Interview: Megadeth's Dave Mustaine Gives Update from the Studio
The following article is from Revolver’s August/September 2015 issue. It is available for purchase in our webstore.
by Dan Epstein
“There's a lot of riffing going on in there, that’s for damn sure,” says Dave Mustaine of Megadeth’s fifteenth album, which is currently taking shape in a Nashville studio. “There’s a lot of solos, a lot of pounding drums and bass. I knew from the start that I wanted to go back to my roots, and I wanted to make a thrash record.”
Much has changed for the legendary thrash band since the release of 2013’s 'Super Collider,' most notably in the lead guitar and drum departments. Longtime Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson remains in the fold, but guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover both quit the band in November of last year, amid rumors that Mustaine was going to reunite the classic 'Rust in Peace' lineup with Marty Friedman and Nick Menza. Replacing Broderick is Kiko Loureiro of Brazilian power metal band Angra, while Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler has recorded the drum tracks for the as-yet-untitled new album.
“When Chris and Shawn left, it saddened me a little because they didn’t say goodbye,” Mustaine explains. “They were pissed, because they’d gotten word that people wanted the 'Rust in Peace' reunion. And frankly, I didn’t; I was happy with those two guys. So when they left, it was like, ‘It isn’t going to be easy to replace them!’
“We haven’t found a permanent drummer yet, but finding Kiko was really a mind-blower. It was the first time since Marty Friedman joined the band that I was really intimidated as a player. He’s such an amazing talent, and he’s been coming in with all of these fresh ideas.”
Adler, a diehard Megadeth fan, also wasn’t shy about bringing his own musical vision to the table. “Megadeth is Megadeth,” says Mustaine, “and the songs will kind of tell you where they go. But there were several times while we were tracking where Chris would say, ‘I think these parts should go like this, because that’s how my Megadeth is.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I like that ‘my Megadeth’ stuff!’”
According to Mustaine, the band has recorded 15 tracks, including “Tyrannicide,” “The New Emperor,” “Poisonous Shadows,” the two-part opus “Conquer... or Die,” and covers of Budgie’s “Melt the Ice Away” and Fear’s “Foreign Policy.” “I’m having a little bit of writer’s block with the lyrics,” he admits. “I’ve got lyrics to nine of the songs written, but the music’s so good that I’ll write something and go, ‘Well, that doesn’t live up to the music.’”
At press time, neither the album’s title nor its release date have been set in stone. “The first title I had was 'One Fucked-Up World,'” says Mustaine, “but then I was like, ‘Well, that’s probably not gonna work at Wal-Mart!’ Like every Megadeth record, we’ll probably pick a title on the way to pressing it. “As for the release date—uh, soon?” he laughs. “I’m trying the best I can, but I don’t want to rush it. This thing is turning out to be what I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”