Megadeth: Rust Never Sleeps
GW When you reformed Megadeth around 2004, you initially attempted to resurrect the Rust in Peace lineup. How close was that to becoming a reality?
MUSTAINE Not too close, really. I called up Nick Menza first and told him I was going to try to put the band back together, and he said, “Okay, I’m in.” And then I talked to Marty, and Marty had a bunch of questions that frankly he just didn’t need to know the answers to—things about marketing, recording budgets…stuff like that, that was none of his business. And then when I talked to Dave Ellefson, he had concerns too, and after I hung up the phone, I just had this feeling inside me, like, I’m not going to be able to do this. I’m not going to be able to make these guys happy, and I don’t think they’re going to be able to make me happy.
GW Do you still speak with Marty?
GW How has it been having Dave Ellefson back in the band?
MUSTAINE It’s been wonderful. He was my best friend, and when this whole thing went down between us, what people didn’t see is that I went out to Phoenix and had dinner with him and forgave him. [In 2004, Ellefson filed suit against Mustaine claiming, among other things, breach of fiduciary obligation, libel and emotional distress.] And forgiveness is more about the person doing the forgiving than the person being forgiven. Because the person being forgiven could care less sometimes. But this has been a healing process, and it’s something that Dave and I had talked about several times before he actually came back. And it’s great to have him back. David Ellefson belongs in Megadeth.
GW You’ll continue playing Rust in Peace during this summer’s American and Canadian Carnage dates with Slayer and Testament. Have you considered giving similar treatment to any of your other records?
MUSTAINE [laughs] No! Because it’s not easy. With some of these songs, there are certain nuances where I have to play a syncopated polyrhythm and then sing something completely different over the top of it. It would help if I were schizophrenic, ’cause then one guy could play the guitar and the other could sing. But in all seriousness, we have talked about it. I mean, next summer will be the 25th anniversary of Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? And then the following year is the 20th anniversary of Countdown to Extinction, which is an album that would be interesting to revisit. So we’ll see.
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