MEGADETH: Dave Mustaine Talks ‘Th1rt3en’, Big 4 And More!
Thrash gods Megadeth recently released their ripping new album ‘Th1rt3en’, and Dave Mustaine has spoken extensively about the album, as well as many of the other burning issues that currently surround being the greatest ginger in metal.
Here’s what he had to say…
Your latest album ‘Th1rt3en’ has just hit the shelves, what can fans expect from that album?
“I think fans are going to be able to expect a very exciting record. With David Ellefson coming back, it brought back the classic sound, but also with the progress that we made with Shawn Drover and Chris Broderick. I think that it’s a very heavy modern sound, and then adding Johnny K to that with his production skills, this is the optimum record that we could’ve made right now. So I think that the fans are going to be very happy with this record.”
What difference has having Dave Ellefson back in the band had on the creation of the new album?
“It’s been almost two years now, and the time has just flown past because it’s just so great to have my buddy back. When he came back, one of the first things he did was, we were recording a song called ‘Sudden Death’ for Guitar Hero, and I asked Dave and said, ‘Hey, you want to do a bass track on this?’, kind of like when we were hanging out in the very beginning and I’d say, ‘Hey, you want a drink?’. He sat down, started doing the bass track and looked over at me and said, ‘You know, I’m going to put a Diamond Head part right here’, and then I got pretty excited! I was so thrilled, I just knew it was the right thing for us to reconcile.”
You chose Johnny K to produce this album, talk about why you chose him and what he is like to work with
“The reason I chose Johnny K to produce this record is because Andy Sneap wasn’t available at the time we had our open opportunity to record. We had a two month window to record, and Andy was busy doing something else, and David Ellefson had recommended Johnny K, which was really exciting for us because Johnny brought a really great attitude and a level of professionalism and just a freshness that we were in need of – Andy had helped us get to a really great place and Johnny was the next step for us.”
Aside from being the 13th Megadeth album, please talk about any other meanings behind the name choice ‘Th1rt3en’
“There is a lot of other different areas where thirteen has shown up. The obvious one is my birthday, born September 13th, this again being the 13th record, I started playing guitar when I was thirteen, and there’s actually a lot of other areas where thirteen shows up. There’s supposed to be thirteen lunar cycles, thirteen was associated with the Templar Knights when they were all killed off, that’s where I’d been told the whole thing about Friday 13th being bad, but as far as I was concerned, 13 wasn’t bad at all, it was the day I was brought into the world.”
You were credited by the BBC as being “the most consistent heavy metal group” after the release of Endgame. How much does press reaction matter to you as an artist with such career longevity?
“That is so flattering for me, having such a long career. At some point you can become irrelevant and there’s a lot of bands that have been around as long as I have, or longer, and I think that sometimes we just get a tip of the hat because we’ve survived.”
What are your memories of the Big 4 shows?
“The first Big 4 show we did last year was really exciting, when we met up with the bands and we did that first show, you just kind of knew something magical had happened. Megadeth and Metallica and Slayer and Anthrax all getting together on the same stage and the subsequent touring that followed that, us playing in the states at Indio and the Yankee stadium and all the different places in Europe that we did…That was pretty reckless and it was exciting, but I tell you, looking out at the audience and seeing the faces of all the fans, that was the only thing energising enough that was able to pull that off because it was very difficult.”
When can UK fans expect to see Megadeth live again?
“I think the UK fans can expect to see Megadeth next year, probably around spring or summer time. We love coming over and playing in the United Kingdom, anywhere overseas is always a treat for us but there’s just something that really feels great for us when we’re in England or Scotland or Ireland or Northern Ireland, sometimes we go to Wales but not all the time, but just being over in those countries, just you know, being a Yankee and sitting in the States and watching all of these great movies about the English history and stuff, it’s really exciting to go back there and see it. That makes touring all the more exciting. There’s just really something fascinating about English people and I enjoy being with them and hanging out with them so much.”
What’s in the pipeline for the next twelve months?
“What’s in the pipeline for the next twelve months for Megadeth…there’s gonna be a lot of touring, we’ve got South America, that’s going to be coming up in a couple of days actually, and we’re going to be doing Gigantour next year, and then springtime or summer, we’re going to try to get back over to Europe again!”
‘Th1rt3en’ is out now on Roadrunner