Jul 052010

Against my better judgment and most of my principles, two days ago I watched the video of the “Big Four” performing on stage together in Sofia, Bulgaria on June 22. In fairness to me, it’s not like I searched for it. I was just scrolling through the latest drivel on Blabbermouth, looking for the occasional item of interest that does occasionally lurk within the drivel, and there it was. All I had to do was click the “play” button.

Still, I paused.   A long time.   For one thing, although I still like Slayer (and “like” is about all the enthusiasm I can muster), Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax have no current relevance to me. The fact that they broke major ground once upon a time doesn’t mean it makes sense for me to listen to their music today, when there are so many other bands I’d rather hear. For another thing, I wasn’t a slobbering fan of most of those bands even when they were current.

And for a final thing, I’ve just grown sick to death of reading about this whole “Big Four” tour. For purposes of this NCS blog, I feel compelled to keep up with current events in metaldom, but to hunt for things that really do interest me, I’ve had to pass through a fecal waterfall of interviews, press releases, and blogger babble about this fucking tour. Enough already!

And for a final, final thing, I knew if I watched the damn video I’d have to see Dave Mustaine.

But I watched it anyway. And as jaded as I am about these bands and this tour, I did get a mild thrill out of seeing all four of them on stage playing together. Certainly not because of the music, because “Am I Evil?” is a forgettable song, and no one in this performance went out of their way to turn it into something better.

That was two days ago. And then yesterday came, and I saw a transcription of an interview Dave Mustaine gave on July 1 in Vienna, and I was vividly reminded all over again why that guy makes me wanna projectile vomit and why I should have passed right over that video without pressing play.    (unfortunately, there’s more after the jump . . .)

Here are the most grotesque parts of the interview as excerpted by Blabbermouth. Unlike Blabbermouth, I have to add a little commentary, since that’s more sanitary than projectile vomiting.

On whether the “Big Four” tour and the June 22 joint live performance was something special for Mustaine or if it was just “another Megadeth tour”:

Mustaine: “Of course it’s special. It’s historical. It’s life-changing for a lot of people that were there. And I think the bragging rights for people who actually witnessed it versus somebody who saw it on YouTube or saw it in a movie theater or is gonna see it on the DVD that’s coming up… they weren’t there. So to actually watch it was a fantastic thing.”

If you know of a more unadulterated, overweening, bombastically egotistical display of self-love — well, please just keep it to yourself.  A near-death experience or a sex-change operation is “life-changing.” Watching a bunch of aging headbangers blunder through a mediocre song? Not even close. Except in Dave Mustaine’s fantastically self-important mind.

What’s that you say Dave?  You weren’t finished?  Well, pardon me.  Please do continue.

“Standing up on stage where I was, being able to look next to me, on either side being flanked by so much tremendous talent, it was great. It’s just one of those things where in the moment it doesn’t seem as enormous as it really is. After the fact, you look back and you’re like… You know like when you survive a car crash, you don’t think it’s such a big deal until you watch it in slow motion, you’re thinking, ‘Oh, my god, I can’t believe I survived.’ So going up on stage was really, really amazing.”

Really? Playing that song as part of the Big Four was like surviving a car crash? In what sense? I mean, I can understand how getting through the video of that song would make a person feel like they’d just survived a car crash. But honestly Dave, I think you were right the first time. It really wasn’t such  big deal — except in your own fantastically self-important mind.

Oops — still not finished?  Well, if you insist.  Please carry on.

“Especially when I looked back and saw how everybody was embracing everyone and how I think that… If you were there, you would have heard when, through all the goodbyes and everything at the end, when James[Hetfield] and I embraced, the whole audience went [wild], ’cause it’s what they’ve been waiting for. It’s what I think James and I both have been waiting for, too, so it’s a good thing.”

