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I always wondered, where did the idea of Vic Rattlehead come in. How did you think him up?
Dave talked quite a bit about the creation of Vic in his autobiography, "Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir". He said the logo incorporated his feelings about religion and repression and freedom of expression. Vic also has his eyes, ears, and mouth clamped shut, representing "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil". The creation of Vic is the centerpiece of the song "Skull Beneath The Skin" from Megadeth's first album, "Killing Is My Business ...And Business Is Good!".
Hint: pages 135-136 in Dave's book will fill you in.
I have a question for you! I know Dave wrote"All I Want" from Super Collider for his wife, Pam. So the voices in the song belongs to her? Thanks, greetings from Turkey (:
Yes, you are correct, the woman's voice in "All I Want" does indeed belong to Dave's wife Pam Mustaine. His daughter, Electra, is also on two songs off "Super Collider" - "Forget To Remember" and "Beginning Of Sorrow".
Thanks for your question!
Hey Scorp! I saw Megadeth in concert last year and I was wondering who does the media/animation for the guys?
Anyone who has been to a Megadeth concert in the last year or so would have noticed the GIANT screens and video production now being used during the show. Some of the clips are content from the past (like old music videos) and the rest of the content is from Charlie Terrell in Austin, Texas and John Lorenzi, one of our often-used and kick-ass artists. I think most fans would agree that the foray into a video-based production has added a whole new dimension to the shows!
I've noticed that Dave has been favoring the white long sleeves shirt, white wrist bands and blue jeans lately.
Noticed that he wore them in the Rust in Peace Live video and the Countdown to Extinction video.
He also wore the same outfit when Megadeth played in Everett, WA on July 30, 2013 @ the Comcast Arena.
Since then I've seen numerous tour pictures of him wearing the same outfit.
Does Dave choose to wear the same outfit for a special reason or significance?
Or is it simply because that is Dave's favorite tour "uniform" and he has multiple sets of the same outfit?
Or is it because Dave likes to pack extremely light on tour and just washes the same set of clothes after every show?
Nothing wrong with it, I kinda think it's cool because the white shirt makes him stand out on stage which helps the fan all the way in the back see him better.
Thank you for your time!
Hey Jed from Seattle,
Dave has been wearing the white shirt and white wristbands for awhile now, but it is not the first time in the band's long performing career that he has chosen those. As a band that's been around for 30 years, you know their styles are going to change. Who can forget the grunge era flannel?? Dave doesn't have a particular reason he's wearing the white shirt, other than that's what he feels like wearing, which is always metal.
Dave and junior.. Looking back when you guys were first starting out it seems the market for metal was flooding with bands and there was no internet. (better music sales) It seems now there's kind of a drought when it comes to marketing up and coming metal bands.. Do you feel lucky to be born in the time you in as a musician? Do you see a good future for metal music?
Times have certainly changed haven't they? Both Daves have talked about the old days of "tape-trading" and how bands got the word out about their music. I don't know that there's necessarily a "drought" in marketing for bands, but it's more that customer demands and technology are so different.
No one can predict the future of metal music - but we have some pretty amazing, die-hard fans don't we? Dave has said that when things are bad, people get into metal more...so I guess that's both bad and good? I'm sure both Daves feel lucky to be living their dream and that they get to continue making music for the fans.
Thanks for your question and see you on the Killing Road!
I have a question about sound effects. What instrument or object created the sound at the beginning of and throughout the song "Almost Honest"? It's been bugging me for a while and I have come up empty in my search for the answer.
That sound was a small file of a guitar pedal and a wah-wah pedal that was repeated several times at the top of the song. During the "Cryptic Writings" sessions, producer Dann Huff and Dave Mustaine determined that each song needed to be evaluated completely on its own merit. Having unique sounds like that make the songs very memorable, don't ya think?
Thanks for your question Kelly - I love the technical ones!
This is a question for Shawn: I was wondering why you no longer use the whole custom rack you had going when you first joined the band. Is it just too much of a hassle to lug around on tour? Thanks!
