Dave Mustaine: 'I'd Rather Have My Eyelids Pulled Out Than Listen to Nu Metal'

"It's like, come on, play a solo," Megadeth frontman says.

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Giving the nu metal genre quite a bashing, Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine noted he'd "rather have his eyelids pulled out" than listen to the popular late-'90s style.

Telling Faster Louder how happy he is for the new wave of modern musicians, calling them a "new breed of players, with all these new vocal styles," Dave focused on the past, adding: "They had this wave of metal that came through in the '90s and it was called 'nu-metal,' I don't know if you remember it but it was so bad. I would have rather had my eyelids pulled out."

Asked if it's Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park he's talking about, Mustaine explained: "No, no. I can't even remember their names. Linkin Park, those guys are good at what they do. I have no problems with those guys. But I wouldn't call them nu-metal."

Pinpointing the groups he has issues with, the frontman continued: "I'm talking about the bands that wouldn't do guitar solos. Guys who get out there and they'd do rhythms and stuff but they'd never do a guitar solo. It's like ... come on, play a solo. But apparently solos aren't cool.

"It's just funny because I come from the school of AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, and man, the riff had to be kick-ass, the lyrics had to make sense, and when it was time for the solo, the solo had to rip your face off," Dave said. "And hey I may not be part of the family anymore, right at the forefront ... but I'm the crazy uncle."

Can you think of any bands to prove Mustaine wrong or would you agree that nu metal is plain bad? Let us know in the comments.

