NEWS: Megadeth to play Rust In Peace live

Here’s one I didn’t see coming. Megadeth are going to play the entirety of Rust In Peace live during their forthcoming tour with Testament and Exodus. Why exactly didn’t I see it coming? Well, cos Dave Mustaine seemed to shrug off that the very idea just a few months ago when I interviewed him:

Here’s a question from the Megadeth forum: Are you planning anything to mark the 20th anniversary of Rust In Peace?


Well if they’re asking about me playing with those guys again I think I’ve made it pretty clear.


Well even something like a special commemorative release, or playing the album start-to-finish live.

Yeah, I’ve heard that, but my answer is pretty simple: If it was gonna happen it would have. I don’t think it’ll ever happen. I don’t dislike any of those guys. We did have some very difficult periods together but I was just as difficult to be around as they were. And all I want to do right now is just bless them and just let them know I’m a fan of theirs. Even the ones I had a hard time with, I’m a fan of theirs. They were part of my life and I look to those times together with great fondness.

But wait, if you read closely, Dave seems to be a bit evasive when I bring up the idea of a ‘play all of Rust in Peace’ tour, instead shifting the focus to whether he’d reform the line-up of that era. Did Dave plan to do this all along? Or was it a recent decision based on needing to do something spectacular to compensate for the fact that Slayer had to reschedule their tour plans with Megadeth due to Tom Araya’s back operation? Or is this decision simply a ‘Dave decided he wanted to do it, so here it is’ thing? Whatever the reason, there are gonna be some very happy metal fans out there this year, and a very sad guitar blogger who won’t even be on the same continent. :(

Here’s the press release

The mighty Megadeth will join forces with Testament and Exodus for a month-long jaunt that will find these thrash titans crisscrossing the nation on the ‘Rust in Peace’ 20th anniversary tour. These will be incredibly special shows that will delight Megadeth fans, as the band will be playing their landmark, genre-defining album, 1990’s Rust in Peace, in its entirety, in addition to other Megadeth set list favorites.

Megadeth’s latest, ENDGAME, was released in September 2009 and received some of the highest critical accolades of the band’s career. The band performed on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and was nominated for yet another Grammy – the eight nomination of their storied career- for “Head Crusher.” Megadeth also enjoyed heaps of praise in the press, from outlets as varied as New Yorkto Revolver to VH1’s “That Metal Show” to PopMatters. With ENDGAME, Megadeth have once again ascended to the top of the metal world.

The tour will kick off on March 1 in Spokane, WA and will run through the end of the month.

MegaFanClub tickets presale will be held on Thursday, January 28th from 10AM to 10PM. Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, January 29th.
http://megafanclub.megadeth.com

Dates are as follows:

3/1 – Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory
3/2 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory
3/3 – Medford, OR – Medford Armory
3/6 – Calgary, AB – Big Four (Testament with Special Guests)
3/7 – Edmonton, AB – Shaw Conference Centre (Testament with Special Guests)
3/8 – Saskatoon, SK – Prairieland Exhibition Hall
3/11 – Indianapolis, IN – Murat Theater
3/12 – Pittsburgh, PA – Palace Theater
3/13 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
3/15 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
3/16 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live
3/18 – Scranton, PA – Scranton Cultural Center
3/19 – Norfolk, VA – The NorVa
3/21 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
3/22 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
3/23 – Memphis, TN – Minglewood Hall
3/25 – Houston, TX – Verizon Wireless Theater
3/26 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s Amphitheater
3/27 – Lubbock, TX – The Pavilion
3/28 – El Paso, TX – Club 101
3/30 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theater
3/31 – Hollywood, CA – Hollywood Palladium (Testament with Special Guests)

Stay tuned for more information next week on the rescheduling of the “American Carnage” tour dates, as well.

NEWS: Buy one of Dave Mustaine’s personal guitars!

Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine is going to auction off some of his personal guitars. If anyone wants to show their appreciate for I Heart Guitar by buying me one of these, I won’t be offended, hehe. Dave is going to sell his Korean-made Dean VMNTs and replace them with more US-made ones. I guess it says a lot about the quality of the Korean construction that Dave has been using them for so long, and because they’re his personal guitars I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve benefited from a custom shop fret-dress or two. I’m not sure yet which guitars will be sold, but the picture above is the VMNT Rust In Peace just for kicks. CLICK HERE for my recent interview with Dave.

