ScorpioN

ScorpioN is now accepting questions! Submit here: thescorpion@megadeth.com. 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.

  • I know that there has been asked a bass question recently, but I really have to know the answer.

    I play bass, and it's really frustrating when I cover Poison Was The Cure with my bass sounding too clean. How does David Ellfefon gets that Slap-pop sound, while using a pick?

    Thank you.

    ________________________________________

    David Ellefson does use a pick and has a very clean sound, but he now adds bass chorus pedal to help the intro for 'Poison Was The Cure' have a bit more of a colorful sound. He turns the pedal off once he is into the song with the full band.

    -ScorpioN

  • I play the bass guitar and Dave Ellefson is a huge influence for me

    My question is this:

    How did he become so good? I mean i know practice means everything but come on!

    I dont have a whole lot of time for practice anymore since i am going to school now, but basically is there any quick tips for a novice bass player?

    BTW, i met the guys at the Joe Louis Arena in August of 2010 on the RIP anniversary tour, it was so Awesome and you guys should play in Michigan more often there are huge fans out here too!!!

    Kevin

    ______________________________________

    Hi Kevin,

    My rule is "practice" at home so you can "rehearse" with your band to make you good enough to "perform" live!

    Stay sharp with your scales and basic musicality. Stay up on any songs you like to play, too. It's better to play 15-30 minutes each day than to try and save up for four hours on a Saturday. A little all the time keeps your chops much sharper.

    David Ellefson

  • This one's for Dave. You helped usher in the era of the music video.
    With all the advancements in CGI and production, if you could go back and remake one of your older videos and tell the story with today's technology, which would it be? Also, is there a song you wish you did a video for but didn't?

    Keep crushing it! Megadeth has set the bar for the rest of the metal world.

    Glenn
    Blythewood, SC

    _______________________________________

    Hi Glenn, good question! I went to Dave Mustaine with this and here is what he had to say...

    When we did Hangar 18 we used miniatures and some special fx too. I think that videos today are all about the pardoo! And if the band ain't a pardy band, then they are singing in a cemetery somewhere. There really is no more middle ground. Thanks for your question. Megaman

  • Hi there Scorpion.

    I am a drummer myself and I LOVE to try and play Megadeth's songs, as they are tremendously challenging for me. And I say try, because the drumming in Megadeth is quite complex... the tempos, the rudiments... they are fu**ing amazing. My question is... who writes and arranges the drum sections for every song ? Is this a task that Dave does, or this relies completely on every drummer ? Do the drummers give suggestions, do they create, or does Dave say "play this the way I say, and that's it" ?

    Greetings to all the band, they are the best in the world. Seriously.

    Affectionately,

    Christopher,
    San José, Costa Rica.

    ________________________________________

    Hi there Christopher, here is Shawn Drover's answer to your question...

    Most megadeth songs I have recorded are a collaboration between myself, Dave and the producer. I will play the track, then we will listen to it and have bounce ideas around before I record the final track. I like to have their opinions, as sometimes a part can get even better with just a small change in a drum fill, etc.

    Be well,
    Shawn

  • Hi Scorpion,

    How long does the band usually rehearse for a tour? I notice on the website that, as of today, they are still working on the new record. I have tickets to see them with the Big Four on July 2nd here in Germany, and also to see them in Hamburg on July 4th. I would have thought that they would be rehearsing by now!!

    thanks

    brian barker
    hamburg, germany

    Hi Brian,

    There are no set rehearsals before heading out on the road together. The guys tour so much and have done it for such a long time that they are all ready to go once out on the road. With that being said, they do play through a majority of the set togehter at least once in the dressing room each night before a show. That gets them primed and warmed up for the upcoming show. If there are new songs to be played, they will take this time to go through them and start introducing the new songs on stage as they get more comfortable with them. It all comes together pretty quick when you're pros like Megadeth! ...of course, each of the guys also do their own practicing and keeping up on their chops while off stage.

  • scorpion,

    How does willie gee achieve mustaines tone with a digitech gsp1101 or axe fx?

