Steve Wildsmith of TheDailyTimes.com recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
On becoming a Christian:
"There was a moment of reckoning when my arm was destroyed, and I was up on this hill, and there was a cross at the top of it. It was just one of those thoughts — I was baptized a Lutheran, brought up as a Jehovah's Witness, got into witchcraft and Satanism and practicing black magic. My wife was in another thing, and I was thinking that was a cult, so I'd gone back to being a Jehovah's Witness, but I wasn't happy.
"Looking up at that cross, I said six simple words — 'What have I got to lose?' And my whole life has changed. It's been hard, but I wouldn't change it for anything. I'd rather ... go my whole life believing that there is a God and find out there isn't than live my whole life thinking there isn't a God and then find out, when I die, that there is."
On how metal itself has splintered into dozens of different sub-genres, all of which owe a little something to MEGADETH — or, according to Mustaine, a lot:
"A lot of these sub-genres are developed to position people who can do no better than No. 2. If you have a sub-genre, all of the also-rans have a place to show off. If you have sub-genres, everybody's got their place in the sun, but it's confusing because of all of that fragmentation. I say we put all of these sub-categories back into hard rock and heavy metal and see where we all stand.
"We're always getting labelled — people call us power metal, thrash, speed; at the Grammys, they called [MEGADETH] heritage metal. Personally, I don't care what people call us. This is a band with a guitar player who grew up listening to British Invasion and likes punk rock, classical music and jazz — and that comes out in my music."
On people who derided his conversion to Christianity as selling out:
"People were calling me out, saying I was (weak) or that I was trying to be cool. People were saying stuff about the bands I chose to play with. The thing is, I didn't want to start out on the wrong foot — I wanted to live by that old saying, 'When in doubt, leave it out.'
"I didn't want to go into this and live my life like I was. When I got saved, I really wanted to make a change. I understand now that things aren't quite as heavy as I thought they were back then, but I'm glad I protected myself (in the beginning). It's no secret that there are a lot of people who are haters — people who troll around the Internet, trying to hurt me and my band.
"The only reason it hurts me is because my daughter reads that stuff, and I think if I just sat down and talked to them, they'd say, 'Wow — I didn't even think about that.'"
"All these people who post all of the negative stuff on all of these web sites, I own them — they would be nothing without me. I'm their total higher power. I've got absolute 100 percent control over them, because they can't go a day without talking about me.
"It ain't hurting anybody, me being a nice guy. If being a Christian is going to water down my music, then [MEGADETH's new album] 'Endgame' must've slipped through the cracks, didn't it?"
Read the entire interview at TheDailyTimes.com.