Here’s a post by Dave on the official Megadeth forum on Megadeth.com:

With the incredible demand, and the constant orders being filled with DEAN guitars for the Dave Mustaine Signature Line, we had decisions to make in keeping up with the orders. This is a great problem to have, and because the ‘Korean made’ DEAN guitars are so remarkable, I agreed to play these while the USA models were being made, and to give my complete support and understanding as we got this new venture with DEAN underway, and I have been so happy with any and all of the guitars they have presented me with, that it wasn’t until recently that I even remembered there was a difference!

However, being one of the more finicky guitarists, I wanted to have the USA guitars for my collection, which is made up of several other brands I have in storage, and the rest are my quiver of DEAN guitars.

I have several of these incredible DEAN Korean models, and I have conferred with Elliot Rubison that we are going to replace this arsenal of six-string weaponry – the Korean guitars – with the USA guitars.

Here’s where you come in: we are going to auction off all of my Korean ones. We are also going to take the winning bid and donate all the winnings (after the auction is closed and shipping and handling charges are deducted) to a (unnamed as of yet – deciding between two recipients still) charity this year. Dave McRobb will be working with DEAN and many of our partners to bring awareness of this auction before the Holidays, and I encourage you, if you can’t afford to bid for these KILLER KOREAN GUITARS, then you can show your support by just spreading the word (banners, fliers, whatev!) and drawing as much success for these menacing war toys, to benefit some needy children this Christmas. Until then, have a great Holiday Season, God Bless you all, and thank you for your support.

CLICK HERE for the Megadeth eBay store which is where I’m guessing the guitars will be auctioned when the time comes.

FEATURE: Megadeth’s album-art guitars

Chris Broderick’s cool new Megadeth Endgame Ibanez custom guitar (reported here last week) isn’t the first axe to feature Megadeth-themed album art. Since Megadeth’s return with The System Has Failed, Dave Mustaine and his co-guitarists have used a whole bunch of custom guitars from ESP/LTD, Dean and Ibanez.

Dave Mustaine

Here are a pair of Dean VMNTs with artwork from Rust In Peace and United Abominations, respectively.

Glen Drover

Glen’s tenure in Megadeth only lasted for one album and a few tours, but he sure used some cool custom-painted guitars in that time. Here we have a pair of ESPs (Countdown to Extinction and Peace Sells …But Who’s Buying graphics) and a Dean Vendetta with the United Abominations cover.



Chris Broderick

This is an off-the-shelf Ibanez S5470 with a custom hand-painted image taken from the booklet to Megadeth’s new album, Endgame. Chris told the Megadeth forum this one will be re-fitted with DiMarzio pickups.

Are there any more I’m missing? Let me know if you’ve seen any others out there!

NEWS: More info on the Dean ZERO Dave Mustaine model

25.5 inch scale
Mahogany body/neck
Ebony Fingerboard
6 In-Line headstock
Dave Mustaine Signature Seymour Duncan Livewire Pickups
Distressed Finish

The most surprising thing about this model to me is that it features a distressed finish. Interesting that Dave would choose to go this route on a brand new guitar. First of all, he’s known for playing Vs, so the distressed finish isn’t mimicing the wear on a particular much-loved road-warrior guitar. Secondly, he’s quite well-known for graphic finishes and that cool metallic Mercedes grey colour.

Having said that, maybe it’s because I’m such a Mustaine geek but I’m really really into this guitar.

Megadeth’s new CD, Endgame, is out now on Roadrunner.

UPDATE: First look at Dave Mustaine’s new Dean Zero

UPDATE! Here’s footage of Dave Mustaine using his new Dean Zero signature model on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:

Check out this pic from the photo gallery of Dave Mustaine’s page at The Live Line. It’s the first look at his new Dean signature model, the Zero, which he plan to play on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on September 17 (actually technically it’ll be September 18 because the show starts over midnight – but you know what I mean, right?). Make sure you sign up for TheLiveLine – it kicks ass.

