Dave Mustaine is intense. His band Megadeth pairs oppositional forces -- aggressive, machine-gun rhythms with near-pop melodies -- and similarly Mustaine's personality seems a yin-yang contradiction of simmering rage and family values.
On the road with the fourth Gigantour, which hits Gibson Amphitheatre tomorrow, February 24, Mustaine remains characteristically outspoken about, well, pretty much everything. Topics discussed include Rick Santorum and birth control in Africa.
How's the tour going?
Fabulous. Best Gigantour yet...The talent, I believe, has just congealed into this really great package.
Last night, somebody came into our dressing room, and he says to us, "I've been coming here for years, and that's the quietest I've ever heard anybody mix a band, but you could hear every single note you guys played." And I felt like saying, "Well, duh, we're going on after Motörhead, who plays very, very, very loud." We're a finesse band. We don't need volume to make our point...
I just love my freedom out here right now. It's so neat. My wife's been out here with me the whole time. We've just been having fun watching TV -- watching cooking shows and crap. And watching those dudes that bust open storage lockers...Wish my whole family was out here, but one of them's in school, and the other one works now. [My son] Justis actually has two jobs and goes to college now. That's a great thing to hear as a dad when you've got a 20-year-old. Instead of, "Yeah, Dad, I just pierced my eye, and I have an STD, and I've got a record now at the police station."
Said the former hell-raiser.
Yeah, but as bad as I was, I'm able to share that with Justis...Instead of saying, "Don't do this," say, "This is what I did, and this is what happened, and here's an alternative to do for that."
There's so many houses without a dad that it's just terrible. I mean, you know how they used to say there should be a license to have a baby? Well, as far-fetched as that sounds, I really think that, if the parents aren't going to stick together, they shouldn't make that kind of commitment to life. I watch some of these shows from over in Africa, and you've got starving women with six kids. Well, how about, you know, put a plug in it? It's like, you shouldn't be having children if you can't feed them.
You're very open about your Christian faith. Often, that seems like a topic that's off-limits in everyday conversation.
Yeah, that's because most people don't really have a belief. They kind of are wading in the kiddie pool. I don't push it on anybody. I never have. I think that's one of the reasons that people don't mind talking to me about it.
Even if you don't believe in God and you don't believe in faith, you've got to understand, when Israel became a country again, that was a prophecy in the Bible that came true, and the Bible was written so many hundreds of years ago. Also, any of the stuff that it says in there about the end times -- that stuff's really happening right now. Look what's happening over in the Middle East. It's crazy.
You seem to have embraced the idea of Megadeth being a political band. What are your thoughts on the upcoming Presidential election?
I wouldn't vote for Obama. I didn't vote for him last time, thank God, so I have no responsibility for this disaster that's happening to our country. And watching the primaries with the Republicans, I think probably the classiest guy out of all of them is Rick Santorum.
I didn't know who Rick Santorum was, and I kind of thought he was the quiet guy, but he was just kind of waiting his turn. And when he did talk, he was very eloquent. I think the thing that sold me on him was when he opted to miss something to go back and be with his daughter, who was very sick. That showed me that family is so important to him, and it showed his integrity. So, that's the guy that -- if he makes it -- that's the guy I want to vote for.
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[Editor's Note: Subsequent to this interview, Mustaine clarified that he has not endorsed any Presidential candidate.]
Gigantour, featuring Megadeth, Motörhead, Volbeat, and Lacuna Coil arrives at the Gibson Amphitheatre tomorrow night. It is sold out.