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.
I have a question about the lyrics of "Sweating Bullets":
The text says:
Hindsight is always 20-20
What actually does "20-20" mean?
Cheers Mareike (Germany)
Vision or visual acuity is tested by reading a Snellen eye chart at a distance of 20 feet. By looking at lots of people, eye doctors have decided what a "normal" human being should be able to see when standing 20 feet away from an eye chart. If you have 20/20 vision, it means that when you stand 20 feet away from the chart you can see what a "normal" human being can see. (In metric, the standard is 6 meters and it's called 6/6 vision). In other words, if you have 20/20 vision your vision is "normal" -- a majority of people in the population can see what you can see at 20 feet.
The definition of "Hindsight is always 20/20" is an ability to figure out what one should have done after it is too late to do it. Looking back you have a clearer vision (20/20) of the event.
But alas, in the song Sweating Bullets, looking back is still a bit fuzzy. Nice story...
I wondered if there are any tabs of David's bass solos available. David is one hell of a bassist and I want to play all of his lines I find awesome. I am primarily interested in a 1995 solo.
Thank you very much!
There are several tabs available in the official Megadeth song books on the market, particularly with Hal Leonard. As for the bass solos, those are not officially tabbed anywhere. Have fun and glad you enjoy the bass lines!!
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.
Hello R. Pigatto,
On both "Rust In Peace" and "Countdown To Extinction" David Ellefson recorded with his Jackson Concert basses of the day, plugged into Gallien-Krueger 800RB bass amp heads which powered two Hartke 410 speaker cabinets. Those cabinets were the original Hartke aluminum cone speakers. He also used Rotosound Swing Bass strings and a heavy Jim Dunlop Tortex pick.
Keep in mind, David no longer uses those products and have been replaced by more modern technologies which he uses today. In particular, his Jackson basses and the newest Hartke products.
More importantly, tone is really in your hands. While gear is important, pay special attention to your fingering and how you pick/pluck the strings as well. Much of the Megadeth sound is really in the picking/plucking techniques and is what sets the band's sound apart from the rest.
Have fun and enjoy your bass playing!!
Hey Scorpion, this question is for Dave.
I've been roller skating all my life, and all the times I've fell is finally catching up with me (i.e bad knees, bad back, arthritis from multiple broken bones, ect... and I'm only 20). A little over 2 years ago, I was kicked in the back (literally) where my neck and shoulders meet. Ever since then, my fretting hand has been a little on the weaker side, and shakes like crazy if I try to use it. I've even lost some of the feeling in it. :/ We've figured out that getting kicked in that area had caused nerve damage to that entire arm.
Because of that, I've had a hard time trying to play guitar or bass. Can't ever get my fingers to go where I tell them to go half the time, since they just like to do their own little thing. :/ I haven't stopped trying though. It's gotten a little better, but not enough to start praising to the high heavens.
As someone who's had nerve damage in their fretting hand/arm, what was the process of getting full movement back in that arm? Were there any specific exercises that you needed to do?
In an unrelated topic... I'm seriously looking forward to your guys' new album. From what I've heard in the little snippets, it sounds like it's going to be fantastic!
In January 2002, Dave fell asleep in a chair with his arm in an awkward position, which cut off the circulation to the radial ulnar nerve in his left bicep, compressing it. A compressed radial nerve is commonly called "Saturday Night Palsy". This left him unable to feel or properly move his hand, as the brain could not communicate muscle movement through the nerve. His treatment included four months of extensive physical therapy, as well as acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments and weight training. During this time he was able to fully recover from his nerve injury, as well as tendon damage in his finger he had previously suffered from. After being pronounced 100% healed by his doctor, Dave took on the task of relearning to play guitar, with help from guitarist Ric Flauding.
Read more of what Dave Mustaine has to say about it HERE.
Can you tell me what all the knobs are set to on the JVM410? I love playing their music more than anything and would love to know. I just bought one with Dave's signature Cab and angel of death vmnt.
