Mindy Novotny of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin radio station 102.9 The Hog recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. You can now listen to the chat in two parts below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson:
Mustaine: "He's very Midwestern, purebred kind of wholesome dude. So I think that he helps take the edge off of MEGADETH a lot. Where we have some really sharp corners, he's made it really easy for people to relate with us, and he's always been such a great ambassador for the band. 'Cause a lot of people, they don't know how to read me sometimes; they don't get my sense of humor, or they may catch me in the middle of something that I'm going through. Because when you're the tip of the spear, you're the first thing that anybody sees or deals with, and a lot of times it's been… I've taken the brunt of a lot of stuff, and I think a lot lesser people would have crumbled. But that's when I go back into the group with David and the other guys, and they just kind of love on me and help me deal with what my job is. Because there's a lot of times, unduly we've been vilified for stuff. People say we're satanic, and we're not. Dave's a pastor. And people make fun of me because I'm a Christian. It's, like, 'Wait a minute. You're picking on me. I'm the dude in the seats, and he's a pastor and you're letting him slide. What's wrong with you?'"
On the previously mooted Nick Menza tribute concert featuring past and present members of MEGADETH:
Mustaine: "Well, we talked with Nick's family about it a little bit, and we've just been so busy touring, the opportunity hasn't happened. And it never was really an alumni thing, because there's not really any connection with those guys to Nick. We wanted to do something that had to do with Nick, and the guys that were [in the band] after Nick, they don't know him. So we wanted to do something that really showcased his music and had a possibility for his art, because he was a painter too — something with a silent auction. So it's kind of in the hands of the family now. We love Nick. It was a tragic loss. So we're just kind of hanging out and seeing what's gonna happen."
On MEGADETH's latest additions, Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, best known for his work with ANGRA, and former SOILWORK drummer Dirk Verbeuren:
Mustaine: "Well, these guys are some of the best at what they do in the business, so it's really made me re-evaluate my playing. And usually I would not warm up before I would go out and play, because I know what I'm doing, and it's kind of like… I'm just a natural at it; for whatever reason, God blessed me with this gift. And seeing them now, they're just so fierce, it makes me wanna be the best I can be at what I do. Even if I am self-taught, even if it is something that I just was born with, I wanna be the best I can at it. You know, after I had the surgery on my neck, when my neck [was] broken, I had a plate stuck in my neck and it touched my vocal box so my voice changed, and it's made it so that my voice is a little lower. And that's kind of a bummer, because a lot of songs in the past we had to just skip because the register was so high. But with working through it and exercising and practicing and warming up and stuff like that, I've been able to return a lot of my vocal range, and that's been good for us, because we've been able to have more songs [to choose from]."
MEGADETH's tour with AMON AMARTH, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, METAL CHURCH and BUTCHER BABIES kicked off on September 20 in Casper, Wyoming, with dates booked through October 15 in Camden, New Jersey.
MEGADETH is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, "Dystopia", which came out in January.