Dave mentioned this guitar in my interview with him a few weeks ago:

“At the NAMM show that’s coming up at the beginning of next year they’re going to be debuting a brand-new Dean guitar for me. The exciting part is that I looked at Dean’s catalogue and a lot of the guitars they had and… well, my VMNTs, it’s nothing like the original V that they have. It’s nothing like the ones they’re creating right now too. My line is my line. Neck shape, the configuration of the electronics, the ease and comfort, the way the pitch of the headstock is, the way the strings go through the body for getting all of that extra resonance. It’s a one-of-a-kind mentality towards making a guitar the absolute best thing you could ever possibly want to play through. They had another body style that wasn’t being utilised by anybody. I said ‘Can I get you to make me one of those?’ ‘Well yeah, fuck man, sure man!’ I said ‘Wow, is anybody playing this?’ ‘No man.’ I said ‘Can I?’ ‘Fuck yeah man!’ I said ‘Can I change some of the lines on this?’ ‘Yeah sure!’ ‘So I’m gonna Dave Mustaine this guitar right now, ok.’ So we’re debuting a brand-new style. It’s called the Zero and I can’t really tell you much more than that other than it’s going to be a workhorse and the people who have seen it already over at Dean, they’ve been there for years and they’ve seen everything under the sun, that kinda stuff is exciting. Especially when it’s opening up another area of creativity with the company.”

CLICK HERE to read the full interview.

www.megadeth.com

NEWS: Megadeth announces US headlining tour

Just saw this at the excellent Frantikmag.com. Good news for my buddies in the US, especially after Dave Mustaine confirmed on the Megadeth forum (registration required) that the band are adding 5 Magics to the set!!!

Now, before we get to the press release about the tour dates, here’s some Megadeth-related coverage on I Heart Guitar for ya:

Dave Mustaine interview

Endgame review

Headcrusher video

Ok, on to the news.

New York, NY: Megadeth are proud to announce that they will be embarking on a headline tour, their first in support of their latest album, ENDGAME. The ENDGAME tour will feature Machine Head, Suicide Silence and Arcanium in support slots from November 14 through December 3. Warbringer will replace Machine Head on the bill, beginning on December 5.
Megadeth’s twelfth studio release, ENDGAME, will be released on September 15, to much fanfare, with early praise for the record flooding in, including a nod from the prestigious New York Magazine, which dubbed the record a “Want to Hear” pick, while the band had chats with RollingStone.com, Decibel, Revolver,Guitar World, AOL Noisecreep, Thrasher, among a host of others.


Fans and critics alike are deeming this Megadeth’s best, most visceral record of the decade. Known for their ferocious, unforgettable and brain-scarring live shows, the band will co-headline another throng of dates with fellow metal icons Slayer in Canada, beginning on November 8 and running through November 13, and will subsequently lay waste to venues in the States.


The band will also cap off their incredibly anticipated release week with a live performance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” on September 17.

Dates for the ENDGAME tour are as follows:

Nov. 14 – The Orbit Room – Grand Rapids, MI
Nov. 15- Peoria Civic Center – Peoria, IL
Nov. 17 – Eagles Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI
Nov. 18 – The LC Pavilion – Columbus, OH
Nov. 20 – Madison Theater- Covington, KY
Nov. 21 – The National – Richmond, VA
Nov. 22 – Valarium – Knoxville, TN
Nov. 23 – The Fillmore – Charlotte, NC
Nov. 25 – Revolution – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Nov. 27 – Hard Rock Live – Orland, FL
Nov. 28 – House of Blues – Myrtle Beach, SC
Nov. 30 – The Pavilion at Concrete Street – Corpus Christi, TX
Dec. 1 – Sunken Gardens – San Antonio, TX
Dec. 2 – Palladium Ballroom – Dallas, TX
Dec. 3 – Bricktown Events Center – Oklahoma City, OK
Dec. 5 – The Beaumont – Kansas City, MO
Dec. 6 – Pop’s – Sauget, IL
Dec. 7 – Great Hall at River Center – Davenport, IA
Dec. 8- Fargo Civic Auditorium – Fargo, ND
Dec. 10 – Shrine Auditorium – Billings, MT

Pre-sales begin September 15 at 10 AM, while regular onsales to the general public start the same time on September 18. For further information about the tour, additional dates and ticketing, check www.megadeth.com regularly.

