Dave Mustaine is a big KISS fan who's pals with the guys in the band, and KISS have a mutual respect for Megadeth. That said, there was apparently one occasion when KISS member Gene Simmons made a poorly-timed joke about Metallica (Mustaine's pre-Megadeth band) shortly after Metallica bassist Cliff Burton had tragically died.
Mustaine recalled the memory during a "Tales from the Metalverse" segment on Pandora's new METALVERSE station, which will feature a takeover by Megadeth that kicks off this Friday September 2nd.
"I'm up on the stage with one of my guys and then Paul [Stanley, KISS frontman] and Gene were up on the stage," Mustaine said of the press event Megadeth and KISS were at when the joke was told. "And, somebody says, 'Hey Gene, how about a KISS reunion?" And I said, 'Yeah, Gene, how about a KISS reunion?' And he goes, 'How about a Metallica reunion?' And I went [makes unhappy, displeased face] cause Cliff had died, you know, and I thought it was just not good for him.
"And I don't know if it bothered me that much at the time, it doesn't bother me anymore, but at the time it was really, really, again, really foreign to know that somebody that you've looked up to your whole life to as a musician, knows who you are. It's a really, really weird feeling."
Elsewhere in the conversation, Mustaine also recalled a time when he was smacked across the face for listening to Judas Priest.
"Judas priest was a band that I paid for dearly growing up," Mustain said. "I had the Sad Wings of Destiny album. I was playing it at the house I was living in at the time, which was my sister's house. Her husband came home, who was a 6'6 Scottish guy. He was the chief of police in Stanton, California, and he heard me listening to Judas Priest and smacked me in the face.
"I was literally gobsmacked, but I was just blown away that he'd hit me in the face. So, I figured I was gonna really love this band now, just to spite you. And I was a big Judas Priest fan for a long time. And we ended up going out on tour with them on the Painkiller tour."
Later, Mustaine told Pandora about getting a blessing from Glenn Tipton to cover a Judas Priest song, recalled another memory about getting playfully ragged on by Gene Simmons, and talked about how he chose the title for Megadeth's new album, The Sick, The Dying... and the Dead!.
"The Sick, The Dying... and The Dead! is kind of, You know it's just a throwback to where I used to do album titles with ellipses," Mustaine said of the record title. "I've always tried to be a little sarcastic with some of the things that I say, just being able to leave people you know with a smirking smile kind of, you know. I like to make people laugh and to just think you know. The Sick, The Dying... and The Dead! goes back to that time we had album titles with the ellipses.
Watch the full segments above and below via YouTube.