Well, you know, I wasn’t there myself. So, you know, I don’t have those bragging rights you were talking about, and like, I couldn’t hear the crowd going wild, just watching it on the little video player like I was doing, so, you know, it wasn’t the fantastic thing it must have been for all those Bulgarians who were really there in the audience, all those people waiting their whole, undoubtedly insignificant lives just to witness that one life-changing embrace by you and that other guy — and I’m sure that other dude knows just how fucking lucky he was to share the stage with you, because, as you say, I’m sure he was just waiting to be taken in your arms like that, just like the audience was waiting to see it, and it must have just been life-changing for all concerned (except for you, because you were the life-changer).

On whether the “Big Four” tour will hit the U.S.:

Mustaine: “That’s up to METALLICA and their camp, because I think it’s fairly obvious, for myself… it doesn’t need to be the ‘Big Four’ for me to wanna play with James and Lars [UlrichMETALLICA drummer]. I think if the ‘Big Four’ [tour in the U.S.] doesn’t happen, certainly a MEGADETH/METALLICA tour would be great — whether it’s just the two of us or if we have a support group or something like that.

But yeah, I think it was really fun because of what we stand for in heavy metal. Me and James are like the ‘big daddies’ of this whole thing — we were the two guitar players that set the wheels in motion when the first tapes were made of METALLICA. I think it’s exciting now to look back and see all the millions of bands that have been created off what me and James did sitting in a room in Norwalk [California].”

Dave, you really nailed it there. I’m glad someone is finally giving you the credit you deserve, even if it’s you who’s doing it.

Finally, someone who can see the world with clear eyes and recognize that all those “millions” of metal bands out there owe their careers and their music, not to their own drive and creativity, but to you.

Finally, someone who’s honest enough to say what we all know in our heart of hearts, that all those “millions” of metal bands were created off what you accomplished (with a small amount of help from that other dude). All those bands don’t even know how fucking lucky they are that you made their musical lives possible. I’m glad someone finally paid tribute where tribute is due.

So, here’s to you Big Daddy. Have a beer on me.

All done now, Dave?  Yes?  Well, thank god for that. Because if I’d had to read even one more line of this world-class narcissism, I think I would have had an attack of explosive diarrhea concurrently with the projectile vomiting.

I think I first saw the term “Megadick” applied to Mustaine in one of Axl Rosenberg’s posts for MetalSucks about 3 years ago, on the occasion of yet another world-class display of self-congratulation by Big Dave. Axl’s concluding line is just as fitting today as it was then: “Dave, pal, baby: maybe it’s time to shut your big fat fucking mouth and just concentrate on, y’know, the music. Whatta ya say to that?”


Look, we don’t devote much space here at NCS to venting or slagging. When we don’t have something positive to say, we usually just wait until we do. But every now and then, I’ve just got to get something off my chest for fear that if I don’t, it will fester and grow and then erupt out of my abdomen in a great spray of blood like those vicious larval creatures in the Aliens movies. Or something like that.

So, if you think I went a bit overboard today, please forgive me. We’ll be back to more normal fare tomorrow with a new album review. And just to show there’s no hard feelings on my part for those of you who worship the ground Dave Mustaine walks on, here’s the damned video of the “Big Four” in Sofia, for however long this embed code works. As for watching it, let your conscience be your guide.

  10 Responses to “MEGADICK (TO THE MAX)”

  1. Where do I start with this. First off, I have always been a Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer fan. Never did care much for Anthrax. Metallica will always hold a special place in my heart, because through them I found metal. Now, don’t get me wrong, the shit they put out after …And Justice for All is not as good as their first 4 albums. St. Anger was a bad album, but at least it was more metal than the craptacular load and reload. Death Magnetic was better than all 4, but it still leaves one wanting. So basically, the first four albums have a regular rotation in my playlist, but not much else. Even after all the crap, they are still, and probably will always be one of my favorite bands. They kinda remind me of the first person you fall in love with. They may break your heart, you may hate them now, but you can’t help to think fondly of the good times you spent together.

