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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.
Hi Scorpion, I've been listening to a lot of songs on United Abominations lately and I have a question about the title track. Who is the voice that is narrating at the start of the song? Also what are the French voices saying, before the solo?
The voice narrating at the start of United Abominations is Dave Mustaine!
The French words go like this :
"- Les Nations Unies votent résolution après résolution. / Nous avons besoin d'un nouvel ordre mondial.
- L'ordre n'existe pas. / Je vois vraiment pas pourquoi s'en inquiéter, ils font jamais rien de toute façon!
- Oui, un nouvel ordre."
In English :
"- The U.N. vote resolution after resolution. / We need a new world order.
- Order does not exist. / I just don't see what all the fuss is, they don't do anything anyway!
- Yes, a new order."
The French voices are: Marie Soler & Brett Caldas-Lima.
Merci et au revoir!
I am a huge fan and member of the Cyber Army, and I was wondering if there will be opportunities to do a Meet and Greet with the band instead of VIP Packages for the upcoming shows.
Thank you for being a fan and a member of the greatest fan club on earth, human or otherwise. Here's the deal with Meet and Greets...the band tries to do them for the fan club members as often as they can, but there are many factors that go into the availability of doing those at the shows. The promoters, venue, time the band goes on, etc all play into whether the band can accommodate doing Meet and Greets. Plans can change at a moment's notice, so make sure you are checking the Megadeth Cyber Army announcements while the band is on the Killing Road!
Hi ScorpioN, I'm a super fan, I really enjoy playing your songs on my guitar and you guys rock, you see, here in Chile, metal music doesn't work because people here says that we are all satanic guys and that kind of stuffs, and I'm trying to create a Label for all metalheads here in Chile and change a little bit our society to make them know that we're not like they say we are, you see, here education is very very expensive, I have to pay for 20 years my English Teaching Program... and there is no way I can do it, so I decided to create this label for earning money to pay college, the thing is, can you guys, help on that? with some information or things like that?
thank you guys for reading this.
Thanks for being such a super fan! I totally understand what it's like to be misunderstood, but as any metal fan knows, we can be the kindest, hardest-working individuals out there, so don't let anyone tell you differently. The advice I can give you is to keep at it, be nice to everyone you meet but don't forget the jerks, and always be willing to make friends and connections. You never know who you are going to come across!
I think it is time for a new signature guitar... something in chrome that dazzles the eye when the stage lights hit it. A guitar with the ScorpioN logo crawling all over it. When can we see this happen?
Well Mr. Razzle-Dazzle, I like sparkly and shiny things too, especially with my abundance of eyes. I would love nothing more than to see my likeness on a custom Dean guitar and will forward your suggestion immediately.
My fave song is Sweating Bullets, and I was wondering why Dave wrote it and how did it relate to him?
Thanks, Romelia S.
We all love to hear the inspiration behind lyrics and music. Sweating Bullets is one of my all-time favorites, but since I can't physically headbang, I have to settle for stinger swaying. Here's what Dave had to say about the song:
"My wife had a friend that she actually worked for that had anxiety, and they would go out before we got serious, and her friend would have a panic attack and just bail on Pam. I got the idea while driving to pick her up and take her home one night after another episode."
I tried searching the net, and I have gained no further knowledge than what the "Peace Sells" booklet says. I was wondering what Marshall model was Dave playing back in the KIMB - SFSGSW era. Also did he use any pedals?
Well, nameless Droogie, equipment questions are best answered by the musician using said equipment, so here's Dave's reply:
"The amps I used during PS & SF was a basic Marshall JCM 800, and the pedal used was a relic called a "Rock man." It had chorus, delay, and distortion, if memory serves me correctly."
Hopes this helps you get the sound you are looking for, or at least satisfies your curiosity. I personally can't remember what kind of spider I had for lunch yesterday, so that's pretty impressive...
So I remember seeing pictures in Dave's early days of him with a BC Rich. I remember reading somewhere it was a BC Rich Bich Perfect 10. Did he play with all 10 strings on it? Or did he just string it up with only 6?
Dave Mustaine would clearly be the person to clarify your question, and he wanted to give you a first-hand account:
"I did have a BC Rich "Rich Bich" guitar. It was not called a perfect 10, as it was anything but that. I played it with 10 strings for a couple days and my thigh kept hitting the tuners on the body, so I ditched the sympathetic strings, as they are called.
I ended up completely abandoning BC Rich and all of the guitars I had accumulated from them after the infamous "Norfolk, Virginia 'Boathouse' gig" where I had just got on stage with a brand new set of strings and broke two of them during the first song. I went to Jackson Guitars after that."
My keen sense tells me Dave was not impressed with that particular brand of guitar...
Thanks for your question!
