Dave Mustaine was asked by Guitar World on what his thoughts were upon hearing the final version of Megadeth’s 1985 debut album “Killing Is My Business” for the first time, to which he replied:
“I wasn’t really pleased with it, because we had had such a small budget to make the record. And this was going to be our first shot doing something as Megadeth.
“And seeing as I’d already had some bad dealings out of the chute back in New York [with Metallica], I’d already started to become very skeptical.
“So when it came time to actually sit down with the record, I remember I was in my little apartment, and I don’t know what was more disappointing – the artwork or the way the album turned out musically.
“But I really didn’t know the nuances that were involved in making a record, like mastering and all that stuff. And sadly, I didn’t have the clout at the time to pull rank and say, ‘Look, I wanna use a better this or a better that.’
“And probably the most important thing was I didn’t have the experience in the studio, period, to say, ‘Guys, this doesn’t sound right. You have to fix this.’ Now I can, because I’ve learned so much along the way.
Regardless, ‘Killing Is My Business’ is a very fast record. Were you trying to make everything as fast as possible?
“No, actually. We weren’t setting out to do that. I think that would have been a bit predictable. For the most part, the songs were written, and then, yeah, we would adjust them to the point where they were as fast as possible.
“But then we’d settle them back a bit into the pocket. So you’d take a song to a point where you’d gone as far as you possibly could and then just kind of bring it back in.
“Because I think when you have a great riff, there’s probably a window of about 10 beats per minute that you can experiment in. You can go a little above or a little below. But if you get too far off, the hook will go and it won’t come back.”