REVIEW: Megadeth – Endgame


The first thing you hear bursting out of the gates on the new Megadeth album, Endgame (Roadrunner) is a thunderous, crunching riff leading into one huge back-and-forth solo-fest from Dave Mustaine and new guitarist Chris Broderick on the track ‘Dialectic Chaos.’ The tones are huge, the drumming relentless, and my freaking god Broderick is fast. Dave has said in the past that when his sparring partner was Marty Friedman, the contrast was that Marty played with a lot of love while Dave played with a lot of hate. Now, while I liked Glen Drover’s playing on United Abominations and live, his playing just didn’t have the passion and fire of Marty’s. It had a similar love of the guitar, but not the kind of love-you-so-fucking-much-I-want-to-have-you-right-here-right-now, dirty love that Marty had for his axe. Well, that fire is there in Broderick’s playing. It’s fast, precise and melodic, but intense, energetic, powerful and sometimes downright obscene, in the best possible way. In Broderick Mustaine has a co-guitarist who packs as much snarl and power into his playing as Dave does.

Yet for all its precision riffage and lead guitar mayhem, ‘Dialectic Chaos’ is still only the intro to the album proper, segueing into ‘This Day We Fight.’ With lyrics inspired by Lord of the Rings and riffs inspired by fighting for your frigging life as a horde of hellbeasts bare down on you, this track is at once vintage and future Megadeth. You’ll hear remnants of the same hyperaggression of ‘Rust In Peace (Polaris), ‘Take No Prisoners’ and ‘Poison Was The Cure’ from Rust In Peace, but fed through the more modern approach of tracks like ‘Kick The Chair’ from The System Has Failed and ‘Sleepwalker from’ United Abominations. With lyrics inspired by Lord of the Rings and some of the most pissed-off playing and vocal delivery of his career, Mustaine’s out for blood.

‘44 Minutes’ might remind some listeners of the balance of melody and aggression displayed on Countdown To Extinction tracks like ‘Symphony Of Destruction’ and ‘Architecture of Aggression’ but with the added heaviness that seems to come from just being in the mere presence of such an intense track of ‘This Day We Fight.’ It’s like some of the power and brutality of ‘This Day We Fight’ has actually leeched out of the track and into the rest of the album. After garbled police dispatch messages introduce the track, a growling James Lomenzo bass line is punctuated by stop-start guitar rhythms and a relatively restrained vocal line from a more narrative-driven Mustaine than the ‘in-the-moment,’ pissed off Dave we hear on ‘This Day We Fight.’ I’ve been listening to the album for about half a week now and this is my favourite track by far, and one of my favourite all-time Megadeth songs. By the way, the last 8 bars of ‘44 Minutes’ will probably kill about 94% of the guitar players you know, and seriously wound the pride of the remaining 6%. So say your goodbyes.

Now ‘1,320.’ Megadeth hasn’t done a song quite like this since ‘High Speed Dirt’ on Countdown To Extinction. But while Countdown was a meticulously crafted, evil cyborg of an album, there’s a pissed-offedness to Endgame which propels this track forward like the nitro-burnin’ funny cars it honours. Hold on for another wild back-and-forth Mustaine/Broderick guitar solo tag team, interspersed with cool harmonies. This one’s going to kill live.

Interestingly, ‘The Hand That Feeds’ also reminds me a little of ‘High Speed Dirt’ – both have chugging riffs that alternate between palm-muted pedal tones and higher chord stabs, as well as half-time sections. That’s not to say it’s a copy or rehash of ‘High Speed Dirt’ – it’s Mustaine’s sound so he has every friggin’ right to use it. By the way, this track contains one of my favourite Mustaine vocal deliveries ever, on the line ‘The roaches lick the cupboards clean of TV dinners …and beer.” There’s also a very cool end section which has an almost metallic shuffle feel. This is quite a proggy track with lots of riffage to dig your teeth into.

Next we have ‘Bodies.’ This one seems to bolt a bit of a United Abominations feel onto the songwriting of Youthanasia or Cryptic Writings, but Dave’s rhythm tone is bitier and more aggressive than anything on those albums. It’s more akin to his Rust In Peace era tone but twice as distorted and more compressed. The middle section includes what almost sounds like a nod to ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps,’ before going all orchestral and proggy. If you heard just this section without knowing the artist you’d probably be surprised to find out it’s Megadeth, until an absolute prototypical Mega riff bridges the section to an intense thrashout.

