ScorpioN is now accepting questions! Submit here: firstname.lastname@example.org. Before you ask a question, read the SCORPION ARCHIVES and make sure that your question has not already been answered! ScorpioN may not be able to answer every question asked. Please only submit one question per email in an easy to read format. Check back here to www.megadeth.com/scorpion often to see if your question was selected! ScorpioN section is updated every Monday.
Hey ScorpioN! I have a question for Chris Broderick.
Chris, I adore your work with Megadeth and think that you are an unbelievably amazing guitar player! Your guitar playing inspires me! Anyway, I have a question regarding your first guitar solo on the song Deadly Nightshade (the one that comes after Dave’s first solo). Your solo is played under a very cool, harmonized rhythm. How did you approach that solo? What scales did you go to? I’m very interested in the technical aspects of guitar playing.
Thank you! Cheers!
Huge Megadeth fan!
What a great question and I love that song! I know a thing or two about poisonous substances, but Chris knows more than I about all that technical guitar playing stuff. As I've said before they won't let me near guitar strings!
Chris said, "Thanks for the compliments, I am glad you liked my solo!!!! The first thing that I heard was a rhythmic sequence. I composed that using some interlaced arpeggio's (i, and V) down in octaves by tapping them. The general tonality would be a harmonic minor but what I wanted to achieve was a cool interval playfulness. From there I went into a pentatonic scale that ascends as kind of an answer to the arpeggio's. To end the solo I use a string skipping minor 7 arp to resolve. I hope this gives you some insight and inspiration. Maybe I can hear what you come up with someday? Thanks again. Chris."
Hey guys, I'm a huge fan of Megadeth. I was watching the From the Vault videos and i realized that before Megadeth appeared on the stage, there used to be a speech like 'stay in your home, remain calm'. Whose speech is this?
Violet from Turkey.
The intro music you are referring to is called "Shut Up, Be Happy". This is actually the opening track on Ice T's third album, "The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech...Just Watch What You Say". The music in the background of the song is Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath" and the voice you hear delivering the spoken word is Jello Biafra, the singer of the Dead Kennedys, who is a self-proclaimed anarchist and member of the Green Party. Here are the lyrics, reprinted courtesy of Sire Records:
We interrupt this program with a special bulletin:
America is now under martial law.
All constitutional rights have been suspended.
Stay in your homes.
Do not attempt to contact love ones, insurance agent or attorney.
Do not attempt to think or depression may occur.
Stay in your homes.
Curfew is at 7 PM sharp after work.
Anyone caught outside of gates of their suveillance sectors after curfew will be shot.
Remain calm, do not panic.
Your neighborhood watch officer will be by to collect urine examples in the morning.
Anyone gaught intefering with the collection of urine examples will be shot.
Stay in your homes, remain calm.
The number one enemy of progress is questions.
National security is more important than individual will.
All sports broadcasts will proceed as normal.
No more than two people may gather anywhere without permission.
Use only the drugs described by your boss or supervisor.
Shut up, be happy.
Obey all orders without question.
The comfort you demanded is now mandatory.
At last everything is done for you
I'm a huge Megadeth fan, Dave is one of the most influential figures in my life, in terms of guitar playing, songwriting, and learning about life.
I remember Dave saying that he has written a few love songs for Pam before 'The Hardest Part of Letting Go', so I was wondering which songs are about her? I presume there are some on Youthanasia, Cryptic Writings, Risk, and maybe TWNAH & TSHF.
Excellent question! Megadeth and Dave are not known for love songs or ballads, but the occasional love-inspired song has made its way onto albums. To answer your question specifically, "Tears In A Vial" off The System Has Failed was a song for Pam.
I have watched countless hours of AWESOME backstage footage of Megadeth on YouTube from the name "MegadethizeD". A lot of the vids are from the R.I.P. era and whoever filmed them was someone super close to the band. My question, ScorpioN, is, WAS IT YOU?? And if not, who was it?
Thanks- Megadeth Rules...
There is no shortage of Megadeth footage on YouTube, that's for sure!
Any band that has been around for 30+ years is going to have videos from their vaults floating around. To answer your question directly...yes, it was me. I had my own special guy that carried me around at human height so that I could film all the awesomeness that surrounds a Megadeth show.
Thanks for watching!
My question is for Mr Ellefson.
Was he using a pick all the time or some of bass lines were recorded with his fingers?
Great question! David is known for using a pick to play the bass guitar, besides just being a kick-a$^ bass player. He uses a pick for tone, precision, and consistency both playing live and recording, so most all of the bass lines are recorded with a pick. He talks a little more about his decision to use a pick in his autobiography, "My Life With Deth", so you should check it out.
I play the electric guitar about a year and I think that I am very good at playing, but sometimes when I look for band looking for guitarist I find only bands looking for bass guitarist. So sometimes I think about playing the bass guitar. So I have a question to David, what is the most important in playing the bass guitar?
Thank you! Greeting from Poland!
I commend you in wanting to diversify your musical talents! If there's a demand for bass players in your area, then by all means see what you can do. David is also a guitar player, so he had some great insight into your question.
"Playing the bass is similar to guitar in some skills but it really is a completely different role. You become the glue between the guitars and drums in a rock band so sometimes you play the guitar lines and others you play more rhythmically with the drums.
It is a fun instrument and in a live setting the bass is an undeniable presence in the room....enjoy! -David Ellefson"
I hope that answers your question Bartek - go for it!