The custom rack was cool to use for a while, but it came with its share of problems. Drummers often like to "tweak" their kit quite a bit and with that Mega-rack, once it's set up, adjusting anything was a major undertaking, which is not a good thing. Add to that the extreme weight of it made it difficult and very costly to bring around the world. The Mega-rack in 2010, may it rest in peace……or rust………
I was watching a video of Dave Mustaine doing a gear run for the making United Abominations and I noticed he was using a prototype line 6 signature head. I'm a huge fan of Dave Mustaine and of course Megadeth and I was wondering what made him not want to continue using line 6 or this particular head?
Thank you very much,
Keen eye you have there! The Line 6 was supposed to have been a Marshall amp modeler, and was really a good amp, but there is just nothing like the real thing with Marshalls...
I've be learning the Scorpion on guitar and i'm wondering what was used to make the sound for the intro and the one break in the song.
intro 0:00 - 0:39
I'm flattered! I have a simple answer to your question...that sound was made using an an auto-panner and an MXR phaser.
I'm a big fan of Countdown to Extinctions guitar sound and I believe it's a solid sound. I know about the guitars used but what Amps and Effects were used for the distorted tones?
Chirag G. From London England.
Hello Chirag from London, England!
The amps used were Marshalls, but the distorted tones are hard to pin down because the technology was from 20+ years ago. Max Norman might be able to be more specific, so I will ask him the next chance I get.
Thanks for your question!
My question here is:
Was there any inspiration or backstory for play for blood? (one of the most underrated songs of Megadeth, and one of my favourites).
The lyrics in that song are simply amazing. Thanks for the time you put in answering some questions.
I'm glad you asked about that song, it's a great one and the underlying theme applies to so many people. It's actually a metaphor for all the crazy gaming cultures and how addictive the games become - ultimately creating a fantasy world where people no longer "play" for fun.
I personally don't play any games due to the lack of opposable thumbs, but I think there's no point unless you play for blood.
Hi my name is Lucio and I wanted to know if on the 20th anniversary of Youthanasia they will play the entire disk as in the cases of CTE and Rust in Peace, or going to to make a selection of the best songs?
Cheers from Argentina!
Megadeth will be kicking off the "Youthanasia 20th Anniversary Tour" in South America towards the end of April 2014. The band will be playing a selection of songs from Youthanasia. So while they might not play the entire album top to bottom, they will definitely be playing songs from that great album while celebrating the 20th Anniversary of its release. We do know that Dave likes to surprise the audience, so you just never know what's going to go down! Thanks for your question Lucio, and we'll see ya on the Killing Road!
My question is for Junior. Who is your favorite bassist, or who made you
pick up the bass? Aside from the infamous "Runnin' With The Devil" line ;)
-Josh Holmes (SC)=
You can read all about David's musical influences in his new book, "My Life With Deth". He talks about hard rock from the 1970's and bassists like Gene Simmons catching his ear at the ripe old age of 10. He also mentions Geddy Lee, Phil Lynott, and even a few jazz musicians like Percy Jones and Anthony Jackson.
It's always nice to hear that the musicians we look up to are fans just like us!
My question is this, why Megadeth never played "Truth Be Told" live?
I know many fans of the band who, like me, would love to hear it live. His chorus ("till the last, truth be told") is very powerful, in my opinion.
I've always loved this song, I've always imagined this choir shouting into a Megadeth show. I'm hopeful that one day included in the setlist! :)
Thank you very much,
I can certainly relate to loving so many more songs than we get to hear live. Megadeth has over 100 songs in their catalog...can you imagine having to pick a small selection of those?? Many fans come to show because they want to hear the well-known tracks, like "Peace Sells" and "Hangar 18". The fact of the matter is that their set time is just not long enough to play some of the lesser known songs. That being said, we know that Dave likes to surprise his fans, so you just never know what he may throw in there!
You're welcome very much,
I was listening to FFF the other day, and I was wondering what was the
influence behind it. Was there a significant event going on at that time, or
did Mustaine have yet another stroke of genius when he wrote it?
Bunbury, Western Australia
P.S. I love reading all the Q&As that you've been doing, and I wish more
bands would add sections like this to their websites!
Hi there Cael!
You might notice that "FFF" and "Bullprick" are musically similar. "FFF" was initially called "Bullprick" and was a demo. The inspiration behind the song was a dream Dave had, but the lyrics were really emotionally too much for the general public. The version he ended up singing is even tame compared to the dream he had. We might never know the extent of this dream, but the lyrics of both songs are pretty intense. I hope that answers your question Cael - thanks for asking and the kind words!
