Dave Mustaine: “A Lot of Country Guitarists Are Metalheads Who Couldn't Get a Gig”

(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

When Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine made the move to Nashville recently, he discovered what a lot of musicians have discovered: that the city is packed to the gills with incredibly talented musicians.

Just head to Robert’s Western World on a Saturday night, and you'll see what we mean.

Anyway, he's also come to the conclusion that a lot of smokin' country guitarists are—apparently—metal guys who switched to country because they couldn't the metal gig of their choice.

"Metal guys, they're pretty advanced with their playing," Mustaine recently told Q104.3. "And when you watch country players, a lot of times they're metal players that couldn't get a gig so they settled for country. Every single [country] band that I've met, any of the guitar players are like, 'Oh man, I'm a huge fan of yours!' It's like, 'What?'

"Some of the performers too, they're big fans, they love metal music. I'm excited about that because I like their music; it's not the music I would want to have with me on a desert island because I'm a metal guy, but I totally appreciate and respect the music.

"And my daughter's pursuing a country music career in Nashville, she's very successful. I've met a lot of these people. The guy who produced couple of our biggest records [1997's Cryptic Writings and 1999's Risk]—Dann Huff—just won Producer of the Year this year for the CMTs" [fan-voted Country Music Television awards].

You can watch Dave's daughter—Electra Mustaine—perform Megadeth's "À Tout le Monde" in 2013 below.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.