    -Ezekiel
    New York City

    ________________________________________

    Hi Ezekiel, I caught up with Willie G today and this is what he had to say about your question...

    HMM!!!

    Well, if he is using WHICH unit we use, Dave has been using the Fractal Audio Systems Axe FX Ultra exclusively for almost a year now. Prior to that, we used the Digitech GSP1101 since about 2007.

    Dave's sound has alwasy been based around a Marshall or "Marshall type" amp (meaning a pretty high-gain tube head with EL34 power tubes) with maybe an overdrive pedal giving it a slight "push". To get Dave's tone with a preamp like the Axe FX, we use amplifier simulations that are based on amps like the Marshall JCM 800 or modded "Marshall types" like the "Marsha" amp, and add a touch of overdrive pedal (such as a TS808 or ProCo Rat overdrive, with the level dialed up a bit and the drive/distortion barely on), and a bit of boosting of midrange frequencies using parametric EQ. That's pretty much the whole key to it - getting a good, British-type amp sound, driving a bit harder at the input with a gain-boosting device, and tweaking the sound for a bit more "teeth" in the midrange with EQ. You could do it with graphic as well, but I've had better luck with parametric eq-ing.

    Same thing with the other units Dave's used ...just pick a good, high-gain amp type, add a touch of drive from "Tube Screamer" or whatever overdrive it has, and a bit of judicious midrange tweaking to accentuate the midrange (NEVER "scoop out" the mids!) and you should be in the ballpark! A lot of the punch in Dave's tone also comes from using a pretty hefty string gauge, tuned to standard, A440 tuning...Dave uses a light top/heavy bottom set, .010 to .052.

    Hope this helps!

  • Hi guys,

    I’ve been following Dave on Twitter, and I can see you’re recording a new album which is great! But Dave keeps referring to a guy named johnny? Is he sessioning guitar or does he have more of a production role? Also – Will the new album be featuring Vic on the cover?

    Thanks,

    Jim

    _____________________________________

    Hi Jim, Dave is referring to producer Johnny Karkazis. Better known as Johnny K,(born in Chicago, Illinois) he is a Grammy Award nominated producer/engineer/mixer/musician and songwriter. He owns Groovemaster Recording Studios in Chicago. Johnny has worked with bands such as Sevendust, Disturbed, 3 Doors Down, Finger Eleven, Staind, Machine Head and more.

    Johnny has been brought in to produce the new Megadeth album at Vic's Garage in San Marcos, California.

    Vic on cover? .... you'll have to wait to see! ;)

  • What scales do Mustaine and Broderick use when they solo? Some scales that are commonly used in metal sound more Egyptian when I use them. Also, what chromatic notes do they add in?

    -Miguel

    _____________________________________

    Hi Miguel, I caught up with Chris Broderick today and asked him your question. Here is what he had to say in regards to the scales used in Megadeth.

    "One of the most common scales used in Megadeth (and in most bands) is the Pentatonic scale. In some cases we would add chromatic notes such as the b5, and #6 to add some variation to their tone. The scales you would refer to as sounding more Egyptian would be the Harmonic mi scale (especially if you play it off the 5th), and the Hungarian gypsy mi scale in tandem with a Maj7#11 arpeggio."

  • Scorpion, please will you tell me if there is a meet n greet for us fan club members at the big 4 in Indio??

    Sean
    Member #5873

    Hi Sean, today we announced just that, here at Megadeth.com. You now have the chance to meet the guys at the Big 4 concert in Indio, California!

    Read below...

    The Megadeth Cyber Army is offering club members an opportunity to meet Megadeth at the "Big Four" show in Indio, California on April 23, 2011! If you plan on attending the show, check the club now and enter the draw for a meet 'n greet pass to meet Megadeth at Indio! 10 lucky winners will be chosen. Hurry, you must enter before midnight (PT), Monday, April 18. For more information, visit the Cyber Army. Not a member? Not a problem! Enlist today!

  • I play the bass guitar and Dave Ellefson is a huge influence for me

    My question is this:

    How did he become so good? I mean i know practice means everything but come on!