I was just wondering what kind of hobbies does Dave have outside of music?
Dave's need for speed has been well documented over the years, from jumping out of perfectly good airplanes (which was the inspiration for "High Speed Dirt") to recently doing the Richard Petty racing experience and flying over the Pacific Ocean in a Siai Marchetti SF-260. Fast cars have been a consistent hobby over the years, and a race-inspired song usually makes its way onto studio albums. Dave also loves MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), and is trained in more traditional marital arts. The other side of the adrenaline coin is that Dave loves to help others and counts that as not only a hobby, but a way of life that's important to him.
Hi Scorpion, my name is Carlos, I'm from Ecuador and I want to ask you, How many editions are for Super Collider and what includes each one? You know, vinyl, CD, everything, I saw a Best Buy Edition, a Japanese Edition, a 3D Cover Edition, 3D Vinyl, a Limited Vinyl edition, what includes each one? Thank you.
Hey Carlos, here are the "Super Collider" editions.
1) CD: Standard Edition (11 tracks)
2) CD: Standard Edition (lists 11 tracks but includes 3 bonus tracks)
3) CD: Best Buy Exclusive Deluxe Edition (includes 3 bonus tracks and 3D sticker)
4) LP: Standard Edition
Other Standard Edition Releases:
1) Russia (CD 11 tracks)
2) Thailand (CD 11 tracks)
3) Poland (CD 11 tracks)
4) Europe (CD 11 tracks)
1) Europe: Standard Edition LP (11 tracks)
2) Europe: Limited Edition CD (includes 2 bonus tracks) with 3D cover
3) Europe: Limited Edition Deluxe Vinyl Set (LP plus 7" vinyl) (includes 2 bonus tracks and voucher to download mp3 version)
4) Taiwan: Limited Edition CD (includes 2 bonus tracks) with 3D cover
5) Japan: Limited Edition CD (includes 2 bonus tracks) with 3D cover
6) India: 11 tracks with "Super Jewel Box"
Where did Dave meet Willie Gee? How did Willie get involved with Megadeth?
-Josh Holmes (SC)
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away...there lived a grim, sharp-tongued guy named Willie Gee. Although he wasn't originally a guitar tech, he just kinda knew how to get things done. Willie became known galaxy-wide as the best guitar tech around (who wouldn't drink all your liquor, make a pass at your girl and already wore black clothing), although it is still up for debate if he used The Force for good or evil - or for the greater good of eeeeeeee-villlll. Over the years, Willie has been a guitar tech for several notable metal bands, including King Diamond, Lamb Of God, Anthrax, Testament, Exodus, Hair Of The Dog, Immortal, Nevermore, and Eidolon. It was during his time with Eidolon that he was a tech for Glen Drover, though he met Glen when he was hired for King Diamond in 1998.
The universe's most state-of-the-art speed metal band, Megadeth, hired Glen Drover back in 2004, and Willie brought both his tech skills and coveted "guitar bar". A man of many hats (most of which say "Hatebreed" for some reason), Willie also served as Megadeth's stage manager for a short time. Willie became Dave's tech during a crew changeover near the end of Glen's time with the band, in the middle of 2007 ...but he'd always helped with things for Dave anyway. The rest, as they say, is history.
I've watched a few interviews on YouTube where Dave said Rust in Peace was written before Marty and Menza joined the band and the only exception would be Hangar 18. I was curious as to who wrote the parts Marty played in the album such as his solo in Tornado of Souls. Was it Dave or perhaps Chris Poland because I read he helped a little with demos?
Chris from Texas
There are so many moving parts to how a song comes together. A lyric here, a riff there...
A solo is just one piece of what makes a song, and would not be considered to be the sum of all parts. If you listen to the Rust In Peace demos, just like Dave would sing solos to Marty, some of the solos Dave sang to Chris are the same ones Marty played.
I guess what I'm saying is, recording parts and writing music is almost a living, breathing being, and everyone contributes pieces that are built upon, tweaked, and massaged into what you hear when you press 'Play'.
I hope that's as clear a mud...I wish I could sing solos...
What does Dave mean when he sings about the lack and overdose of mercy killings in ...The Punishment Due? From what point of view are the lyrics speaking?