I wanna know where can i buy Megadeth Thrashing Through The Snow? N why didn't it count in their discography? Cheers
"Thrashing Through The Snow" was a skit they did just for Jimmy Kimmel Live! in December 2013. You can watch it here:
While everyone would love to be able to buy an official version of "Thrashing Through The Snow", it is priceless.
I have read about the band recording a DVD on their next show in Buenos Aires on May 1st and as I haven't seen any official information I was wondering if it is indeed true.
Wouldn't that be awesome?? We know that the Mega Machine likes to film in South America - the crowds are huge and loud and go all out for the band. However we also know that plans can change at a moment's notice due to unavoidable circumstances (ahem, Uruguay?) - so if a recording does happen, the Megadeth Cyber Army will be the first to know!
I would like to know if the band name Megadeth ever appeared on any album covers with the spelling as Megadeath. A friend of my swears he had a copy of Killing Is My Business... With the Megadeath spelling back in the 80's but has since lost said copy but still insists that it exist. I said if he did have it. It must have been a bootleg or maybe a record company misprint, he gets very mad when I say that and tries to tell me that Dave changed the spelling after Killing wuz released but I have seen the story about how Dave got the name from a pamphlet on the bus ride home after the whole Metallica kicking him out thing and had changed the spelling before Megadeth even did there first show. The answer to this will end a long standing battle between myself and my friend.
Your friend has no idea what he's talking about and the battle is over! There positively is no album cover with the spelling "Megadeath"...case settled. I hope you had a good bet riding on this one!
It has been quite a while now since the band has referenced its plans for the Youthanasia anniversary.
Youthanasia is one of my favourites and I am pretty stocked about whatever it is that the band feels like doing to commemorate such great album. Still, I was wondering if is there going to be a re-edition of the album, like those of Peace Sells and Countdown. I have been looking to get a copy of the Youthanasia/Hidden Treasures bundle but since those haven't been out for a long time, they get pretty expensive sometimes. So, my question for the Scorp is precisely related to that "bundle": are there any plans to re-release the Youthanasia/Hidden Treasures special or has the band not yet discussed this subject?
Youthanasia is one of my favorites too! I would really like to see and re-edition, but there's just no telling if that'll happen yet. Anything is possible and there's still lots of time for the Megadeth camp to decide. Make sure to keep an eye on Megadeth.com/news for any updates.
Aside from 'The Who', I can't remember a Super Bowl halftime show worth even watching.... Why wouldn't Goodell and the NFL want an act that were actually real football fans, instead of all these pop culture posers??? Scorp, you gotta pull some Stings, I mean STRINGS, and get Megadeth in there in 2015.......
Joe- PA (U.S.A)
That's a very good question. One I would like to know myself. I'm guessing it has something to do with the NFL thinking they want to appeal to the widest audience, and "pop" is short for "popular", so there ya go. Due to my anatomy, trying to pull strings usually ends up as clipping strings. Dave won't let me near his guitar...
I've noticed that many of Megadeth's song- and album titles are divided in two, like Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!, Rust In Peace... Polaris and Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?
Is there any particular reason why Megadeth does that?
My regards to you, Dave, Chris, David and Shawn,
That is very observant of you but no, there is no particular reason there are two-part titles. I think Dave likes to get the whole thought process about a song or album into the titles, which sometimes you can say in one or two words and sometimes you can't.
Thanks for your question...until next time.
I've been listening to the CTE album a lot recently, but it always seems to me that the song Psychotron and Ashes In Your Mouth do not belong to the collection of songs on that album. The song length, style, dynamics and rhythms are very different to the rest of the album. These two tracks sound like they belong more to the Rust In Peace collection of songs.
Were these 2 songs originally written for the RIP album perhaps?
Ian from Ireland
Hey Ian from Ireland,
When you have a catalog like Megadeth, the collection of bits and pieces, riffs, and lyrics are never-ending. Even for Super Collider, Dave said they had the idea to cover "Cold Sweat" years ago. The songs "Psychotron" and "Ashes In Your Mouth" were written long after the Rust In Peace era, but even Dave told me that it's still possible that to some degree they could have started during those times.
My question is, Has there been a particular gig that you have played that will be burnt into your minds as the one gig that ruled them all?
Thanks, Liam D
What a great question Liam! I went to each of the guys to find out what gig stood out to them the most - which is tall order considering the extent of their live show careers. Here's what they had to say...
Dave Mustaine: We keep setting the bar higher for ourselves, as the world starts to get over the BS feuds and just listen to us for our musical merit. If I had to choose from what we have done so far, it is a very broad question: do you mean live, indoor, outdoor, on TV, acoustic, with a guest, with an all-star line-up, in my country, overseas, etc., etc.
I like playing in my front room the best.
Shawn Drover: For me it is The Forum in Montreal - 2005. This was the venue I dreamed of playing as a teenager watching all my favorite bands perform. In my mind I always hoped that one day I would be in a successful band and headline the Forum - luckily for me, it actually did happen (many times since then, as well). So although I have played countless amazing venues/shows over the years, the Montreal Forum will always be a special venue for me.
David Ellefson: Rock in Rio 1991 is still one that stands out as an all time favorite. It was the largest crowd we'd ever played to (140,000 people) and our first time to Brazil and South America. It stands as one of my best concert memories ever!
Chris Broderick: For me, it would be the first Big 4 in Warsaw!!!! We had just met all of the other bands and gotten a good comradery going and the show was around 120 thousand people (further then the eye could see)! It was amazing.
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.