In a revealing new interview published by Forbes, Mustaine said that he reached out to Dickinson following his diagnosis in 2019 as he hoped that Maiden’s frontman, who had himself been diagnosed with cancer in 2014, might be able to offer some guidance.
“It’s not like I have a whole Rolodex of rock friends that sing heavy metal music that have throat cancer,” Mustaine joked, “so my choices were limited.”
“Although we’re not super close, I consider [Bruce Dickinson] to be someone I look up to,” says Mustaine. “He basically told me… surround yourself with good, upbeat, positive people, places and things and try not to cause any unnecessary stress on yourself.”
“When you’re a frontman in one of the biggest bands in the galaxy, you don’t really have to tolerate the frontman of the other bands very much, but he’s always been super kind to me and very… I don’t want to say ‘gentlemanly’, because I don’t want anyone to think that he’s not a bad motherfucker! I was pretty proud of Bruce after speaking with him.”
“I’ve had a lot of these challenges, but this, by far, was one of the gnarliest ones,” he admits. “Not to try and be glib about what was going on, because it certainly was serious stuff, but I stayed focused. I listened to the doctors, prayed a lot, took care of myself and had a great support group.”