What an excellent question! Not only is "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due" a cornerstone of the Megadeth catalog, but I personally love how the song has two chapters.
I believe the lyrics you are speaking of are:
"I know what I said now I must scream
Of the overdose and the lack of mercy killings"
This line was based upon the Dr. Kavorkian trials that were happening at the time. He was known as "Dr. Death" and was famous for being a euthanasia activist. He claimed to have assisted at least 130 patients in physician-assisted suicide, and famously said, "dying is not a crime". Dr. Death was convicted of second-degree murder and served eight years of a 10-to-25-year prison sentence. He was released on parole on June 1, 2007, on condition he would not offer suicide advice to any other person.
The "lack of mercy killings" is about forcing people to live that want to end their life.
Paging Dr. Kavorkian...
Actually I have a silly question but I'm really curious.
While I was headbanging with one of my fav songs (Mary Jane), I thought who's this lucky women? :)
Deniz from Istanbul
There are no silly questions. Ok...that's not true. But your question is one that I'm sure many fans have wondered before.
Legend has it that Mary Jane Twilliger was a young witch buried alive by her father in the nearby Loon Lake, MN cemetery. The mystery surrounding her grew to such legendary proportions over the years that it was rumored anyone who dared violate her grave in any was was doomed to a certain and immediate death. There were even stories of deadly car crashes involving people who got drunk and caused mayhem on her grave, thinking it was all harmless fun.
The Jackson County Historical Society relocated the headstone from her grave to its museum located in the nearby town of Lakefield, MN. Check out a photo of David Ellefson with Mary Jane's headstone below. Her headstone’s epitaph was the inspiration to the bridge section lyric of the song.
"Beware my friends, as you pass by
So you are now, so once was I
As I am now, so you must be
Prepare my friends to follow me"
Maybe she was not so lucky after all?! Happy Halloween!
What is the green crystal Vic is holding in the Rust in Peace album cover? What does it represent?
Alejandro C. From Florida USA
Rust In Peace is my second favorite album, next to The System Has Failed, of course. Band artwork is always fascinating to me, so I was happy to pass along your question.
Dave said, "It’s a McDonald’s cheeseburger from 1961. Not really, I think it is supposed to be like Kryptonite."
So I guess that means that Vic Rattlehead isn't Superman...
Megadeth have more than doubled their albums since "Youthanasia". Will Dave ever write a sequel to the awesome song "Victory"?
"Victory" is a lyrical puzzle that was put together perfectly, isn't it? We know that Dave and the guys are always working on something, or many somethings. Dave said, "You can never really tell around here."
I purchased a Dave Mustaine VMNT Fear back when they first came out and absolutely love it I am 36 and have had many guitars. My question is about the art work. I actually use it to play for Sunday morning worship services and when I play it for our youth nights I get to use it as a witnessing tool. When Dave approved the art work and knowing of his faith and trying to reconcile with all of his past relationships did he think about 1 John 4:17-20?
From Spokane Wa.
I personally think the guitar artwork Dave has used over the years is amazing. It looks even more amazing with the many eyeballs I have. Here's what Dave had to say about your question:
"Actually I did not think about that. In fact, the artwork was submit to me and I liked it and approved it."
So there ya go and thanks for your question!
Hey There Scorpion!
As an aspiring rhythm guitarist, I must know something.
Since Mustaine has been my hero for years now and since he was the one who made me pick up the guitar, I want to know.......How many rhythm tracks does he usually record for songs and on Super Collider. Not counting fills......Does he Quad Track??? Does he do the usual two track hard left hard right method?
Thanks for your time.
Mustaine till the end \m/
I'm not allowed into the studio during recording because I get so excited I start stinging people. Since I have no musical abilities whatsoever, other than snapping my pincers to the beat, I went to Dave Mustaine for the answer to your question.
Dave said, "I track in stereo and sometimes I will do an additional rhythm track of a different part that will layer over the rhythm."
I hope that answers your question Moe...keep aspiring!
Hello there Scorpion,
This question is a call for help for my guitar idol Dave,
I have played guitar for a while and I believe that I can start with some solos but I don't know how to start.
I would like to know how Dave begun to learn to solo and how later he re-learned to play guitar after his nerve injury, Can you please help me?
Megadeth all the way
Hello Mystery Writer,
Good for you for picking up the guitar and asking questions!