Let me say that for a while now, Dave Mustaine's sound LIVE is almost ALWAYS a Marshall 9200 power amp and Fractal Audio Systems Axe FX preamp.
The JVM410 head is used for all recordings, clinics, small shows, some television-related things....
So, the settings Dave uses will vary depending on guitars, the room, etc. - but here is info that will get you in the ballpark for getting his tone:
On the JVM head, lately Dave's been going with these settings. All numbers are referring to "clock position" settings - so, "12" would be with the knob turned with marker pointing straight up, which should be the half-way setting....
• CLEAN CHANNEL: Green mode on. Volume - 12, Bass - 2, Midrange - 10, Treble - 3, Gain - 11
• CRUNCH CHANNEL: Not normally used
• OD 1: Red mode on. Volume - 10, Bass - 11 to 1, Midrange - 12 to 3, Treble - 12 to full up, Gain - 12 to 2
• OD 2: Red mode on. Volume - 9 to 11, Bass - 11 to 1, Midrange - 11 to 4, Treble - 1 to full up, Gain - 1 to 3
• Reverb: Clean channel only, at 7 or 8 o'clock
• Presence: 3 o'clock
• Resonance: 12 to 2 o'clock
These settings will get you his basic tone. On the last couple of albums, a Marshall "Randy Rhoads" head has also made it on the record and has been mostly used for cleaner tones lately, with the JVM supplying the high gain ones.
Effects employed range from a Seymour Duncan pickup booster, Boss, Maxon and Ibanez overdrive pedals, Rocktron and Boss noise suppression units, a Line 6 MM4 modulation effect module, MXR phasers, Zoom G2.1 DM unit, Digitech and Boss delay/looper pedals.... but usually it's just the guitar, a bit of Tube Screamer, noise reduction and the good ol' Marshall.....
Hey Scorpion, can you tell me who did the artwork for all the Megadeth album covers?
Hi Pete, the following is a list of Megadeth releases and the artists responsible for the album cover art.
Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good! [Reissue] - 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
Greatest Hits: Back To The Start - Andrew Robinson
United Abominations - John Lorenzi
Endgame - John Lorenzi
TH1RT3EN - John Lorenzi
I recently read Guitar World's little article from 90's about Dave Mustaine's "Number One" Jackson KV. Dave states there that he will always be playing the "Number One" in the studio while to protect it, uses his signatures on stage. I'm curious if this is still the same or does Dave use his Dean signatures in the studio on the recent records?
Hi Joel, Dave Mustaine uses his Dean guitars exclusively on stage, in the studio and on the recent Megadeth records. In fact, Dave is considering offers on his Jackson No. 1! Keep an eye on the sites and Dave's Twitter account for more info. twitter.com/davemustaine.
And if you haven't heard yet, one of Dave's other Jackson's, his Y2KV Prototype will be on auction at Megadeth's eBay store this week! It's a rare item and you'll want to check that out! href="http://stores.ebay.com/theofficialmegadethstore" target="_blank">stores.ebay.com/theofficialmegadethstore
Hi, I live in north central FL, and am a huge Megadeth fan. Sadly, I have never seen a show because I'm not old enough to drive and Megadeth rarely plays Florida. And when they do, it's usually only a few weekday shows no where near me! Why does Megadeth never come to NCFL on weekends, or just FL, often?!?! I just wanna hear some Deth!!
Hello Justin, hang in there, the band has visited Florida once or twice before and I am sure they will again. You'll get your chance, and when you do, get ready for the show of your life!