    Slayer haven’t been the same since Seasons in the Abyss (which in my opinion is their best album). World Painted Blood, like Death Magnetic is a return to form of sorts, but, again, leaves one wanting. Kerry and Jeff just seemed to try to hard with World Painted Blood.

    On to Megadeth. I have never liked Dave Mustaine. I couldn’t stand listen to him whine and complain. He always sounded like a petulant 5 year old who didn’t get to sit at the adult table during a holiday meal. However, he did put out 3 solid albums, Rust in Peace, Symphony of Destruction and Youthansia. (Peace Sells had exactly 1 decent song….Peace Sells.)

    This brings me to all the build up for the Big 4 tour. I was excited to see them on stage (minus Anthrax, Testament would have been a much better choice). But the media overload has been nauseating. I am like you, I just can’t take it anymore. And if Mr. Fucking Mustaine would have worked to get this concert done in America, we could have seen it live in person. We weren’t given the fucking chance. So don’t feed me that bullshit about it being a “life-changing” experience. (As an aside, go read some of his blogs on his Myspace page; Narcissism is confirmed. They are freaking pathetic.)

    Anyway, I am sick of Dave. He just needs to shut the fuck up and be grateful he got to ride the coattails of Metallica’s success to make a living we would freaking kill for. I nominate him for the Dildo Douchebag of the Decade award.

    • I second your nomination and move that we select the award by acclamation!

      A really thoughtful comment, and I’ll be curious to see if anyone else has a different take on the more recent output of Metallica and Slayer. Of the Big Four, Metallica also holds the most prominent position in my own listening history, for pretty much the same reason it does for you. And there’s a handful of their early songs I still go back to every now and then. But many, many bands are putting out much better music than those dudes these days, and Hetfield has also fallen prey to the disease of self-importance, though a milder case than the raging infection that is Dave Mustaine.

  2. I agree with the above poster – If Testament was playing instead of Anthrax, I MAY have went.

    I do agree with Dave is a whiny little bitch. Honestly, you HAVE made some good music. Sure, you probably DID influence hundreds of musicians. I dont really think anyone can get that ‘original’ anymore. Everything HAS been done. You can only put a twist on past creations.

    And Metallica? I’ve TRIED getting into them, I really have. I just CAN’T. Lars is a fucking HACK! I dont like the rest of the lineup either.

    I think Dave can be, and is a little bit of an asshat. (Little bit? Scratch that. He’s a big one) He constantly over-credits himself due to the fact he assumes he had the hardest time a musician ever had. Sure, you got big, you created GREAT music. I love most of Dave’s music – Megadeth got me INTO metal.

    Now, Dave has hired some SHIT lineups, and his sound has progressed into something unrecognizable.

    Thrash metal holds a special place in my heart. I will always love ‘true’ thrash. It’s my roots. No matter how far it has strayed, died, gone underground, or dissapeared I still LOVE it. That being said – There comes a time when you have to retire the axe. No point in beating a dead horse.

    I DO have to contradict what Deaths-Embrace posted. I do NOT think Dave rode Metallica’s coattrails. He carved his own path, and did a decent job at that.

    In my own opinion – Megadeth AND Metallica with Slayer would be a great show to play live – if they played the classic. I think it is time though for someone to stay away from the media, and take a break.

  3. Hmm, where to start…

    When I started getting in metal, Metallica and Megadeth were among the bands I got into first, then Anthrax, but never was real big into Slayer. I liked ’em, and still kind of do, but I don’t have the SLAYYYYYYYEEEEEEERRRRRR!!! gene in me. As already mentioned, Testament should also be considered at the top of the heap, as well as Exodus. But why is it only the big four? I suppose you have to stop somewhere, but still…

    That said, I like Megadeth a little bit more than Metallica. I think that overall, they had better songs (not to say Metallica didn’t/doesn’t) and the only thing keeping them “second” was the revolving door lineup in the beginning, plus Metallica got more word of mouth promotion than Megadeth did. As far as their albums go, I think both bands have a similar track record of awesome, good, okay and meh. Speaking of… Peace Sells isn’t all that great (but it’s not terrible either), while So Far, So Good… So What! is IMO vastly underrated.