I almost feel bad comparing tracks on Endgame to stuff from Megadeth’s extensive back catalog, so it’s at this point in the review that I’ve gotta step in and emphasise that this really sounds like Endgame, not a collection of rehashes of past tracks. The comparisons are just provided to give you a rough idea of the general vibe of the tracks. Got that? Ok good, cos the title track ‘Endgame’ kinda reads like a sequel to ‘Youthanasia’ in feel and theme. It’s almost like Mustaine is revisiting the bleak warning of ‘Youthanasia’ and taking it to its ultimate dystopian conclusion. Once again the arrangements are quite proggy. About ¾ of the way in, we revisit several of the musical feels established on Killing Is My Business …And Business Is Good, except updated for 2009. It’s an intense ride, and despite the gritted teeth of Mustaine’s vocal delivery you can kinda imagine him grinning at how much fun it must be to play a track like this.

Hey, how did you feel about Risk? Cos that might determine how you feel about ‘The Hardest Part Of Letting Go …Sealed With A Kiss’ Here we find the more melodic, orchestrational Dave, with a heartfelt and nuanced vocal delivery. The opening section contains delicate acoustic guitars including a little classical guitar mixed down low and some electric harmonies, before everything brutals back up again. Check out the riff at 1:52 to hear Megadeth showing Dream Theater how to really pull off the prog metal thing. This could very well be considered a centrepiece track, and it’ll be very interesting to see if it makes it into the live set.

‘Head Crusher.’ I’m sure everyone’s heard this by now – another pass at the ‘Sleepwalker’ vibe, and an odd choice for first single. To be honest I’d much rather hear ‘44 Minutes’ as the first single – it’s melodic yet heavy and instantly memorable, whereas ‘Head Crusher’ took me a few listens to get my ears around. It’s unrelenting and furious, with monstrous shredding throughout and particularly in the solo, but while I think it was a great choice of track to show metal fans that Megadeth were sitting on a pretty intense album, I can’t help thinking it would have been better left as a teaser, or at least used as a teaser then held off to be the second single. That said, you really can’t fault the song.

‘How The Story Ends.’ More crushingly thick Mustaine rhythm tone with punchy muted single notes mingling with chord stabs. Drummer Shawn Drover is a star on this one. Great memorable chorus, somewhat like something from the Cryptic Writings era but once again undeniably Endgame. Broderick brings out the acoustic for a little flamenco moment, showing that even though he’s an unstoppable shred machine, he can also play it sensitive. The following electric solo is an arpeggiated tour de force which could grow to be a show stopper in a similar way to Marty Friedman’s ‘Tornado Of Souls’ lead – it’s not as long but probably packs in four times as many notes!

‘Nothing Left To Lose’ opens with a creeping James Lomenzo bassline before a big Mustaine riff kicks in. It just fits as a closing track, in a similar way to how Megadeth could not possibly have ended Countdown To Extinction with any song other than ‘Ashes In Your Mouth.’ Chuggy guitars in the verses, big harmonies in the choruses, double-time solo… A kickass track that probably wouldn’t work so well earlier in the album but is right at home here. Classic Mustaine ‘wide stretch’ solo too.

Other thoughts: Shawn Drover’s sound on Endgame is more natural and open than on United Abominations. The word is that producer Andy Sneap decided to go with real drum sounds as opposed to samples this time round, and the added dynamic range recalls Vinnie Colaiuta’s work on The System Has Failed. Also, James Lomenzo has proven himself to be an indispensable part of Megadeth’s sound. He doesn’t roam as much as he did in Zakk Wylde’s Pride & Glory, but he provides a solid, powerful low end and a confident, powerful tone.

And Sneap. Sneap, Sneap, Sneap, Sneap, Sneap. Awesome producer but there’s always a fear that anything he touches will end up sounding like ‘an Andy Sneap record.’ That’s certainly not the case here. While I can’t help feeling that he may have influenced the level of distortion on Dave’s guitars just a little, he seems to have focused on getting the best Megadeth performances possible on Endgame without really stamping his sonic footprint on anything.