As for the mighty Megadeth not getting to Florida often... I have to disagree! ;)
5/15/87 - Tampa, FL
5/16/87 - Miami, FL
5/17/87 - Miami, FL
1/25/88 - Tampa, FL
1/26/88 - Jacksonville, FL
1/28/88 - Daytona, FL
1/29/88 - Miami, FL
1/30/88 - St. Petersburg, FL
4/1/88 - Miami, FL
4/2/88 - Palmetto, FL
4/4/88 - Pensacola, FL
12/19/90 - Lakeland, FL
12/20/90 - Miami, FL
7/13/91 - Lakeland, FL
7/14/91 - Miami, FL
10/31/92 - Miami, FL
11/1/92 - Lakeland, FL
1/11/93 - Jacksonville, FL
8/23/95 - Pensacola, FL
8/25/95 - Tampa, FL
8/26/95 - Miami, FL
8/27/95 - Tampa, FL
8/21/97 - Sanford, FL
8/22/97 - Sunrise, FL
8/23/97 - Palmetto, FL
3/27/98 - Jacksonville, FL
3/28/98 - Zepherhills, FL
3/29/98 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
3/30/98 - Lake Buena Vista, FL
7/29/98 - Orlando, FL
7/30/98 - West Palm Beach, FL
12/3/99 - Tampa, FL
12/4/99 - Orlando, FL
12/5/99 - Ft, Lauderdale, FL
7/28/00 - West Palm Beach, FL
8/19/00 - Minneapolis, MN
5/11/01 - Tampa, FL
5/12/01 - Orlando, FL
8/6/05 - Orlando, FL
8/7/05 - West Palm Beach, FL
8/8/05 - Tampa, FL
10/6/06 - Tampa, FL
10/7/06 - Sunrise, FL
10/8/06 - Orlando, FL
10/3/07 - Ft. Lauderdale
10/4/07 - Lake Buena Vista, FL
11/25/09 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
11/27/09 - Orlando, FL
10/2/10 - Orlando, FL
10/3/10 - Miami, FL
8/13/11 - Tampa, FL
8/14/11 - West Palm Beach, FL
5/6/12 - Orlando, FL
I wanted to ask you if any Megadeth member has a tattoo. I know is a silly question but I'm really curious. Thanks,
Hello Vera, not a silly question at all. Here are the facts for you and a few quotes from the guys.
Tattoos - 0
"Me? Tattoos? I would never put a bumper sticker on a Mercedes Benz"
Tattoos - 0
"Nope I do not have any!! My only ratios are my freckles!!"
Tattoos - 0
"I don't have any tattoo's. Some I think are cool and have considered getting them but never enough to actually get one."
Tattoos - 1
....and we'll leave you to wonder where and what Shawn's tattoo is! ;)
Where can I get a pair of Megadeth logo picks to make my very own Megadeth earrings? Being as they are one of my favorite bands I would like to add them to my DIY jewelry collection. I've looked on Amazon but only one thing came up and it was a display with a bunch of picks and I just need the two since I have only two ears. I like the ones that Ellefson and Mustaine keep on their mike stands (green & yellow, respectively, from what I could see) but was not close enough to the stage to catch any. I assume the ones they use have the band name on them, but I suppose I could be wrong about this. Anyway, dude, I would greatly appreciate if you or any of your Mega cohorts could help me out with this. I don't expect to be the question of the week, I just want to make some earrings, dang it!
Jenni P. in K.C.
Hello Jenni, I will arrange to have a couple of Megadeth guitar picks sent out to you to make some earrings with! What a great idea! Merry Christmas and make sure to send us back a photo of them when they are done, ok?
I was wondering, what the story behind the episode of Duck Dodgers and Megadeth is?
The episode "In Space, No One Can Hear You Rock" featured Dave Mustaine and Megadeth, and the band performed "Back in the Day". It originally aired Saturday, November, 5th 2005 on the Cartoon/Boomerang Network. In this episode, the Martians create a weapon to drain energy from Earth's music and use its atomic power to destroy the Earth. Dodgers unfreezes Dave to play enough heavy metal to overload the device. Megaduck rules!
Duck Dodgers was not Mustaine's only television appearance. He has also been featured on Rock N Roll Jeopardy!, The Drew Carrey Show, Black Scorpion, Behind the Music, I Love the 80s, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Top Ten, Headbanger's Ball, CNN, and several others. Seems he's had quite the tv career.
You can search Youtube for Megadeth on Duck Dodgers to check out the entire episode.