On the track Beginning of Sorrow, there is a phrase in the middle that says, Origo doloris non erit crastinus dies ...what does that mean?
Origo doloris non erit crastinus dies is Latin and means "Beginning of sorrow, there will be no tomorrow". Dave got a little help from a Latin teacher to make sure the translation was correct!
Do you travel with the band?
Of course I travel with the band. Who do you think holds the camera for all of David's videos? I'm also in charge of all the coffee runs and waking up Willie Gee ....with a sting of my tail!
What's your favorite song on Super Collider and why?
Super Collider is a great listen from beginning to end, that's for sure. Every time I listen to a track again I hear something new, but right now I would have to say it's "The Blackest Crow". The crow is an often misunderstood creature having many roles in world mythologies and religions, and is often associated with negative characteristics...kind of like me. Birds of a feather...as they say. Also, the slide guitar is haunting and very "you might not come back from the swamps alive"...so naturally I would dig it.
I want have two questions about MegadetH new single "Kingmaker" (btw must say its a masterpiece)
First, what effect did Mr.Ellefson use in the intro that makes this wah like sound? Second, He used his new Kellybird signature or signature Concert bass?
Thanks very much!
Glad you like the new song! David used his signature X series Jackson five string bass to record the track.
The effect was an onboard effect that he duplicates live with his Hartke Attack Pedal and a Jim Dunlop bass wah pedal.
Hello Scorpion, my question is for Dave.
Can you tell us about what is it the new song "Don't Turn Your Back"
Thanks, Hugs from Argentina.
Hi Bel, and thanks for your question. We've all heard a snippet of the song and I for one can't wait to hear more. If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard it yet, you can listen to it HERE.
The boss gave this insight to your question: "This song is about having a friend that is actually someone that you should really not be friends with in the end."
Don't worry Bel, you can be friends with me...
I have a question about one of my favorite Megadeth songs: Deadly Nightshade. Just who is that person laughing and what exactly is she saying? I can only make out a few words. Would be nice to know the story behind the use of that voice.
Thanks so much!
-Bryan Waring, CT
That happens to be one of my favorite songs of the album TH1RT3EN, and I'm sure a lot of people would like to know, so here ya go:
The voice is Electra Mustaine's, Dave Mustaine's daughter, and he says they were told she said, I dont know whats come over me, all of a sudden I feel like I need to lie down.
The Deadly Nightshade is a poisonous flowering plant that has a long history as a medicine, cosmetic, and poison. I know a little about that subject myself...
I have a question for Dave Mustaine. I am 13 and really want to read your
book but my dad and I want to know if it is kid friendly. What do you think?
First let me commend you for being a fine youth who likes to read and is conscious of being age-appropriate. Dave Mustaine started playing guitar as a pre-teen, and picked up an electric guitar when he was just 15 years old. The rest, as they say, is history.
His autobiography does contain some colorful content, and adult language, but only your dad can decide if he thinks it's appropriate for you. Might I suggest that he reads it first so he can make the decision he thinks is best? With any luck, and a little persuasive debate, he'll decide that you are beyond your years and can handle some colorful tales.
I was wondering what the influences, lyrically, behind the new single 'Super Collider'. Also, will there be a music video to accompany this new track?
Josh Holmes (SC)
We are so excited about the release of Super Collider!
Dave was happy to answer your question, so you're getting it straight from him.
"The influences were reading a USA Today article on the God Particle. Actually the song "The Disintegrators" was supposed to be called "Super Collider", but was changed to "The Atomic Disintegrators", then later shortened to "The Disintegrators". There will be a video, but the band is shying away from the overused performance videos, and telling the story of the song, more than just standing there and lip synching."
I saw a possible album cover on the internet for "Super Collider" but I didn't see it officially released on Megadeth.com. When will you be officially releasing it? Can't wait for the new album!
- Alistair Lisle, Newcastle, UK
There was a version of the cover circulating around the Internet for the past couple months or so with exploding logo and some sub-standard quality artwork, was a very poor design. Remember, nothing is ever official, especially in the case of a Megadeth album cover release, if it wasn't posted here first at Megadeth.com.
Hope you dig the new cover as much as we do!!! You are sure to love the new album once it's released on June 4.
Just wondering if when we will possibly here a new single from the upcoming Megadeth album and also if there might possibly be a "Making of Super Collider" DVD?
A new single will be released soon! Keep your eyes and ears peeled to Megadeth.com for news about that!
There was a fair amount of video footage taken during the recording process of "Super Collider". The band posted tidbits of video clips throughout the last few months, but there was a lot of footage that had not been made public ..as yet. There may very well be a "Making-of Super Collider" DVD in the future, no promises yet, but there is possibility of it happening!