|Out to Lunch|
taken from Hit Parader, June 1987
Jodi Beth Summers talks to Dave Mustaine
Does food really make the man? Each month "Hit Parader" finds out by taking metal's biggest stars out to lunch. This month's lunch munchers are those wild and crazy guys in Megadeth.
What's thrash prodigy Dave Mustaine's philosophy of life and Megadeth? "To have fun and get away with as much as I can while I can."
Megadeth henchman (not to mention speed metal beacon) Mustaine is one of metal's most interesting personalities. Behind the macabre lyrical poetry and the quasi-melodic thrash of his music there's a very intelligent guy with a clear and accurate vision of what he wants to accomplish.
Born in the San Diego suburb of La Mesa, California, Dave grew up in the proverbial "broken home". His mom and dad split up when he was young and he didn't get to know his dad until just before the old man died.
His mother and all her family were Jehovah's Witnesses, which is how Dave was raised. Later on he attended Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California, where he studied French, history, cartooning, music and recording theory - and co-founded a band called Metallica. After leaving school and moving to San Francisco, Mustaine bailed out on Metallica just as they were getting their record deal and joined up with David Ellefson, Chris Poland and Gar Samuelson to form Megadeth.
Recently, "Out to Lunch" had a chance to chatter with the real Dave Mustaine over hot dogs, brandy and tortilla chips during a party in Megadeth's honor held at Sam's bar in L.A.
Jodi Beth Summers: Dave, Megadeth is a pretty intense name for a band. How did a nice boy like you think of a moniker like that?
Dave Mustaine: Megadeth represents the annihilation of power. We spell the name phonetically because the meaning to us is the same you get out of the dictionary-it's a hypothetical body count after a nuclear fallout. It's a million deaths, and we want to leave our audience shell-shocked wherever we go.
JBS: As far as your family is concerned, by choosing that name, weren't you adding insult to injury for Jehovah's Witnesses?
DM: It did in a sense, but we've already got a distance between us. Regardless of what I did with my career, I don't think my problems with my family would have been resolved. I did what I did because I wanted to do it. I didn't have any inhibitions or any kind of feelings toward what they thought.
JBS: When did this split between you and your family occur?
DM: I lived with my mom for a long time and I just barely got to know my dad right before he died. After that, I was pretty confused over the whole thing, so I went my own way, away from my family. It was a big fight because they don't really dig what I'm doing. It makes it weird, knowing the religious background that my family believes and what I'm professing in my music.
JBS: Did they send you to Jehovah's Witness school when you were growing up?
DM: I went to a private school like that for about two months. It wasn't my trip, because I've always been pretty well ahead of my grades and sitting in a class with religious people who say, "Brother, can I have a pencil?" wasn't for me. I said to them "Fuck you, get your own pencil!" They didn't dig that.
JBS: Making trouble is just part of your nature, isn't it?
DM: I've always gotten a kick out of defying authority. Just wait, we want to name our next album The Second Coming of Christ.