So that’s Endgame. Where do I rank it compared to its predecessors? Well I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and the more I listen to it, the more I like it. As of today I’d rank it equal second with Countdown To Extinction, Rust In Peace being number one. I know that probably sounds like a huge call – bands aren’t meant to make super-great albums this far into their career, right? We’d be happy with ‘Well, it doesn’t suck,’ yeah? – but it’s really that good. The fact that Mustaine is out there cranking out soon-to-be-classics like ‘44 Minutes,’ ‘This Day We Fight,’ ‘The Hardest Part Of Letting Go’ and ‘Bodies’ in 2009 when most of his contemporaries are… nah, y’know what? I’m not gonna go there. Endgame should be appreciated on its own merits, for what it is. And what it is, is one of Megadeth’s finest moments.

INTERVIEW: Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine

Dave Mustaine has something on his mind. After a heavy interview schedule he must have had to deflect a question or two about, well, any number of those topics that people tend to bring up when they just wanna get a controversial soundbite out of Dave. So Dave cuts short the topic at hand – the amazing contribution of new guitarist Chris Broderick – to state “I’m a very different kind of person when it comes down to this business. Unfortunately my reputation is nothing who the man is. People have made me out to be a very mean bastard, and I’m no different to you, I just do things differently. As far as what I think is right and wrong, man, I come from a school where things were a little different back then. I didn’t walk uphill both ways to school, it’s just that we didn’t have the same kind of things that young kids have for school nowadays. I love the way I grew up. I wouldn’t change it for a thing, because I enjoyed working hard for the things I got, and y’know, I still enjoy working hard for the things I got. I don’t want handouts. I think I should be entitled to every single thing I’m entitled to, I want it! But if it’s just something that you get because of your job and it’s not because of what you’ve done to deserve it, I don’t want that. That’s just kinda like chump change.’

Megadeth’s new album, Endgame (Roadrunner), is angry, uncompromising, powerful, energetic, dark, and at once raw and precise. Y’know, the kind of album you’ve been hoping Megadeth would have made in 1994 combining elements of both Rust In Peace and Countdown To Extinction – except heavier. Much, much heavier.

Endgame is really energetic and angry. Where did that come from?

I don’t really know what spurred this on other than just being in a good place right now. I’m happy. I still have some of the things that have wounded me – the scars are never going to go away, but it’s just the way I’m dealing with things now. And I think that’s probably the key to everything. If I look at my circumstances it’s like looking at scores from yesterday’s football matches. In the beginning, even though it’s zero to zero, at some point that time’s already designated and it’s already been exposed, expired, lapsed and it happened. And for me I’ve just got to accept those things and just do the absolute very best I can to work up to those moments. My career right now is better than it’s ever been. I’ve got a brand new contract I just signed with ClearChannel Radio over here for three years, my book’s coming out next year, my record’s coming out next month. I believe I’ve written the best record of my career and I love the way that the fans are reacting to it. And even more importantly than anyone’s reaction to it, it just seems like people have forgiven me for whatever it was they were mad at me about, and my heart is just so, just leaping with gladness. Because I am no longer the easiest boy to hate in heavy metal.

Well I think part of that too is that with the online forum and things like TheLiveLine you’ve made yourself really available to fans.

Yeah, that’s fun too.

It seems like with United Abominations you were really confident going in, but with this one it seemed like you weren’t really giving anything away until it was finished.

I think probably one of the reasons why the timing was different with that was, with the last record there were so many times where we would post about stuff and people would get excited, but I wasn’t really finding myself being able to experience the record as much as I wanted to, and the reason for that was I was too caught up in what people were thinking. And I don’t make music to react to peoples’ thinking. I write music cos I like music. And I don’t know why, but God made me good at this. Why me? I don’t know! I certainly haven’t done anything that stands out to reason why I would be blessed with this talent. I just know I want to try my best to use it, and I want to have fun while I’m doing it. Man, I love watching people have fun while I’m out there doing my job.

How did having your own studio impact the sessions?

I think having the studio was beneficial for us because it gave us the license to be able to come and go at our leisure. If we wanted to start early we could, and if we wanted to start late we could. I think that’s something that really makes the band feel respected as individuals. It’s those little things that make all the difference in the world. I’ve been around the block a few times so those things are second nature to me but it’s not to Chris or to Shawn because even though they’re relatively new, they’ve had their experiences with doing things at the proper level, and I would like, myself, I would love to get Megadeth back to the proper level.