What band is the biggest influence on Dave Mustaine?
My friend, that would be the great Led Zeppelin.
I play bass, and it's really frustrating when I cover Poison Was The Cure with my bass sounding too clean. How does Ellefson gets that Slap-pop sound, while using a pick?
David Ellefson uses 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.
Scropion, I heard that Dave Mustaine has black belts in martial arts. What does he have black belts for?
Hello Rodrigo, Dave Mustaine trained under Sensei Benny "The Jet" Urquidez and holds black belts in both Ukidokan Karate and Songham Taekwondo.
Dave's Sensei has the style of karate, kung-fu, aikido, judo, ju-jitsu, taekwondo, Greco-Roman wrestling, Muay Thai boxing and American boxing. So it's all those things rolled into one. It's a nine-style discipline. His second black belt is in Songham Taekwondo and he was an assistant instructor in that style, and then he taught it privately for a while.
In 2007, Dave became a Goodwill Ambassador to the World Taekwondo Federation in Seoul, South Korea and was awarded honorary 4th Dan certificate in the discipline.
Hi Scorpion I would like to ask you, how many is Megadeth's tour books and which is it? Is any chance, that will be some tour book in future?
As always thanks for the answer, Kropis.
Hello Kropis, the following is a list of Megadeth tour books including festival books.
Peace Sells (Japan only)
So Far So Good So What (Japan only)
Monsters Of Rock '88
Clash Of The Titans
Oxidation Of the Nations
Countdown To Extinction
Youthanasia (Europe and Japan only)
Cryptic Writings (Japan only)
Risk (Japan only)
The World Needs A Hero
Blackmail The Universe Tour (North America, Japan & Europe versions)
Gigantour (2005, 2006)
There's bound to be more in the future. ;)
Hello! I have a question for Shawn.
Do you have any snare tuning tips to get your characteristic sound? BTW I love your drumming in the Th1rt3en's version of Black Swan, specially the bridge.
Tuning drums is always subjective - some people like their drums tuned very tight-some very loose, etc. always try to give each drum lug the same amount of rotation for a better chance of the drum being in tune.
Hi, I wanted to know if you know what the design on the front of the Cryptic Writings album means. Or is it just some random artwork? Thanks!
Well Drew, the cover was done by renowned album cover designer Hugh Syme. Mr. Syme has done artwork for such notable artists as Aerosmith, Nevermore, Queensryche, and Rush. Dave Mustaine gave the following description of this ancient symbol.
"It's called a veve ... It's a voodoo symbol... It means that you can enter into a premises, that it's safe and there is no poison. It's a warning telling you where you can and can not go. It's also a direction. Most of the hobos were people who practiced voodoo. They would go from building to building whether it was a shanty or it was a shack. They would go in there and they'd find chalk writings on the wall that told them if it was a safe place. It was usually done with a burnt stick... When I first got the artwork back it was littered with voodoo symbols and all kinds of stuff. I told them that it was too heavy. I didn't want anything on there that would give homage to pagan gods and shit like that. I want it to be about the music. As it is, that symbol right there, we don't really know exactly what the combination of everything is. We know pretty much what the breakdown of each symbol is but it's like crossing different kinds of medications. You take two separate medications and they have a different and combined effect. There might be something where those symbols counter another symbol and turn it into something else."
I am studying classical guitar (like you or Jeff Waters did) in a Fine Arts School. I am doing this, not only because of the influence you are for me, but also for love I have for classical and flamenco music. The problem is, when I play electric guitar, my classical technique is affected and puts me into trouble at school (with my guitar teacher). I want to take some electric guitar lessons, but it is another technique and I don't want to leave my career either, I'm gonna make both. And the question are:
How did you learn electric guitar while you studied classical guitar?
How did you adapt one technique to another?
How can I avoid to show up I'm making both techniques and not make it so noticeable for my classic guitar teacher?