    I know some people hate the guy, but I think when you sit down to look at it, Mustaine is one of the guys who helped bring metal to another level. Just imagine what he and Hetfield could have done together post Kill ‘Em All, beyond the elements Metallica kept knowingly and whatever influence Dave’s time in the band left on them for even longer (which I think is more the case with Master Of Puppets than the band lifting some of Dave’s riffs and ideas). He might not have been in the band for a very long time, but he was there when it mattered.

    Neither band is going to come up with another Master Of Puppets or Rust In Peace, nor should they try to do so – or try to make something like any other albums they’ve done. Well, just look what happened with Load and Reload, the first one’s a decent album, but was too much of a departure for most and Reload… well, at least it wasn’t like St. Anger. Death Magnetic isn’t the second coming of Metallica, but it’s a pretty good album, combining the best parts of Metallica post Justice with elements up to that point.

    As for Megadeth, they followed a similar path, but took a bit longer to derail, then they got back on track. Unfortunately, that also came with more lineup changes and now a bit of replacing the replacement syndrome that seems to be happening more and more these days with long running bands (as in, David Ellefson rejoining).

    If you would’ve said 5 or 10 years ago that this was going to happen, it would have seemed like a joke. The bruised egos were still stinging and getting beyond stuff that happened years ago was harder. I’m glad that they finally managed to get past all the bullshit and realize that it is time to come together, depsite whatever issues there may have been or may still be – and I don’t think they all involve Dave Mustaine. Sure, they might ever get to the point of being good friends, but they don’t really have to.

    And prick or not, even he realizes (and will admit) that if this tour is to keep going and rumble along here in the U.S., it depends on Metallica. Whatever needs to be done to make it happen, they should see to it that it gets done. There may never be another change for the amps to align in this manner. That Anthrax has current issues of its own (again, replacing the replacement syndrome, plus a finished album they’re going to redo because of that) could be the thing that stops this from happening, not Dave Mustaine. Even a Metallica/Megadeth tour, which would seem more likely to happen – and easier to manage, would do.

    And while we’re here, he’s not alone in the prickdom department in this trash soap opera, although his assholism has been the most visible. It’s not like the guys in Metallica, Slayer or Anthrax are without their “moments”. And outside of this circle, there are even bigger pricks in music, with egos that dwarf that of Dave on his worst days.

    • Another great comment on this post. If I thought we’d get this caliber of commentary every time I ranted, I’d rant more often.

      Anthrax might indeed be what stops a Big Four U.S. tour from happening, but my bet is that there are just too many egos in that Big Four box to coexist long enough for such a thing to be organized and pulled off. Inevitably, one of those guys will say something in the press that will be misconstrued by another of those guys (as has happened in the past), and that will be all she wrote.

      • Well, your rant involves a couple bands that most metalheads either really, really love or really, really hate. Metallica and Megadeth are easily among the most visible and well known bands in metal, and that they’re still going and aren’t just going through the motions like some other long lasting bands – even if they aren’t quite the same as in the 80s and 90’s – is a good thing.

        Yeah, words could be twisted around or someone could shoot off their mouth a bit too much (and no, not just the obvious one) and scrap this before it happens. Depends on who catches wind of it and how much they fuck with it. Media tends to make things worse.

        Eventually, the focus on the big four will die down. At least, until they announce that they’re doing it here in North America (and hopefully for more than a couple dates). Then, that’ll be bigger than the Led Zeppelin O2 concert or following Bret Michaels’ current condition.