    I dont have a whole lot of time for practice anymore since i am going to school now, but basically is there any quick tips for a novice bass player?

    BTW, i met the guys at the Joe Louis Arena in August of 2010 on the RIP anniversary tour, it was so Awesome and

    you guys should play in Michigan more often there are huge fans out here too!!!

    _______________________________________

    Here it is directly from Mr. Ellefson!

    "I practiced a lot when I was younger and still do. For some people it is more natural than others but most importantly play for the fun of doing it. That's the main thing, have fun!

    I suggest trying to play at least a little bit very often rather than trying to find large chunks of time, as those times usually don't happen later in life with commitments of school, family, work, etc.

    Try and divide your practice up in three equal sections: play something you like (fav song), practice something challenging (scales, modes) and then ad lib and improvise a bit.

    That should help you have fun and still challenge yourself just enough to see some steady improvement.

    Enjoy!

    David Ellefson"

  • Hi there Scorpion!

    I have question about David's signature bass models. Will there be any budget-friendly model that costs ~700-900 $ or are the custom shop models be only ones on sale?
    If there are coming budjet-friendly models will they also arrive in Europe?

    - Tommi

    ______________________________________

    Tommi,

    The first batch are USA Custom Shop but stay tuned to Jacksonguitars.com for more information on future bass plans.

    David Ellefson

  • Hey Scorpion,

    I went to see Megadeth on May 2nd last year here in Peru for the 20th anniversary of Rust In Peace, and they blew my mind. I was wondering if Dave and the guys are planning on making a 25th anniversary tour for Peace Sells.. But Who's Buying?.

    P.S: Thanks in advance for answering if you do!

    Erik

    ____________________________________

    Hi Erik,

    Dave Mustaine recently told VH1 Radio Networks' Dave Basner, "We've already had people talk to us about doing that and I told our manager that I'm totally interested in doing 'Peace Sells' for a 25th anniversary this year but I don't want to do it all year like we did with 'Rust in Peace'. I want to do it towards the end of the year. So we'll do the whole year doing our thing and then come around October, where the end of the year is, you've got a quarter of the year left, October, November and December, where we can do the 'Peace Sells' thing."

  • Hi I have a question does dave mustaine use Fractal Axe FX Ultra and Digitech GSP1101 both at the same time or he just uses one, does he use one at the studio and the other one live or how does it work?

    Sebastian

    ____________________________________

    Hi Sebastian, I went directly to Dave Mustaine's guitar tech, Willie Gee with your question. Here is what Willie had to say on the matter...

    Dave USED to use the Digitech GSP1101, but has been using the Fractal Axe FX Ultra exclusively live since about September of 2010. Before that, we used a combination of the Axe FX Ultra and the GSP1101, but never both at the same time.

    In the studio Dave usually uses Marshall JVM410 amplifiers, as well as other Marshall models, but depending on what is going on, any variety of gear can be put into use, from the Marshall amps to his preamps (including the Rocktron Prophesy) to the prototype of the Dave Mustaine Zoom G2.1DM pedal that's due out this spring.

  • Hey Scorpion,

    I was looking at Dave's signature VMNTs and I came across the double necked Bloodlust. Do the necks have 6 strings on each or is there 6 on one neck and 12 strings on the other neck?

    Thanks,
    Justin

    _____________________________________

    Hi Justin,

    Dave's double necks have a 12-string on the upper neck and a 6-string on the lower neck. The tuning pegs for the extra 6-strings on the upper neck are located at the bottom of the guitar, on the body. You can see in the photo of Dave's Blood Lust double neck right here.

    Check out Dave's brand new Classic Black double neck here.

  • Hi Scorpion,

    I have a question for Shawn. Do you find it easier to drum open-handed with a right-handed kit, rather than play cross-handed with a left-handed kit?

    Cheers,
    Ford

    ____________________________________

    Hi Ford, I went straight to the source on this one. Here is what Shawn had to say...