Let’s talk about Chris Broderick for a minute – I loved Glen Drover’s playing on United Abominations but he seemed kinda polite and restrained, whereas Broderick sounds angry.

Funny you say that. When we’ve done these records in the past there’s always been the same standard for doing the music that I’ve always had, and that’s ‘there’s your way, my way, our way,’ which meant that when we were writing the record, if you wrote a part we would listen to it, and if it was good we would leave it completely intact. Secondly if we listened to it and it was good but it could do with a little bit of a change, we would make that change and it was ‘we.’ But if we came down to where it was a ‘my way,’ which wasn’t very often, that would be like… there was a circumstance with Marty Friedman where there was a song called ‘Trust.’ At the end of ‘Trust’ there was a guitar part right before the big breakdown in the solo started up, and Marty had done the solo there. I didn’t like it so I asked him to do something different and he didn’t do it. So I came in, and this guy Dann Huff that was working with us, Dann had said ‘Well we like it.’ I said ‘Hang on a second, can you guys step out for a second?’ So they they all stepped out of the room and it was just me and Dann in there and I said “Don’t you ever say that to me again.” Because I don’t give a fuck who you think you are, or who he thinks he was, but it’s like, c’mon dude, have some couth, have some dignity. That’s the kind of stuff that you don’t expect from professionals like that. Now, we had a song called ‘Breadline’ that Marty had a solo on, and he loved that song. And management called up and said ‘We hate the solo, we want you to redo it.’ I said ‘We can’t redo it, he’s gone.’ And they said ‘Well, you cut it.’ This happened because I told them we have three choices. I can either leave it bare, I can mute it or I can replace it with something I could do. They were like, ‘We want you to replace it’ and I was like, ‘I figured you would.’ So I went in and I tried doing the solo. First idea, they kinda liked it so I did it until I executed it right. Then Marty came out to listen to the song. He didn’t know anything. He’s sitting in the control room, song’s coming up, he’s fucken’ hot-buttered popcorn. Dude is just wetting his pants. Song comes up, solo comes up, solo goes past, song’s over. You could hear a pin drop. Dann had neglected to call Marty and tell him that that’s what was gonna happen to him, that his solo was going to be basically rendered ineffective and looped around so it wouldn’t intefere in the channels. I looked back at Marty and he was cryin’. And I was furious, because at that second it dawned on me that somebody forgot to tell ‘em. Terrible, huh?

That’s crazy! Do you have any new Dean guitar stuff coming up?

Yes I do! It’s a good thing that you asked. At the NAMM show that’s coming up at the beginning of next year they’re going to be debuting a brand-new Dean guitar for me. The exciting part is that I looked at Dean’s catalogue and a lot of the guitars they had and… well, my VMNTs, it’s nothing like the original V that they have. It’s nothing like the ones they’re creating right now too. My line is my line. Neck shape, the configuration of the electronics, the ease and comfort, the way the pitch of the headstock is, the way the strings go through the body for getting all of that extra resonance. It’s a one-of-a-kind mentality towards making a guitar the absolute best thing you could ever possibly want to play through. They had another body style that wasn’t being utilised by anybody. I said ‘Can I get you to make me one of those?’ ‘Well yeah, fuck man, sure man!’ I said ‘Wow, is anybody playing this?’ ‘No man.’ I said ‘Can I?’ ‘Fuck yeah man!’ I said ‘Can I change some of the lines on this?’ ‘Yeah sure!’ ‘So I’m gonna Dave Mustaine this guitar right now, ok.’ So we’re debuting a brand-new style. It’s called the Zero and I can’t really tell you much more than that other than it’s going to be a workhorse and the people who have seen it already over at Dean, they’ve been there for years and they’ve seen everything under the sun, that kinda stuff is exciting. Especially when it’s opening up another area of creativity with the company.

And Marshall?

