Dave Mustaine and Al Pitrelli (Megadeth)
Interview with Dave Mustaine and Al Pitrelli from Megadeth
by Aris Stremmenos at 11 April 2001, 5:00 AM
Megadeth are releasing their new Album The World Needs a Hero soon, so they had this Press tour for the promotion of the album. One of their stops was in Greece. Christoforos Kotsonis spoke with Megadeth's leading man, Dave Mustaine and new guitar player Al Pitrelli. Here's what they said about the new album, Megadeth, Metallica, Nu Metal and more!
The World needs a hero. For what?
Dave Mustaine - Do you watch the news?
Dave Mustaine - Do you like what you see?
Dave Mustaine - There you go!
Only for this? To change the world?
Dave Mustaine - Well…I’m saying the world, I didn’t say Greece needs a hero. If you watch the news, it’s pretty fucked up. Bombings, wars, floods and earthquakes and shit. You see stuff like in California some kid just went to school and shot a bunch of his schoolmates. I should have said a fuckin’ American needs a hero (laughter).
All these years the band changed a lot of members. Do you think that you made the right decision?
Dave Mustaine - A lot of those decisions I was forced into making. People were taking the equipment and selling it for drugs and you just can’t have that. There also were other behavior stuff that happened and…you know, you can’t have these things happening in a band. The last guy quit because he wanted to do different music; at least that’s what he told us (Freedman). We’re happy right now. Jimmy I think is one of the best drummers we’ve had because he can do everything our previous drummer could do - which was phenomenal - but he can do it every night. Nick was really flashy too but towards the end he wanted to do his own thing with his own band.
Not because of his legs?
Dave Mustaine - No, no, no. He also was a songwriter, a singer and a guitar player too and I think he wanted to pursue a career with some songs he had, which is something I totally encouraged him to do.
I didn’t know that.
Dave Mustaine - Well neither did I. (laughter)
The new album is the next step for Megadeth or do you feel that it’s the bridge between heavy metal and megadeth after the Risk album?
Dave Mustaine - I think that one thing with Heavy Metal and Megadeth is that Megadeth is Heavy Metal and so much more you know. We have a lot of punk/rock influences and a lot of classical influences too. With the last two records we experimented a lot with Rhythm & Blues and we always had punk/rock influences as well pop and rhythm & blues. These last two records were a little bit over here whereas the first ones were a little bit over there and now we’re back down in the middle doing what we know best, which is straightforward Megadeth.You know, some people said that you did Risk only for the money.
Dave Mustaine - They’re wrong. I still own money on my house. If I had done it just for the money then we would have made money but the record didn’t sell very well.Others said that you followed the steps of Metallica.
Dave Mustaine - That’s not right. As you can see, I still have my hair and I’ve never painted my fingernails.(laughter) And you don’t wear furs!
Dave Mustaine - If I was in Manowar I’d wear furs. (laughter)
I like Metallica, I never disliked them and I had a really hard time, for a very long time with what had taken place with me being asked to leave the band because of the way I was asked to leave the band. I never stopped liking those guys. I was very bitter because I had gotten fired.If someone offered you a lot of money to make a re-union album with Lars and Hetfield, would you say yes or no?
Dave Mustaine - I’d do it for free!For free?
Dave Mustaine - Yeah because it would be great for the Heavy Metal community. I think if the three of us got back together, obviously there would have to be a bass player and if it could David Ellefson it would be great because both bands would benefit from it. It would have a lot of people in both bands who don’t like the other band stop saying shit about each other; because a lot of Metallica fans don’t like Megadeth - a lot of them don’t and some of them do - and Megadeth fans don’t like Metallica - a lot of them don’t and some of them do. I think that if the four of us got together we’d help both bands tremendously. It would mostly help us than them because they don’t really need our help. We could benefit from doing something like that.Under which name?
Dave Mustaine - Metallidethica! (laughter)Return to Hangar. Is it Hangar 18 but in a different way of presenting it (musically)?