  4. Metallica was the first real metal band I took a liking to. I never did think Megadeth was that great, even when every uncool kid in Jr. High was wearing thier T-shirts. I listened to a little bit of it. It was okay. As for Slayer and Anthrax, I never liked either of them one bit. Nowadays, I can’t stand listening to any of the aforementioned bands. As a matter of fact, I’m not really into true thrash at all. There are a couple of bands I can tolerate, but as Islander said, the crap those four bands put out singularly makes me want to projectile vomit. In physics, you learn that a certain required amount of Uranium brings critical mass. Four aging thrash metal bands that got to big for thier own knickers is critical mass. The ‘music’ they spew is a Megabomb of epic proportions. But that’s just one guy’s opinion.

    • “Four aging thrash metal bands that got to big for thier own knickers is critical mass.” \m/ \m/
      Yeah, I’m probably not too objective about this either, because straight thrash isn’t high on my list of genre favorites. I do like Exodus, but part of that’s because of the killer live show they put on.

  5. I first got into metal in 1982, when I was 12, and met some metalheads in the appartment complex, they’d let me hang out while they’d spin Venom albums while drinking vodka they’d stolen from the quickie mart. They’d blast Motorhead while firing up Cheech and Chong sized doobies. I got a taste for extreme music thanks to those wasteoids. And there was Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and lots more.

    I was 14 when Ride the Lightning came out. I wish I still had the original Megaforce release. But alas, I don’t. I wore that fucker out until was nothing but static. Megadeth sounded to me like a less creative copycat who were trying to be heavier, but ended up just sounding bad. Anthrax were instantly forgettable and I never understood why anyone liked them. Slayer had a few good albums, but they just didn’t speak to me.

    But I suppose since I heard Celtic Frost’s Morbid Tales in ’85, Voivod’s RRROOOAAARRR in ’86,then Bathory, Sodom, Coroner, Hellhammer, Sarcofago, Morbid Angel, etc, the music that “The Big Four” made back in the day sounded, to me, as soft and gentle as top 40 pop. My tastes quickly shifted over to the obscure and extreme, and stayed there. The bands I just listed off make up about 50% of my listening to this day.

    The arrogantly titled “Big Four” are has-beens who are now aging men going through a mid-life crisis. Fuck ’em. Metalica are primadonna rock stars. Dave Mustaine is a spineless, brainless, crybaby who writes shitty music. Anthrax just sucks. And Slayer… well shit… where were they in that video? I didn’t see anyone other than their drummer. The Big Four are now Classic Rock. Its like a Summerjam Concert with Lynnrd Skynnrd, Boston, The Eagles, and Bad Company. And who wants that?

    If I could select my Big Four…. Voivod, Celtic Frost, Bathory and Order from Chaos.

    Voivod. I’d bring Piggy back from the dead and get Voivod. I’d bring Quorthon back from the dead and have Bathory join the fun. Order From Chaos, since they’re doing a few reunion shows anyway. And top it off by getting Celtic Frost back together (with Reed St. Mark on drums) and have them tune back up and play pre Cold Lake material. Seriously, they downtuned too far for Monotheist, and when they played the old stuff downtuned it sounded like shit, and it sounds like Tom G. Warrior forgot how to play) .

    And Slaughter Lord… Big Five! No… Wait… And Sodom! Six! And Sarcofago!!!! Bulldozer!!! Graf Spee!!! and and and…….

    So, to sum up, fuck the big four. They’re the new classic rock.

    • Man, Splash, I think you put the final nail in the Big Four coffin.

      The same thing happened to me. I got more extreme in my musical tastes, and the Big Four got comparatively more boring. Stack them up against the other bands in your Big Four/Six/Nine, and their overwhelming egos are even harder to understand. I’ll still listen to early Metallica (rarely), but that’s about it. I MUCH prefer your Big Four.

      I am really getting into Slaughter Lord since I heard the Ares Kingdom cover of “Die by Power”, as well as Sarcofago. Still need to check out Bulldozer and Graf Spee

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