Those are very good questions as I had to deal with that myself. There is no great solution, but I would tell you to remember that if you love the instrument you will be playing it for the rest of your life, and that at any one point there will be a specific focus (ex. Classical, Jazz, Metal, tapping, finger picking etc...). Knowing this, when one area has priority put your focus there (in the big scheme of things 4 yrs focusing on classical won't impact your electric negatively in fact it should benefit it).
Here are the answers to your questions:
"How did you learn electric guitar while you studied classical guitar?"
I still had a band and worked on ideas and concepts with the electric but classical had priority at that time.
"How did you adapt one technique to another?"
These should support one and other (besides the difference of using a pick or finger picking). For example one of the concepts taught in classical guitar is the idea of avoiding compound motions when possible to accomplish the musical idea. This is applicable in all genre's of music.
"How can I avoid to show up I'm making both techniques and not make it so noticeable for my classic guitar teacher?"
I believe your technique should be consistent through both, but remember that you are paying tuition to learn from this teacher, so hopefully he has valuable technical information that will benefit both forms of music.
Good luck, Chris.
After going to my first megadeth concert in mexico city and seeing how all latin america loves meadeth and how megadeth loves latin america. I was wondering, Is there any plan or idea of making a dvd of a latin america tour kind of what Iron Maiden did with its "Flight 666" dvd? it would be just amazing. Seeing how the people of the different latin america countries reacts to megadeth's tunes. Thanks in advance and aguante ]V[EGADET]-[ !!
Sergio, Mexico Megafan
Hello Sergio, all the shows on the recent Latin American tour were filmed and there might possibly be a release of that footage in the future. ;)
I was just wondering, since Dave and David are both Christians; do either of theme have a favourite Bible s,verse? And if so, which one? Mine sis Isaiah 53:5, I have it tattooed on my forearm. Also, someone once told me Iron Maiden's "The Trooper" was Dave's favourite tune. Is this true? If so, why hasn't Megadeth done a killer cover of this awesome song??
L'ove from Canada,
Hi Snake, I caught up with Dave Mustaine and put your questions to him. Here's what Dave had to say...
"I do, but that is personal and it changes. If I did, It would be something like 1 Col. 1:13, or Psalm 109:8. The obvious ones like Revelations and Proverbs are all over.
While I love Iron Maiden, I have never said i had a favorite. ;)"
Hi Scorpion, I've a question for Chris Broderick.
Chris, I know that you endorse engl powerball amps, while using Marshall pre amps and speakers live in Megadeth. But you also use fractal audio axe fx ii systems and the amp models and patches which come with it. How do you find the comparison between tones on the fractal with the engl amp you endorse, and what is your stance on the Digital fx versus valve amps. Also is an amp required (like any engl or Marshall head) when you have an axe fx powered by say a Marshall power amp.
Any response to this would be great,
Owen Catterall, Ireland
I would first state that this question has been out there for a long time now, however it is only now becoming relevant because until Fractal came around there was no comparison to the original. I would say that tube amps and Fractal Axe's compare favorably to each other, but when you throw in the convenience of all that the Fractal can do, it makes it the better choice for touring. I will always have my favorite amps around however, to make sure that I haven't strayed to far from their tone because with all of the tonal possibilities in the Axe Fx it's not hard to go over board Ahahahha.
Take care, Chris.
I have a question for David. "The System Has Failed", "United Abominations" or "Endgame". Which album that was recorded during your absence in the band you think is best and why this one?
Michal from Poland
Hi Michal, I caught up with Mr. Ellefson this morning and this is what he told me after I put out your question to him.
"Actually, I like all of them for different reasons as I like certain songs on each of them, too. I'd say "Endgame" seems to be the most cohesive for me as it usually takes a band a couple of records to really start to gel together. Plus the production is really powerful on that album, too."
..and there ya have it! ;)
I just want to know how true is the picture that is running in the internet where dave is playing a dean bloodstorm signature Michael Amott
(MARQUIS OF DISCORD)
Yes, Dave Mustaine is playing a Dean Michael Amott Signature Tyrant Bloodstorm in the photo you are inquiring about. Dave played the guitar at the Dean Guitars 2010 NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) Jam at The Grove in Anaheim, California on January 15, 2010.