    I find it easier to play open handed. At 13 years old when I started out, I jumped on a buddy's drumkit which was a right handed kit-it felt comfortable playing open handed so I went with it.

    Shawn

  • Hi "Scorpion",

    On 11th April 2011 Megadeth & Slayer is coming to Poland (Lodz) during
    European Carnage Tour. I was wondering who will headline this gig.

    Cheers,
    Matthew

    _____________________________________

    Hi Matthew,

    The 2011 European Carnage tour is a co-headline tour - Megadeth / Slayer (Slayer to close all shows except Paris).

  • Hi Scorpion

    I have a question and I'm wondering if you'll be able to answer it for me

    With the Australian dates ending last night, how many shows have Megadeth performed in total in 2010?

    Wayne

    ____________________________________

    Hi Wayne, Megadeth played a total of 117 shows in 2010.

    Check the Killing Road tour archive for 2010 here: www.megadeth.com/killingroad2010.php.

  • Hi Scorpion,

    I read on the website that Sudden Death is Megadeth's 9th Grammy nomination. Can you tell me what were the other 8?

    ____________________________________

    Megadeth's past nominations have all been in the "Best Metal Performance" category.
    Here is the list by year.

    1991- Rust In Peace album
    1992- Hangar 18
    1993- Countdown To Extinction album
    1994- Angry Again
    1995- 99 Ways To Die
    1996- Paranoid
    1998- Trust
    2010- Head Crusher

    2011- Sudden Death

  • Dear Scorpion,

    I just watched the DVD That One Night- Live In Buenos Aires (Fantastic concert by the way!!!!), and I'm curious about the song "Coming Home". Was it written specifically for that show or is it on a studio album, because I've looked for it on the website and I can't find it anywhere (Who knows, maybe I didn't look hard enough)?

    Thanks a bunch

    Lone Fan of BSU,
    Cole

    __________________________________

    Hi Cole,

    "Coming Home" appears as a bonus track on the Japanese release of "The World Needs A Hero" album (May 2001) and later appeared on the "Warchest" box set as a song previously unreleased in the US. The song was played on "That One Night: Live in Buenos Aires" with Dave Mustaine on vocals and Glen Drover on acoustic guitar. Dave changed the lyric "I'm coming home to Arizona" by replacing "Arizona" to "Argentina", the song is listed on the CD as "Coming Home to Argentina".

  • Hello Scorpion!

    I finally attended my first Megadeth show this past month. It was the BEST concert that I've ever been to and I've been to a lot of concerts. How I wish I would have made it to the other show in my area back in March, before it was sold out (as well as many shows over the years). Anyhow, I was wondering if Dave is going to do another book signing and if so, if Northeastern PA would be one of the places that he would consider visiting for it.

    Thanks for the input.

    Diane

    __________________________________

    Hi Diane, a new paperback version of Dave Mustaine's autobiograhy "Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir" is currently in the works. With its release and another Megadeth tour on the go perhaps in the new year, Dave would definitely consider adding another book signing tour to the mix. Stay tuned for details!

  • Hi Scorpion,

    I think Sudden Death is an awesome song, and I was wondering if this has been released as a CD single in any country.
    I have every CD single released so far from Megadeth, and I would love to add this one to my collection if it exists.

    Thanks Scorpion

    -Chris / San Jose, CA

    _____________________________________

    Hi Chris, the song "Sudden Death" was written by Dave Mustaine exclusively for the "Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock" video game. The song has not been released as a CD single in any country but you can currently stream the song at Roadrunner Records http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/music/Megadeth--Sudden-Death-3357.aspx or download from iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sudden-death/id392588539?i=392588540.

  • Hey there. My mind was just blown by Megadeth's new song, Sudden Death. Any way you could share the lyrics with us? Dave's singing on this song and in Endgame btw, is freakin' awesome. Reminds me of older classics like Holy Wars, the Punishment Due. These are the new classics!