282 comments sorted by best / new / date

    benjy118
    Not every genre of guitar orientated music needs solos.
    Jonny92
    Yes. I'm not a fan of Nu Metal either but to have lack of solo's as a reason to hate any genre seems very immature to me. And limits you to only a few streams of guitar music.
    Chronologo
    But I see where Dave's coming from. Metal is clearly distinguished for having solos, I believe that what pisses Dave off is the genre having the word "metal" in it when that word is synonim with guitar soloing.
    Rocknrolla35
    You have a point. But isn't it WAY more aesome, when you get guitar rhythms together with an awesome face-melting solo?
    seance
    Not always. It has to serve the song. Sometimes a song requires little guitar work to be effective.
    bigbabyjack
    Yeah, but first we need to establish the size of your fishtank. Rocknrolla35 mate, nothing is more rocknroll than taking the necessary precautions.
    Krieger91
    Exactly, this is just stupid. I know people who live their lives and breathe music through this philosophy and have always hated it, it's really narrow minded. Then again, the only nu-metal bands I listen to are lots of old Korn stuff, Deftones, basially bands which I consider innovated the genre, incorporated different styles and sounds in it, then got called nu metal, went on doing different and good things and still got called nu metal. But no solos, so it's awful.
    southernsoulo
    H e did specificaly state the wave of nu-metal as not having any real solo work,,and hes right.
    Abacus11
    Absolutely agree. When Megadeth was relevant EVERY rock and metal song had guitar solos (unfortunately) so I see why Mustaine feels that way but you've gotta grow or yes, you end up being the "crazy uncle". Guitar solos should only be included in a song if it has a point... not if it's just to follow a formula.
    Second Rate
    And who decides whether it has a point or is just following a formula? I've been in plenty of metal and rock bands where every song had a solo section, and I don't recall the guys I played with ever just arbitrarily welding it on. Clearly what you're talking about is something subjective and in the ear of the beholder. After all, as the writer... who dictates whether or not the guitar solo in the middle of my epic technical blackened melodic death metal track has a "point" or not? I do, not Abacus11.
    Vermilion314159
    If you included guitar solos because they served the song and not because you were arbitrarily following the "metal formula," than clearly he wasn't ****ing talking about you.
    crazysam23_Atax
    I think he was just saying he likes guitar solos, not that lack of solos was the reason why he hated NuMetal.
    sdjustinr
    Jeez. If your criteria for liking music is that it must contain guitar solos then you're really only hurting yourself. And the people unfortunate enough to know you..
    TheHonestLiar
    I agree with you, but nu metal still sucks. Grindcore doesn't have solos but it is still good.
    qrEE
    Grindcore has solos lol. Maybe not every band but there's plenty out there.
    a.w.mct
    Excellent solos demonstrate extensive knowledge and skill on the guitar. If a band doesn't have solos in any of their songs, I assume it's because theyre not skilled enough to pull of a good solo not because "they didn't feel like it"
    pran.250
    But Linkin Park doesn't do guitar solos...
    BjarnedeGraaf
    Lol i was about to post this... "I'm talking about the bands that wouldn't do guitar solos. Guys who get out there and they'd do rhythms and stuff but they'd never do a guitar solo. It's like ... come on, play a solo. But apparently solos aren't cool" Dude... the only solo Limp bizkit plays is fred durst epic failure...
    LordThon
    You haven't heard the stuff from Gold Cobra, then. Wes decided that Black Light Burns wasn't getting enough attention, so he turned Bizkit into BLB, solos and all.
    Rocknrolla35
    Well, i don't know if Borland played any proper solos on their records, or not, but that Durst epic fail solo makes me think that he had found out about bends just recently, and thought that they are a surefire way to make a good solo.
    Metallidethium
    They had a couple in Minutes To Midnight but nothing intensely technical.
    pran.250
    I don't even consider them as solos.
    Metallidethium
    Well, technically, it's the guitarist playing lead work over the rhythm section where his instrument is most audibly heard so by that definition, it's a solo lol
    Heafymaster
    Minutes to midnight is full of them!
    pran.250
    The only ones that even qualify are "Little Things Give You Away", "What I've Done" and "In Pieces" Even then, it's a stretch to call them solos.
    TryTheKetchup
    Still better than soloing that Fred Dirst do.
    pran.250
    At this point, arguing whether LP or LB has better solos is like arguing which girl has a bigger dick.
    link no1
    "Which girl has a bigger dick" is a valid argument in some parts of the world.
    jordo246
    I'd just like to say Wes Borland kicks what ever that guys name is in Linkin Park, if he's still in Linkin Park.
    Rocknrolla35
    Linkin Park have solos? Show me a Linkin Park song that has a proper solo. The only nu-metal/nu-metal-ish bands, that had at least sSOME proper solos in SOME songs, i can think of are Drowning Pool, SOAD(they ain't quite nu metal i guess), and Biohazard. With all the rapping and the looks(which often was often kinda lame), it's wonder about why nu metal is bashed so much. No offense.
    alfie9000
    vasek.tvrdek
    Oh this video made my day In my opinion, as some people here have already suggested, nu-metal doesn't need a solo. Especially not any shred-oriented madness like in trash metal. So it's not about quality of guitarists.
    Second Rate
    Perhaps you should try listening to a thrash bands that isn't called Metallica, Megadeth, or Testament. "Shred" is hardly commonplace in the Thrash Metal genre. In most thrash songs, if you get a guitar solo... it's usually a few seconds of wang bar noise with a quick flail down the pentatonic scale. True Thrash is far too fast, loose, and chaotic to accommodate Malmsteen style guitar gymnastics.
    Thrash115
    I'd rather have my eyelids pulled out than listen to Super Collider.
    scotty688
    Listen to Kingmaker, it was a great song. Super Collider wasn't as bad as what people blew it out to be.
