Dave Mustaine has joked that he plays tracks by his former band Metallica for fun when he’s sitting around the house.
But he’s also admitted that every guitarist he brought into Megadeth were hired because they challenged him.
Mustaine tells Pensado’s Place: “Each guitar player I’ve worked with over the years, I’ve gotten because they were better at soloing than I was. I’m pretty confident with my rhythm playing.
“I didn’t want someone who sounded just like me – I wanted the two to dovetail together. If you add white and white it’s still white. If you add white and black you can start to change the colours. As you add colours into the palette you change the songs.”
And he’s as passionate about playing guitar as he ever was. “The guitar’s helped me say things I can’t say with my mouth,” he explains. “I say it with my hands. When you play a piece of music and someone else can go, ‘I feel what you feel,’ you’ve made a really good bond with somebody.”
Mustaine believes those who are only interested in becoming rich out of music won’t last. “People are going to know – and you’re gone,” he insists. “I was homeless for a very long time because I was in it for the music. That’s still my credo.”
He suspects some fans might be surprised at the breadth of material he listens to outside rock and metal, including country music. “I’m forced to listen to country at home, but I don’t mind it that much,” he says. “I listen to classical music. I listen to jazz when I’m driving because it makes me not want to drive people off the road.”
And asked what music he’ll “noodle on” and just play for fun at home, Mustaine replies: “Play for fun? Metallica songs!”
Megadeth are scheduled to start work on their 15th album next month. The latest lineup of the band hasn’t been confirmed after the departures of guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover last year.