    Thx,

    Bob

    __________________________________

    Sudden Death

    His evil Highness, born from disaster
    To dominate and to kill
    A glistening, murder-machine
    False majesty, standing perfectly still

    A blitzkrieg raining down evil
    On a mountain of black ice
    Like a good ole fashioned beating within
    Inches of your life

    While alone and left abandoned
    With the sentence you've been handed
    All your angels will ignore you
    As your life flashes before you

    Even still you keep on fighting
    Through the thunder and the lighting
    And now Heaven sends its love
    Your sudden death from above

    Once frozen like a prisoner depraved
    Perched high atop the lithospheres
    Set free from beneath the depths of hell
    Bequeathing man nothing but despair

    The beast is genetically programmed
    Time to destroy, time to go berserk
    To see the end of all war
    To see the end of the Earth

    Stopping at nothing, punch-drunk
    From the blood that he's tasted
    Tearing your soul apart
    Not one bit of your pain will be wasted

    Now death descends upon you
    Like a bloody white dove
    Bringing your retribution
    Your sudden death from above

    While alone and left abandoned
    With the sentence you've been handed
    All your angels will ignore you
    As your life flashes before you

    Even still you keep on fighting
    Through the thunder and the lighting
    And now Heaven sends its love
    Your sudden death from above

    Music & Lyrics - Mustaine

  • Has Vic Rattlehead ever been on stage before at a Megadeth show besides his debut the other night in Ohio? Was that the first time he's ever appeared onstage with the band?

    Thanks,

    Jeff

    ___________________________________

    Hi Jeff,

    Vic also appeared onstage during the original Rust In Peace tour, on the Japanese leg of the Oxidation Of The Nations world tour in 1991. Check out this pic from the Megadeth.com Gallery!

  • I've got a question for Chris. I've seen an interview in which he states that when he was a teenager he used to wake up really early in the morning and then would proceed to practice almost all day long not only guitar but violin and piano, too. My question for him is, "How did he discipline himself in order to rise up early and put in so many hours of practice, day after day?" and also, How long did he manage to do that for?. I hope you/he can answer this for me. Cheers to all the band members.

    Megadeth...Megadeth, aguante Megadeth!

    Maru, Uruguay.

    ____________________________________

    Hey Maru,

    As far as discipline, I have always loved playing music, however even that was a bit grueling at times. I simply knew what I needed to accomplish on those instruments and decided that it would take 14 hours a day to improve on them.

    I did this during the summers in between my high school years, and my family never appreciated me playing the piano at 5 in the morning ahhahahaha. This of course meant I had no social life.

    I did that consistently for two summers and part of a third, I remember however that the fatigue would build up and I would end up falling off my schedule every few days and not getting in the full 14. I can say that while it did help me technically I'm not so sure about musically.

    Chris Broderick

  • What guitar did dave use on the video trust?

    many regards to all the band members!!

    Alexi

    ____________________________________

    Hi Alexi, the guitar that Dave Mustaine used in the Trust video was a Jackson Custom Firebird "oxblood" made especially for Dave in the Jackson custom shop. One of only four made. The guitar was auctioned off here at Megadeth.com in December 2003.

    See a photo of the guitar below from the Jackson custom shop with the work order number and the serial number.

  • hi,

    i was wondering if david ellefson is going to start endorseing jackson basses,
    or is he sticking with his signature peavey zodiac scorpio signature bass.
    if he is why is he switching to jackson?
    and if not is it just for this 20th aniversery rust in peace tour?

    slade dark

    ___________________________________

    Hi there slade, I went to David with your question and this is what he had to say.

    "I do not currently endorse the Peavey Zodiac DE as my needs have changed for the RIP tour.
    I'm using the Jackson basses on the current RIP tour and am considering endorsement."

  • Who did the artwork in all of your guys' album covers?

