From MTV's Headbangers Blog:
On Friday, we’ll post a podcast interview with Dave Mustaine of Megadeth. During the interview, we discussed the recent departure of guitarist Glen Drover, how he was replaced by Chris Broderick, the lineup for 2008’s Gigantour, how Sounds of the Underground are taking the year off, the resurgence of thrash metal and much, much more. Here’s a Q&A excerpt of what you’ll hear on the podcast:
Headbangers Ball Blog: When did you start seeing signs that Glen Drover might not be happy with what he was doing in the band?
Mustaine: You know, out of respect for Glen, I’m not gonna really talk too much about that. He was having some stuff that he was dealing with, and we’re talking about someone who left for personal matters. He didn’t get into it, so why should I? I frankly don’t know what [made him want to leave] other than what he told me, which is he wanted to leave to be with his family. Now, Glen is the brother of our drummer, and out of just sheer stupidity you would talk shit about an exiting member when he’s got a sibling in your band, so I’ve got nothing to say. And even if I was mad a Glen, which I’m not, I wouldn’t say anything about it. Glen is a talented player, and he had given the thumbs up to Chris Broderick coming in, and [his brother] Shawn [Drover] is the one who even recommended Chris Broderick. So, I was really excited.
Glen was influenced a lot by Chris Poland, and we don’t play a lot of Megedeth from the Chris Poland era. Chris was totally influenced by Marty Friedman, who we play a lot of music from. It was the longest lineup, and for subsequent guitar players after Marty left, I tried to find people who sounded a little more like him than just kind of going in whatever direction I wanted to.
There was no real rhyme or reason between the choices of a player like Chris Poland, and then jumping to someone like a Jeff Young and then jumping to Marty Friedman. It wasn’t like I was advancing or progressing or following any kind of educational graph to get from Chris to Marty. The good thing now is every song is ready to go. Chris has been down here playing the songs with me. We play them in slow-mo, we film them on video cameras and we’re going over every single note – so much so that we even corrected things that bass and drums were doing wrong while we were doing rehearsal here prior to leaving for the tour. We got deep down in there and found a bunch of stuff that made it even tighter. I loved playing with Glen. This is a new chapter. I think we’ve taken it up a level. I appreciate Glen helping me find Chris. Now it’s time to move on.
Headbangers Ball Blog: Were you surprised by Glen’s decision to leave?
Mustaine: Not really because… Well, you know what, I can’t say anything bad. I don’t want to. Just leave it at that. No I wasn’t ’cause I had heard from his own brother that he said a few times that he had second thoughts, and I didn’t push it. And I’m thoroughly thrilled with Chris.
Headbangers Ball Blog: Did you consider any other players besides Chris Broderick?
Mustaine: He was the guy that had been recommended. Sean Drover and I were joking around because we said this is the quickest replacement turnaround in the hiring of a musician in Megadeth history because there was less than 24 hours from when I heard to when I actually got the new guy.
Headbangers Ball Blog: How did you know he was right for the band?
Mustaine: I went onto YouTube and I saw the clip of him doing five octave arpeggios with both hands. And I thought, “Oh, my God, that’s great.” But then I also thought, “Well, [Shrapnel Records Founder] Mike Varney has dozens of guys that can do that. They just sit in a room all day long, have no life, are acne farmers and play guitar. Couldn’t do a solo to save their life that wasn’t their own. Obviously, he’s a ripping, great, brilliant guitar player – better than me, but…” And then I clicked on the thing underneath it of him playing a classical part and I went, “Oh, my god. We hit gold.” [Also], Chris is a good guy. He’s humble, he’s very confident. He’s an aggressive player. He’s bringing new vibrancy and life to these songs and I’m really glad that this whole thing happened.
Headbangers Ball Blog: You mentioned Chris reminds you of Marty Friedman, but what do you think he’s going to actually add to the Megadeth picture?
Mustaine: It reminds me a lot of when Ozzy found Randy Rhoads.
Headbangers Ball Blog: That’s a pretty big statement.
Mustaine: Yeah, I’m pretty excited right now. I mean, I don’t know if he’s going to influence the next record or if he’s going to do a few shows and quit. But I look at it like this right now: We’ve had some really, really tight, tight rehearsals here at the house. And it was just fantastic.
Headbangers Ball Blog: Let’s talk about Gigantour. You’ve got In Flames, Children of Bodom, Job For a Cowboy and High on Fire on the bill. How did you choose these bands?
Mustaine: In Flames was a band I wanted to play with after the second Gigantour. I started hearing more and more about them, and I thought they would be good to look at. And Children of Bodom I had talked to for the first one and wanted them to be on with Dream Theater, but I had heard that their frontman Alexi [Laiho] and [Dream Theater guitarist] John Petrucci had some words somehow, so it wasn’t meant to be.
Headbangers Ball Blog: High on Fire are a tremendous band, but one that maybe isn’t as technically oriented as Children of Bodom and In Flames. Is Gigantour still about showcasing musicianship, or is it now more about getting the best and most innovative talent?
Mustaine: It’s not that it’s now about anything different than it’s always been. Gigantour’s about spirit. It’s been about the things that we feel inside of us when go to a concert and everything’s going right. With Job For A Cowboy, I heard them, I thought they were really aggressive. Now people say, “What about the musicianship?” Well, let’s not forget, Alexi is a brilliant guitar player. In Flames may not have the same kind of guitar wunderkind that Children of Bodom does, but Megadeth does. In fact, Megadeth has two really great guitar players.
Headbangers Ball Blog: When we were talking before the interview, you mentioned something about there being no Sounds of the Underground this year.
Mustaine: I did say that.
Headbangers Ball Blog: Is that because they didn’t want to compete with Gigantour?
Mustaine: No, I did not say that. I said that they had given us a compliment and said that they weren’t going out this year because I think they wanted to get some of the talent that we have. I think think that they were looking at Children or In Flames. For whatever reason [they’re not having the tour this year]. But the bottom line is it’s cool to see that we’re trudging through and we’re having integrity and the bands are good and the music is happening and we’re gonna have fun, man.
Check back on Friday for the full podcast interview with Mustaine.