Kaaos TV conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine prior to his band's July 26 performance at the Qstock festival in Oulu, Finland. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his recent revelation that he had over 130 song ideas that he was working on for the next MEGADETH album:
Mustaine: "[Those ideas are] little parts [at this point]. Not entire songs. Just pieces.
"I found over the years the MEGADETH songs that had more twists and turn to them make me happier.
"When you're looking back at somebody's career that's been as long as ours — over 30 years — it leaves a pretty good roadmap; you can see how bands change and evolve and stuff. And we may have gone a little to the left and a little to the right, but we've always stayed on track, and I think that the stuff that I like more is the more intricate guitar-playing stuff.
"When you're doing songs for video games and for movies and stuff like that, they have to be a special way, and when you have success at radio in America, little success makes the label want you to have a lot of success. And if you wanna be successful, there are certain things you've gotta work on and work with.
"For me, I think that not worrying about radio, not worrying about movies, not worrying about video games anymore, just playing music that I wanna listen to, that, to me, will make me much happier."
On how he decides which of the 130 ideas to develop into full-fledged songs:
Mustaine: "There's no real science to it. It's just how it happens. Sometimes I'll hear a riff and it'll be a riff that'll be strong enough to base the whole song around. And then you take little pieces and you put it around it in the beginning, connecting parts… Sometimes you'll write a part and you know it's a chorus part. Other times you'll write a part and it'll be similar to the chorus part, so it's obviously a verse. Sometimes, for us, we'll have song like 'Holy Wars', which, people forget, is 'Holy Wars... The Punishment Due'; there's two songs there. 'Holy Wars' isn't just one song all the way through. And I think that's the beauty of some of the songs on this new record. There's one song that we just finished called 'Why We Lie To You', and it's like that; it gets about half way through the song and then changes direction and goes real hardcore.
"You know, hardcore and speed metal are kind of similar, but not really. So when you drop down from playing kind of a metal track and you go into a different kind of aggression, it's really cool, because it shows the different styles that we have."
On whether he always wants the MEGADETH songs to go in different directions:
Mustaine: "Sometimes. Sometimes a song needs to be straight-ahead, like 'Skin O' My Teeth' — it's straight-forward. 'Symphony Of Destruction', straight-forward. Other songs, like 'Devil's Island' and 'Architecture Of Aggression', stuff like that, they have many twists and turn to them. And I think that the thing that I like the most about my songwriting style is what my inspiration was, who influenced me.
"I was a punk rocker when I was a kid, surfing all the time. Punk rock, although it's really simple, there's an energy there, there's an aggression that's there, because, you know, as a punk, we don't like authority, we don't like the establishment, we talk about injustices and things like that, things that matter to us. And I think a lot of the way that we looked was because we didn't wanna fit in; we wanted to make a statement. That's why a lot of us had safety pins and razorblades and mohawks and stuff like that, and Dr. Martens and the whole bit.
"But for me, now, with playing metal music, it's what I'm comfortable doing. It still has lot of that punk-rock attitude to it, but not so much the simple chord structures."
On the general musical direction of the new MEGADETH material:
Mustaine: "We're so at the front end of it. I know what I wanna do. But I've said that over and over and over, every time, 'It's gonna be heavy,' 'It's gonna be fast,' and then it turns out [that] it's not. Because you get into the studio and the people that you're working with, they'll say, 'Well, this is a good song.' 'Let's do this.' 'Speed this up, slow this down, make this longer.' And what I say to you today can totally change. It's like saying, 'I wanna have a kid,' and then you end up having triplets. It's totally unexpected what's gonna come out."
On whether he is open to the possibility of playing more "Big Four" shows (featuring METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX) in the future:
Mustaine: "Look, I'm open to playing; I don't really care who I play with. We had fun. I think the fans had fun. It's important that the fans do have a good time. I have nothing against it. There's a lot of variables, though… You have all these different camps with the 'Big Four'. I think that it would be great to do it some more, but there's also the beauty of it being something special and not doing it everywhere, because the people that did get to see it got to see something really fantastic. You know, if meteors came by every single night, after a while, it'd be, like, 'Oh, there's another meteor.' There's something special about it being very rare. So I would, but it also has to work out for everybody."
The "Big Four" played its last concert on September 14, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in New York City. Since then, METALLICA, SLAYER and ANTHRAX have played a number of shows together, including last year's Soundwave festival in Australia. They are also scheduled to perform at this year's Heavy MTL festival, which is set for the weekend of August 9-10 at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
In his autobiography, "Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir", Mustaine addressed the issue of where his band fit in the "Big Four" order. According to The New York Times, he assured the reader that he was not offended by being put behind SLAYER. But he added an interior monologue: "O.K., we'll play ahead of you guys on this trip, and God willing we'll do it again sometime in the near future and we can flip things around."