Marshall is something where I honestly believe I’ve died and gone to heaven. Going to Marshall, having them give me the support and endorsement, the belief, the love, the kindness, the things that go along with everything, I thought that was never going to be possible. I got that from Dean but I kinda figured that is what it is and that nobody else would have that kind of relationship with me. Because the big people whose products I use, I’ve never really tried to milk them for anything. It’s just not my style. So Marshall, I asked them to make me a cabinet similar to ones I had made about 20 years ago. I tried them again about 10 years ago. I had these 1960 cabinets and I put this metal grating on the front of them. And they’re bad, they look really bad. Then I ended up not using them for a while because we went to having stuff in scrim, so you don’t need them when it’s behind the scrim. Then we went back to having them show. By that time we changed a couple more things, and now we’ve got the cabinets, and I talked to Marshall, and said ‘Would you guys be willing to help me make these cabinets so that they would be done right? Please?’ ‘Yeah sure, how about we do an endorsement and make you the happiest boy in the world?’ ‘Yabbadabbadoo!’ Man I was the fucken’ happiest kid in school. So now I get Marshall amplifiers. I have not only my own speaker, we also have the covering for that, which is available for all of the heads to go with those speakers. Now, there’s another project we’re working on with them right now – a little tiny stack called the Megastack. It’s for the mid-level guitarist with a mid-priced practice guitar. It’s going to have several presets – there’s four of them in the amplifier and four of them in the footswitch. So that’s something that Marshall is intending on doing with me too, and it’s like ‘Are you kidding? How did I get so blessed!’ I know the grand poobah of the Marshall family, Sir Dr James Marshall OBE, and man, talk about just a neat, neat, neat little old guy. Loves his bands, his guitar players. I had received a letter from him that was so unbelievably flattering, and it just made me feel like I was a million dollars. I was so unbelievably stoked. He said it was one of the first times he’d actually worked on a project with an artist, because all the other stuff was just pre-existing stuff. Now, he did have these guys work with grille cloths and cabinets with different kinda stuff on the front of it. Some of the heads would have different stuff on the front, but nothing that was a real fundamental design change. And I didn’t know that. I thought we were just working on a project of mine. And man, I was so excited. Especially when we went to the MusikMesse show in Germany, watching the way the company was treating me, man I felt like royalty. There’s just something with the guys from Marshall and Dean, they make you feel like you’ve arrived. I love those guys and I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my career with the company and just riding it out.

Here’s a question from the Megadeth forum: Are you planning anything to mark the 20th anniversary of Rust In Peace?

Well if they’re asking about me playing with those guys again I think I’ve made it pretty clear.

Well even something like a special commemorative release, or playing the album start-to-finish live.

Yeah, I’ve heard that, but my answer is pretty simple: If it was gonna happen it would have. I don’t think it’ll ever happen. I don’t dislike any of those guys. We did have some very difficult periods together but I was just as difficult to be around as they were. And all I want to do right now is just bless them and just let them know I’m a fan of theirs. Even the ones I had a hard time with, I’m a fan of theirs. They were part of my life and I look to those times together with great fondness.

Also with an album as strong as Endgame I dunno why you’d wanna look back 20 years?

Yeah, why? People are saying ‘Can you get together and do a reunion thing?’ and it’s like, ‘Yeah but you have to suck both my eyes out first.’ No disrespect to those guys but it’s like that old saying when you marry your girlfriend: ‘Why buy the cow when the milk is free?’ I’m sure there’s something nasty like that. But I love where we’re at right now and I wouldn’t change anything for anything. There’s no reason to make any changes to anything. Period.

As a fan who’s been lucky enough to hear the album pre-release it’s really cool to feel what everyone’s going to get to feel when it comes out.

Did you hear it? That’s awesome, I’m glad you liked it!

Yeah, ‘44 Minutes’ is totally one of my favourite songs of the year.

Really? Aw thanks bud! Well if it wasn’t for guys like you we would probably be over on the side of the road dying from eating roadkill. But we’ve tried really hard to keep our integrity. And I think if anything’s going to happen, it’ll be this record, and it’ll be soon. And if it’s not meant to happen for me, we’re gonna know, and this is pretty much gonna be the end of the road here, because I don’t know if can make a better record than this!

Endgame is out on Roadrunner on September 11 in Australia and September 15 in the US.
Endless thanks to Roadrunner Australia.

An edited version of this interview is also in the current edition of Mixdown Magazine.