During a recent conversation with The Metal Voice, Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine was asked whether the current political climate has inspired any of the lyrics on the band’s upcoming new album.
“I think right now that the state of affairs in the world, it’s so horrible – it’s just so horrible.
“People are so mean to each other. There used to be a time in my nation where when people voted, they didn’t tell anybody who they voted for, and now it’s almost like a badge of honor.
“On the flip side of that, you’re going around talking about somebody that you voted for and you’re in the midst of people who don’t like that person, and they’re your friends, and they attack you because of a vote that you made? Then they’re not really your friends.
“America is a republic – it’s not a democracy. It’s run as a democracy, but a democracy… my understanding is just one leader; we have three branches of government.
“And I don’t wanna get into a history [lesson] or class of political science, but for me, I see that there’s so many differences between my government… and even our wonderful neighbors, our Canadian neighbors – there’s differences. So it makes us both unique and beautiful and wonderful to be individual.
“But if I’m singing a song and I’m saying, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ve got this problem, and I’ve got this problem,’ and you’re sitting over in, say, Kathmandu [the capital city of Nepal], you’re saying, ‘You know what? I don’t understand what it’s like to have a car, so what do I care that you have car problems?’
“Some of the kids that we play to in India, my heart just goes out to them – I love them so much because I see how much they sacrifice to come see us play.
“We played in Brazil one time and we got a promoter that was a really bad guy. He was charging the fans 275 dollars for a concert ticket, just to sit in one little spot there. And I found out and I came unglued.
“We fired the guy and we never worked with him again. ‘Cause the cost of living down there, it was three months’ work to pay for these tickets, and I figured, that is so messed up – that is so messed up.
“So I’ve kind of toned it down a little bit with the political stuff to where it’s more about being a one-world kind of people, about the stuff that affects us as people, not so much as citizens of any government or nation. Why put an unnecessary wall up between us, right?”
Asked about the musical direction of the new material he’s written so far, Mustaine replied:
“Well, I don’t know how to answer that – it sounds like a combination of everything, because it’s music that I’ve written.
“Whenever I write a riff, if I don’t like it, I don’t record it. If I do record it, I save it. And if I don’t use it now, I’ll use it at some point. So a lot of the stuff on the record – there’s a complete finished song left over from [the previous Megadeth album, 2016’s] ‘Dystopia’ that I forgot we did.
“When you’re in the studio and you’re doing 16 songs and you’re working your ass off every day, some things slip through the cracks. So we’ve got a huge head start on the record.
“Kiko [Loureiro, guitar] just came out. Dirk [Verbeuren, drums] was out before him. David Ellefson [bass] will be visiting me shortly to start playing some bass.”