    pran.250
    Pretty bad by Megadeth standards, though.
    Izzy-Sweet
    Well of course it is, how can you expect a band that releases albums nearly every year to be consistently excellent? And don't give me the old "If it won't always be good, maybe they shouldn't release so much" That's a pointless argument, you'll get the good stuff at the same rate regardless.
    pran.250
    [i]Well of course it is, how can you expect a band that releases albums nearly every year to be consistently excellent? 1980s Maiden and Priest, anyone? Peace Sells and KIMB are a year apart, too.
    1916
    True. It was more plain than bad. Cold Sweat was cool. Talking about solos...
    crazysam23_Atax
    Then clearly you followed the crowd who said it was terrible. Fact is, it's a decent metal album. If it was a new band that released it, people probably would have been ok with it.
    pran.250
    This is exactly the point. If it were a mediocre new band, I'd say it was okay, but I won't buy the album. The problem here is that this is MEGADETH who released the album.
    gdmizzo7
    Fact is, it was a horrible album. I can't see any Megadeth fan as big as me thinking that is even a remotely good or acceptable album.. It had the cheesiest lyrics of any album i've ever heard, from any band. It was bad. Music wasn't completely terrible, and had some cool guitar parts, but every song as a whole sucked. It might sound better live, but on the album it sucks. The reason there is a crowd that says it sucks, is because they are right. Obviously they were Megadeth fans like me. I put this album damn there neck and neck with St.Anger.
    -LAW-
    Somebody play this man Super Collider. I want to see some eyelids pulled out.
    cyclonus
    Well Dave, LP played no guitar solos on their first two albums which were both definitely Nu Metal, not to mention they were one of the biggest names of the movement at the time so you're kind of contradicting yourself by saying you think they're good when you just said you'd rather have your eyelids pulled out than listen to that kind of music
    THEYiftah
    To be fair he might not have fully realized which band linkin park was and mistook them for someone else
    pran.250
    Maybe he praised them for their electronic pop albums...
    cyclonus
    The electronic pop albums aren't even guitar driven, let alone have solos...
    crazysam23_Atax
    Which is probably why he wasn't dissing on them... LP's come a long way from their NuMetal days, and I don't think it's fair to consider them part of NuMetal anymore, as they've purposely distanced themselves from that movement.
    henrihell
    they should've changed the name after 'minutes...'. Makes no sense to make techno under the same name that they used to do metal.
    swave75
    Yeah I really don't think nu metal acts of the late 90's are in that category anymore.
    Niamorg
    Super Collider is better and more metal than Gojira and Strapping Young Lad because it has solos in it... Seems legit. (and yes I'm aware that Gojira and SYL are not nu metal, just talking about his point)
    qrEE
    Strapping Young Lad has solos. And their riffs are no slouch either, they're practically solos in themselves. Examples of full on guitar solos in SYL - We Ride, Decimator, Wrong Side, Far Beyond Metal.
    MaggaraMarine
    Guitar solos for the sake of having guitar solos is just bad. I'd rather listen to a song without a guitar solo than a song that has a generic guitar solo that really adds nothing to the song. Nu metal was more about rhythm. Guitar solos wouldn't fit that kind of music that well. I like how this song uses guitars in an original way - they don't just play basic riffs and solos, they are used as effects in the background. Not all music needs to be guitar oriented and there are lots of ways to use guitars. Guitar's role only as a riff/guitar solo instrument is limiting. Yes, guitar riffs are cool and guitar solos are cool but that doesn't mean that's the only way to use guitars.
    Not having guitar solos is not a reason to hate/like a genre. I'm really not a fan of nu metal either. But I don't really care about genres that much. If it's a good song, I like it, no matter what genre it is.
    Bhaaa
    Thank you for Korn videos. It is more awful than I thought. Witch proves Daves comments. Seriously, listen to that garbage and those monkeys on acid...You must be killing right?
    sykryk
    Metal has always had elitist fans. More so than other genre's in fact. Nu Metal has it's place, like all sub genres of metal. Don't like it - don't listen to it!
    Adyman
    Metal has the most apeshit-going fans. If it's anything else than metal or classic rock, it's shit. And if it's a bit softer, it's shit. You wouldn't like a metal fan to comment on your work if it's not metal. This doesn't apply to every metal fan, ofc.
    Second Rate
    I am a lifelong metal fan, have been in numerous metal bands during my lifetime, and I have NEVER met a metal fan like this mythical breed you describe. The caricature of the average metal fan as a knuckle dragging, drooling, mouth breathing troglodyte who hates every genre of music that isn't metal is a fabrication that exists only in the minds of music magazine editors and alt rockers with some sort of irrational chip on their shoulder. What I've discovered over the years is that guys like yourself only like metal fans when we are apologetic for it. When we fall all over ourselves to reassure you that we like more than just metal by arbitrarily rattling off a list of non metal bands that we like. Well, some of us just aren't willing to eat that carrot. Not having a willingness to jump through your hoop doesn't make one an elitist or closed-minded or whatever other worn out, meaningless, played out term you wanna use. As for Nu Metal. Nu Metal possesses none of the sonic characteristics that define heavy metal. It is the bastard stepchild of Hip Hop and Grunge. It has a pace in the music world, but that place is not in the Heavy Metal genre. I've always found the term "rap rock" to be a more apt description of it.
    The_Dayman
    I can honestly say I've never met a metal fan in real life who hates things simply because they're not "metal" enough. Angry kids on Youtube aren't a good example of a genre's fanbase.
    Megadeth2011
