5 Pivotal Career Moments With… Megadeth
Legendary thrash metallers Megadeth are in the midst of powering through their third decade with album #15 (!) – Dystopia – set to slam our ears from January 22, 2016. With more than a lifetime’s worth of experiences under his belt, the band’s long-standing frontman Dave Mustaine talks us through the five pivotal moments of Megadeth’s career, from the early steps that helped paved the way, through to playing to 100,000-strong festival crowds on the other side of the globe. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll catch the founding fathers of metal this week at one of their shows where they’ll be playing alongside Finnish death metallers Children Of Bodom and delivering more headbang-worthy moments than you can shake a stick at.
1 – Early, Little Successes
Obviously the initial formation of the band and when we had our first record deal; when we got our first gold record and when we got our first platinum; when we got our first double platinum record and when we got our first Grammy nomination… It just goes on and on and on. Winning an award in America is the equivalent to the humane society down here. These are crazy things.
2 – When Chris Adler And Kiko Loureiro Joined The Band
I’m more pumped about these two guys being in the band than I have been in years. I just saw Chris downstairs when he just got done coming all the way from the States. We came over here with another drummer because Chris had some family matters he needed to attend to and it was really funny, because I was excited to see him and when you’re working with somebody, you kind of take for granted that they’re even there. It’s a really new and exciting feeling for me to have a band I’m really happy to play with again. And the beauty of all of this is this is going to be our second show tomorrow night with Chris. And Kiko’s only played six times, so it’s strange for me to comprehend that we’re going out there as a headliner in front of thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of people and our first show we had in Canada had 80,000 people there and we’d never played a song together. In fact in the studio, there wasn’t one time when we were playing [new album] Dystopia when we were all playing at the same time. So, that’s a really cool way to get baptised in fire.
3 – The Big Gigs
I can name some of them that were different sizes. Like Rock In Rio was over 100,000 people. Castle Donington [in England], when we played down there with the Monsters Of Rock with Iron Maiden, had the biggest recorded PA used in public in history at the time. I don’t know if it’s been broken but it was a record in the Guinness Book Of World Records. And playing baseball and soccer stadiums around the world has been great. But there were pivotal moments like when we played Argentina for the first time when they started singing that chant that they do during “Sympathy Of Destruction”, they go, “Megadeth… Megadeth… Aguante Megadeth” and what “aguante” means is “keep going, don’t ever stop”. It’s funny, I was just watching a clip about that recently and it showed how that line, if you will, has transcended the Latin speaking countries down in South America, again originating in Argentina, so they were showing people in England singing it, people in Italy singing it – they showed it in a couple of other places where you would never believe that people would be singing. Without even knowing what they were doing they just picked it up because it was such a cool thing, so Argentina was really important.
4 – The Big Four Concert In Yankee Stadium
There was one other, a gig that was probably one of the most difficult for me to have done. We were doing the Big Four [with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax] at Yankee Stadium and my neck had finally fallen apart and I had already been admitted to the emergency room, waiting on spinal surgery. IV and everything. I told my manager, I said, “Look, I’ve played New York before. I’ve played baseball stadiums before. And we all know that I’ve played with these guys before. I’ve got to get the surgery. Please tell them I’m sorry but I’d rather get the surgery.” So my wife comes back in and says, “Yeah, your manager called back and somebody over with their management called you ‘a pussy’”. And I said – I know who it is, I’m not going to say who it is – and I was so offended and then so angry, I took out the IV and I said, “Get me ready, I’m going to New York”. I drove in a golf cart from my dressing room to the stage with a neck brace on and I played that concert and then I went home and I had spinal fusion, where they took a disc out and put a metal plate in my neck. But I tell you what, I am so looking forward to pissing on this guy’s grave.
5 – The Important Records
With 15 records brother, that’s like saying which kid you’re going to put in the life boat. I think this record right now [Dystopia] has a lot of meaning for me because it’s something we’ve never done before. We’ve never done a record where we start with the bass first. You know, Chris and I were still working out parts and stuff – me getting used to him – and I figured the bass part was going to be what it was, so David Ellefson came out and recorded the bass first and then we finished the drums, so this was something that was really foreign for me. But in our catalogue, probably the turning point for us commercially was Countdown To Extinction (1992), critic-wise was Rust In Peace (1990), and as far as letting people know that something’s on the horizon, that was Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? (1986) because that changed a lot of people’s lives.
Megadeth’s tour kicks off tonight in Perth! Suss out the dates and ticket details below, and head to daintygroup.com for more info.
Megadeth / Children Of Bodom Tour Dates
Fri Oct 16th – Metro City, Perth (18+)
Sun Oct 18th – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney (18+)
Mon Oct 19th – Festival Hall, Melbourne (18+)
Wed Oct 21st – Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane (18+)