Dave had the following to say:
"Songs are made of parts that all have a distinct purpose and the solo is the best art of the song for me. But if you don’t have a great song, and the music that goes under the solo isn’t great also, then you just have a solo in a bad song. My advice would be to look into formal songwriting lessons, or do what I did, and teach yourself.
Good luck and keep rockin'!
What was the inspiration for the song Gears Of War From United Abominations?
Your Biggest Fan
Dear Biggest Fan Elijah,
Many fans ask questions about song inspirations, and I was pleasantly surprised to see you pick a unique song! Unique questions get responses people, take note!
Dave was happy to answer your question:
"I’d have to say just getting the shot at a video game. You know, you go through phases in your life, and that was a phase where the Bosnian war was raging and I had written lyrics about the tragedy, and the music just kinda came about when we agreed to do it. Fortunately the lyrics and the music lined up well, and it’s a very cool game!"
I really wish I had opposable thumbs sometimes...I miss out on all the cool video games.
I was wondering- does Dave still have that hoodie they gave each contestant on the Rock N Roll Jeopardy episode he was in? Did he like creaming those other contestants? Haha.
- Josh Holmes (SC)=
That Jeopardy episode was entertaining for sure! Dave was on fire!! While we don't have an official copy, you can peruse YouTube for your viewing pleasure.
Dave had this to say in response to your question:
"No, in fact I forgot that they even gave me one. That was a fun show to do, especially since I was able to win $5,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Arizona."
I'm from Brazil and watched every Megadeth concert here since 98.
Countdown to Extinction and Rust in Peace are among my favorite of all times albums, and since I'm starting to play the bass I would like to know what gear David Ellefson used on both albums.
Great question R. Pigatto!
Gear questions are always best answers by the artist themselves, and David was more than happy to answer yours.
"Thank you for coming to the shows over the years and liking these two quintessential albums.
Interestingly, I used very similar gear on both albums, almost identical except I recorded all of "RIP" with two four string Jackson bass guitars. I recall one was red at the time and had an ebony fingerboard on it, which gave it a really bright 'snap' to the tone. I believe the other bass was either my silver one or the one that was originally painted yellow (came that way when I bought it on the "Peace Sells..." tour!) but was later painted black. That one also had a rosewood fingerboard but a very deep and phat sound and was better for slower songs because it was not the fastest playing bass for some reason.
I actually had to drop tune the E string for the first half of "Hangar 18" so I could get that part of the song down to the low D. Once the record was done I needed to recreate that bass line which led to me getting with Jackson to create their very first five string bass.
I used that five string bass on the RIP tour as well as to record much of the "CTE" album a couple years later. That bass was used on songs like "Ashes In Your Mouth" and "Countdown To Extinction". I also used one other four string Jackson bass for some of "CTE" as well, for songs like "Symphony of Destruction", "This Was My Life", "Sweating Bullets" and any other song that didn't require notes below the low E.
For amps on RIP I used a GK 800 RB bass amp head into a 1x15" Hartke cab and a 4x10" Hartke cab. I used that same setup for CTE but used only a pair of 4x10" Hartke cabs instead of the 1x15".
I used the purple heavy gauge Jim Dunlop Tortex picks and Rotosound Swing Bass round wound strings on both albums.
Now that you know the gear used, you can probably start to hear slight tonal differences between the albums as well as between those songs on CTE, too. One of the main differences between those two albums (besides the producers of Mike Clink and Max Norman) was that RIP was recorded on Ampex analog two inch 24 track tape and CTE was recorded entirely in digital, using the Sony 48 track digital tape machines which were brand new at that time. The clarity you hear on CTE is largely because of the digital recording and mixing methods used."
Hello ScorpioN! I'd like to know who exactly did the voices on "Captive Honour"! I know that Mustaine actually sang the song, with additional backing vocals, but we can hear some voices during the song [the prisoner, the jury, etc] ... whose voice is it?
Hugs from Brazil! We love Megadeth!
Guilherme Henrique Scopin
I love Brazil!! I had a crazy summer down there in my youth...I came close to captivity myself!
Speaking of captivity...there are a lot of different voices on "Captive Honour" and here is a breakdown for you:
Jeff Jampol – jury foreman, Mark Parra – judge, and Raymond White – cell mate, with of course Nick Menza as the convicted.