantour, they've got great music. We're really looking forward to that.
On MEGADETH's upcoming album
Mustaine: "We're almost done with it. We've been doing it with [producer] Johnny K, doing it down in San Diego where I live. And he's gonna be mixing it out in Chicago at his studio out there. You know, it's really incredible the way… Last night, [MEGADETH bassist] David Ellefson — he'll probably not appreciate me telling this story — but he was sitting in a chair and his hand was hanging over the side of the chair, and I said, 'What's the matter?' And he goes, like, 'Man, I haven't played this much in a long time.' And I was, like, 'Good.' So that was really exciting for me, 'cause David, he's a monster on bass guitar, and for him to be saying stuff like that and just showing that he's a litte tired because there's so much activity with the songs, I think the fans are really gonna respond to that."