Dave Mustaine Interview
By Fredrik Hjelm
FREDRIK HJELM: The new album, The World Needs A Hero, really shows Megadeth going back to your roots.
DAVE MUSTAINE: Well, you basically got the first insight on the new album when you stopped by the studio a couple of weeks ago when I was finishing it off. As far as "going back to my roots" is concerned - my roots are really Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, so in that case we'd be looking at "I Wanna Hold Your Heartbreaker" and stuff like that (laughs).
A lot of people are saying "we like this" or "we like that." Then there are people that go "we hate Cryptic Writings and Risk," while others are telling me they didn't become fans until those albums came out. As far as I'm concerned, everything happens for a reason. Looking back at the three last albums [Youthanasia, Cryptic Writings and Risk] - sure, thinking about it, there might be some things we would wanted to have changed, but hearing these albums are fun for me, it's fun to watch Al play on stage. Towards the end with Marty Friedman, it wasn't fun anymore, and I'm quite sure that he'd say the same thing. He wanted to do something different, and I knew it all along.
FH: The new album is self-produced. All your past efforts were co-produced. Do you feel that you had more freedom recording this new album?
DAVE MUSTAINE: I don't know so much about freedom, but it definitely gave me more time to focus on the songs, 'cause when we were working with other people, I wasn't really aware of what was going on. Especially when it comes to Risk. Regarding Cryptic Writings, I was on top of every little thing. A couple of times I learned that Dan [Huff, the producer] had fixed some things, and I wasn't really sure of what it was. When it comes to Risk, there'd been people in there playing and I wouldn't even know who they were or where the parts came from, and I'm not used to that. That's like somebody coming to your house to add and tear down and you don't even know what's gonna be going on. For me, I was a little bit intimidated by the success we had with Cryptic Writings so when it came to creating new material after that, it's like being "power-drunk" - you want more. Like after the success with "Trust", I thought to myself "wow, we've had a number one hit" - we'd had four top five hits in a row, so why would I not want to give Dan even more control when it comes to the producing part on the next record? So I did, and it backfired, that's when I said "I really have to recover right now" - It's like being on an airplane and you're letting the co-pilot take charge. All of a sudden, you come to your senses, you look out the window and all you see is ground coming at you, full blast. Well, you saw when we played the Universal Amphitheater in LA, and it was really hard for me, 'cause I look out and I see a lot of our old friends there. Especially playing a tune like "Breadline", because it was a pop-radio song. I'm really cut from another kind of fabric. I can write music - I mean, I can play the solo on a country-record, on a reggae-record...It's just about adjusting. But a song like "Breadline" didn't really go down with the old fans. On the other hand, being a man and having all these hotties in the audience reacting to a song like that...who cares about the guys who don't like the song when I have all these chicks in the audience getting up on their boyfriend's shoulders showing me tits!? My point is; you have to take a risk and that's what I did with the songs on Risk. It is an occupational hazard when you're playing songs that people may not like, that's basically how I came up with that album title. "Crush 'em" was really hard to play, as well as "Insomnia," which a lot of the old hardcore fans reacted negatively to, yet at the same time, there are so many people that love that song!
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