    ______________________________________

    Here is the list of official releases:

    Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good!- Michael Muller
    Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?- Ed Repka
    So Far, So Good...So What!- Capitol Records
    Rust In Peace- Ed Repka
    Countdown To Extinction- Hugh Syme
    Youthanasia- Hugh Syme
    Hidden Treasures- Hugh Syme
    Cryptic Writings- Hugh Syme
    Risk- Andy Engel, Eric Heintz
    Capitol Punishment- Kalynn Campbell
    The World Needs A Hero- Hugh Syme
    Rude Awakening- Storm Thorgerson, Peter Curzon
    Still Alive...And Well?- Smay Vision
    The System Has Failed- Mike Learn
    Back To The Start- Andrew Robinson
    United Abominations- John Lorenzi
    That One Night- Image Entertainment
    Anthology Set The World Afire- John Lorenzi
    Endgame- John Lorenzi

  • Dear ScorpioN,

    I read somwhere that Dave had something to do with the band Sanctuary, who became Nevermore.
    Since NM are one of my favorite bands, I wanted to see what they story was, if it's true. Thanks.

    ___________________________________

    Hi,

    It is true, Dave produced Sanctuary's first album Refuge Denied. Here's how Sanctuary/Nevermore singer Warrel Dane recounts it:

    "There was a King Diamond/Megadeth concert in Seattle (in 1986), and after the show Lenny (guitar player Lenny Rutledge) found out where Dave's hotel room was...He ended up having some drinks with Dave, they listened to our demo tape, and Dave told him he was looking for a band to produce. We were scared for a while that he didn't mean it, but he did call back. The man knows his shit. He motivated us to perform better than ever before, and you can hear that reflected on the album. Personally, he pushed me really hard and made me sing better than I ever have in my life, and I have a lot of admiration for him for that."

    Dave is also credited with backing vocals and the guitar solo on the Jefferson Airplane cover "White Rabbit" from Refuge Denied.

  • Dear ScorpioN,

    I recently found demo versions of some songs such as Holy Wars, Architecture of Aggression, and Symphony of Destruction, and I liked them a lot! I noticed the majority of them were off of the Warchest album, but I can't find that album anywhere in the town I live in, and I was wondering if I could have a full list of songs that were released as demos. I would at least like to hear them!

    Sincerely,
    Dan of Montana

    ____________________________________

    Hi Dan, thanks for your question.

    The Warchest includes one demo that was previously released (Architecture) while the other three Rust In Peace demos are exclusive:
    Holy Wars...The Punishment Due (Casey McMackin demo)
    Tornado Of Souls (demo)
    Five Magics (demo)
    Architecture Of Aggression (demo)

    The majority of the demos are available on the 2002 and 2004 remastered versions of Megadeth's back catalog, which are all still in print today.

    2002 Killing Is My Business remix/remaster cd bonus tracks:
    Last Rites/Loved To Deth (Demo)
    Mechanix (Demo)
    The skull Beneath the Skin (Demo)

    2004 Rust In Peace remaster cd bonus tracks:
    Rust In Peace...Polaris (Demo)
    Holy Wars...The Punishment Due (Demo)
    Take No Prisoners (Demo)

    2004 Countdown To Extinction remaster cd bonus tracks:
    Countdown to Extinction (Demo)
    Symphony of Destruction (Demo)
    Psychotron (Demo)

    2004 Youthanasia remaster cd bonus tracks:
    New World Order (Demo)
    A Tout Le Monde (Demo)

    Crown of Worms was also released as a demo on the Japanese Youthanasia album as a bonus track. That album is out of print today, as are the Japanese Hidden Treasures album and the European A Tout Le Monde single, which both contain the demos for Symphony, Architecture and New World Order.

    ScorpioN

  • Hey Scorpion, I have a question about picture of Jesus in Youthanasia album, where He has a crown of worms (instead of thorns). I read that there is a song 'Crown of Worms' but released only in japanese version. I cannot find any explanation given by Dave or someone else. Question is: What's the meaning of this song and picture?

    A Megafan from Poland, Olaf - Greetings to all Megadeth members, especially Dave and Dave.

    _________________________________

    Hi Olaf, I went right to Dave Mustaine with your question and this is what he had to say about it.

    "The lyrics were written by Sean Harris of Diamond Head fame, and the image was done my Hugh Syme. I have no idea what the inspiration for either was."

    Dave, David, Chris and Shawn and The ScorpioN send greetings back to you!

Pages