Dave and Megadeth were not scheduled to perform at the all-star Jam, but because Dave, bassist James LoMenzo and Shawn Drover were in attendance at the venue (socializing backstage no doubt), they were invited up on stage along with Steve Smyth (Forbidden, Nevermore, Dragonlord, Testament, Vicious Rumors), and using borrowed gear they played "Symphony Of Destruction"!
Michael Amott (Arch Enemy), who was also performing that night, loaned Dave his guitar for the performance. So there ya have it! Dave Mustaine did indeed play a Dean Bloodstrom one night... and one night only.
Hi Scorpion, I have a question for David E.
I was wondering if he will ever do some clinics outside US (or ask to Jackson/Hartke to do it), maybe in Europe, because I would be really really happy to see him out of stage and discuss about music and playing style.
"MetalFrancis" on both forums
Hi Francesco, David does have some signings coming up in future travels and possibly some clinics too. He always enjoys doing them and will keep you posted soon! ;)
I was wondering what inspired Dave to write (specifically the riffs in) the song "Killing Is My Business And Business Is Good." I find it to be an unusual, yet compelling piece of metal for a couple reasons:
1. It's tonal center seems to be in C# (not a common key for metal songs in E standard tuning)
2. It doesn't make much use of pedal notes - the riffs for the verse and intro have a lot of motion and create tension without repeating one note over and over
3. Maybe it's just the way that Gar played the drums, but the song almost swings. Swing is a given in Jazz, but in metal??? And yet, the song's aggression and metal integrity is just as strong as any other metal song.
I'd love to know the back story on this unusual, but very compelling metal tune. It's one of my all-time favorite Mustaine compositions.
"eschoendorff" at the Megadeth forums and the Megadeth Cyber Army
Hello Ed, I caught up with Dave Mustaine over the weekend and put your question over to him. Here is what he had to say...
"That is the beauty of not knowing what you are doing. Then when it is time to start following rules, you dont care about the ones you break, if you dont know yer breaking them.
Rest in peace Gary Samuelson."
yesterday I was looking at the picture of the album '' the world needs a hero''.
In that picture there's a man bleeding and vic rattlehead is upon him.. is Dave Mustaine that man?
Manuela G, From Bogotà - Colombia
Hello Manuela, yes, "The World Needs A Hero" features Dave Mustaine on the front cover with Vic Rattlehead emerging from his innards. The cover was designed by award-winning graphic/album cover artist Hugh Syme.
Hey, Scorps! I've always been very intrigued by the song Diadems, not only because of the lyrics but because of the sound of it, too. I wanted to know, what inspired it? Has it been played live?
Keep rocking! Agustina, from Argentina :)
Hi Agustina, the 1990 movie "Ghost" inspired Dave Mustaine to write the song "Diadems".
How do you keep songs you've played a gazillion times fresh? Songs like Holy Wars/Punishment Due, Hangar 18, In my darkest hour etc. You guys always kill it live and I know you guys try to play what us fans want to hear but I was just curious if you every get tired of playing a song each night out.
Thanks for the life time of great music!
A great song is still a great song, no matter how many times you've played it!!
I was just wondering, does the band ever stray from concert pitch? Do they use any altered tunnings ever? I know Chris once said in an interveiw he uses the same guitar from start to finnish in a show unless something goes wrong.
Hi Lu-Jean Wickens, the band only uses standard A440 concert pitch.
I was wondering if it would be possible that in the next tour to México, Megadeth could play Countdown To Extinction album? I heard they are playing it in Chile.
Greetings from México, Jorge.
It has just been announced that Megadeth will be playing two shows in Mexico, one in Mexico City on September 19 and the other in Guadalajara on September 21. The band will be playing the entire "Countdown To Extinction" album at both these shows!
The band will also be playing the "CTE" album in its entirety in Santiago, Chile on September 7, Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sept 14 and Cordoba, Argentina on September 16!