Dave Mustaine - It’s the same idea but ten years later and it’s different music, yeah. Absolutely, you’re right. Same idea but different lyrics. You’re going back to the place were Hangar 18 was. You’re going back to Hangar 18 so obviously you’re going to tell the story ten years later. It’s a ten-year anniversary for that song. The place where they did all these experiments is fucked up cause the aliens got louse and killed everybody. (laughter)
It’s a fun song, it’s not real. I don’t know if there’s Aliens…there may be.
Do I believe in aliens? Only in New Jersey! (Dave explains it’s a New York joke)USA and Heavy Metal. What’s the relationship between those two.
Al Pitrelli - Heavy Metal in America right now is underground but I think it’s starting to really getting rid of all the mainstream bullshit. It reminds me of 1982, ’83, ’84 when Michael Jackson’s Thriller was the biggest record on radio at the time, yet Ozzy Osborne had the Bark at the moon album, Twisted Sister was just coming out, the L.A. scene with Motley, Wasp and all those bands was active. All this was really starting to get exciting and by ’85 - ’86 it exploded and dominated the charts all over the world. After a while it just became so much that people went like oh, more of the same thing and that’s why it kind of went away. Now you have 16-17 year old songwriters…It’s cyclical. They call it a 15 year cycle but I don’t know if it stays true to the actual number. It’s 16-17 years now and it seems it’s happening all over again. We’re sitting here in Greece, speaking with you about it; we have the AC/DC tour that we’re doing a lot of the dates in this summer, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden is out…everybody’s getting awkward again cause people want to hear us. They want lead singers, great guitar players, drummers, they want Rock bands and Rock stars to look at.What about you (talking to Dave)? What’s your opinion?
Dave Mustaine - I think that the relationship with Heavy Metal in the USA or anywhere for that matter is it’s a life style and there are people in Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, Canada, all of South America, Central America…it has nothing to do with where they live. It’s a lifestyle!You’re right about that but I don’t think that everybody believes in this. For example the British follow anything that is trendy.
Dave Mustaine - The British? Well, I think that because Britain is such an important place to most musicians around the world they think they’re going to London because London historically is almost as important as Rome is, almost as important as New York, almost as important as Los Angeles. Some of the greatest bands in the world came from England like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles…so they’re spoiled. They’re spoiled and I think that if you think Black Sabbath came from England…AC/DC was an Australian band but their best records were in England. UFO was English, Judas Priest is English. But now there’s nothing…
Dave Mustaine - I disagree. You’ve got Iron Maiden making a comeback, Halford is English, and Judas Priest is making a new album…No, I mean new bands.
Dave Mustaine - New bands need to see that it’s just cool to do this again because a lot of the new bands think it’s cool to wear Adidas and stare at the stage and yell into a microphone. It’s just a matter of what’s fashionable and I think that a lot of young musicians tend to follow what’s fashionable instead of what their heart tells them to play. When I was first listening to music and I was learning Led Zeppelin , people didn’t really like Led Zeppelin cause it was too heavy. Everyone thought that Jimmy Page was a spawn of the devil because he was into Allister Crowley. People thought that KISS was Knights In Satan’s Service. They thought AC/DC was AntiChrist or something like that…Like WASP. We Are Sexual Perverts…
Dave Mustaine - I think that’s the only one right (laughter) !So what’s your opinion on Nu Metal.
Dave Mustaine - Some of it’s good and some isn’t.What’s good and what’s not?
Dave Mustaine - There are a lot of bands that I’ve heard that are really good. There’s a band…I saw this song last night. Laugh Of Agony had a good song; they weren’t necessary Nu Metal but they were really good! There’s one song of Limp Bizzkit that I liked. I liked a song I heard from Eminem. There’s all kinds of music…it’s just that everybody has ONE good song. You got to see in twenty years from now what they’re gonna be doing.Probably nothing.
Al Pitrelli - Well there’s an old saying…you have your whole life to write your first record and six months to write your second. That’s why a lot of these bands are one hit wonders cause they’ve got their whole life to make their first CD, but when it comes to number two…That’s it I guess. Thank you very much for this Interview!
Dave Mustaine - Oh no, it was a pleasure! Thank you.Interview By Christoforos Kotsonis.