    Honestly man, I'd say that metal elitists are still more tolerable than jazz elitists. You wouldn't believe how close minded a lot of jazzers are. I was a jazz performance major for a short period in college and my professor constantly singled me out in groups and everything because I play a 7 string, which I was told "is not a proper guitar."
    Rocknrolla35
    7 string is not a proper guitar? Man, that guy is as dumb as dull axe!! But i have to say, that there is another group of elitists that could be on par with jazz elitists. It's the academic/classical music elitists. Not all of classical fans/performers are like that, but some of them shit even on jazz music, which in general is cthe most complicated stuff composition-wise.
    mattjamesrenn
    i'd say jazz and modern classical are on par with complexity. Yeah there are those that are like that but it's not the majority on both sides from my opinion. Most are also open minded to other forms of music, especially the actual talented ones. That goes for metal too.
    5t0rM
    So you're telling me tat "Gojira - From Mars To Sirius" needs solos to be considered worthy? One of the most iconic songs of Heavy Metal is Breaking the Law. Album version need a solo? Nope. You can't really pull the "need-more-solos" argument at all.
    pran.250
    Dave has gone mental since the day he traded drugs for religion. He used to be metal... now he managed to squeeze an 'n' in that.
    link no1
    I hate Breaking the Law and really, the Firewind cover of it is more bearable to listen to AND has a solo.
    pran.250
    I respect your opinion, despite internally wanting to yell an expletive.
    Rocknrolla35
    You've got the right to have your own taste, link no 1. You hate the song. I respect that. But i gotta say, that you're putting down a great song, to say the least. Breaking The Law is EPIC even without a proper solo.Moreover, when it's played live, it's often played with an improvized solo. Judas Priest is an awesome band. As a classic metal/speed metal band of the NWOBHM movement, they mix INCREDIBLY well with multiple genres of heavy rock'n'roll.
    JuteJute
    System of a down is good example of a band that dosent really needs solos. I mean yea they had few of them and that was just enough.
    x3NDGAM3x
    Wait a sec... didn't David Draimon work on a song on Super Collider? C'mon Dave, seriously?
    Primus2112
    >I'm talking about the bands that wouldn't do guitar solos. Guys who get out there and they'd do rhythms and stuff but they'd never do a guitar solo. It's like ... come on, play a solo. But apparently solos aren't cool. is dave even aware of how 12 years old he sounds right now
    Adyman
    Who even lists LP as nu metal? They had a couple of nu metal songs on their first album, one or two on the second, and that's it. Everything else is alt rock, rap rock, and electronic rock.
    mysticguitar77
    You're actually the first person I've ever heard that doesn't refer to Hybrid Theory and Meteora as nu-metal. It's just a label and doesn't really matter, but I think most people when they think of nu-metal, LP is one of the first bands that come to mind.
    Scorpyin
    Personally, I'd rather listen to a numetal band who took time to think about a song, rather than a band who only took time to think about their guitar solo.. Besides, does numetal even exist anymore? More Numetal bands split up to start better bands.. Anyone else remember the mess that was Mushroomhead? Well take out the best singer and put him in a groove metal environment:
    mysticguitar77
    J Mann is now back in Mushroomhead and they're recording a new album with all 3 vocalists: Waylon, J Mann, and Jeffrey Nothing. Has a lot of potential if they can mesh together well. And yes, nu-metal still exists. 40 Below Summer, Spineshank, and Scars of Life all have recently released new nu-metal albums. It is pretty much dead, but there are still quite a few bands hanging around still playing nu-metal.
    5t0rM
    There are indications of the uprising of Nu Metal again. Huge festivals are getting more and more Nu Metal bands signed each year. It's been 20 years since the beginning of the genre and ~10 years since its decline, so the nostalgia kicks in, and it actually became old-school in comparison to the new melodic -core genres that are currently on their hype.
    ankit.joshi.944
    Even some of the lamb of god songs dont have solos like shoulder of your god and vigil but those are awesome and DEFINiTELY Metal .... He avoided answering on bizkit ... So i m pretty sure he hates it....
    MrKew
    wow, he really acts like a metalhead - in a negative way, of course. Korn defined nu metal, they were an incredible band in their best days and they did their music without guitar solos - they just went against the classical metal flow. They were good at what they were doing as well as Linkin Park are now (according to Mustaine's statement).
    piotr.rudnicki.
    That may be what bugs him -> some people can do their music without any solos and it sounds ok. But hey, try to cut all the solos out from Megadeth's albums... Yeah, I'm sure they would be sooooo interesting
    SstanN
    And the 'solo-focused' bands he's talking about do not appeal to many anymore. I always get the feeling they're showing off rather than bringing across their ideas or music. When something is really fast, it's not necessarily good. Just shows you've practiced alot, and doesn't show musicianship.
    BwareDWare94
    Apparently Dave never heard FLAW. There was good nu metal out there. Not to mention Motograter, where Ivan Moody got his angsty adolescent lyrical start.
    anjan14
    Even though I love guitar solos, Dave sounds like a kid when he says "Guys who get out there and they'd do rhythms and stuff but they'd never do a guitar solo. It's like ... come on, play a solo. But apparently solos aren't cool".
    KingV911
    No kidding. Modern metal bands like Gojira are f'in great and they have no guitar solos, and for their music it works better that way.
    cocacolabottle
    I don't like nu metal either but it's hard to imagine that there were only nu metal-bands that didn't play any solos.. I'm sure there were but those bands probably didn't get the amount of attention that the others did - maybe simply because of the fact that they focused on 'singalongs' or whatever. But it's close closed-minded of him to say that he'd rather have his eyelids pulled out than to give those bands a chance. I guess Korn is one of those bands considered to be nu metal, but they give a lot of energy on stage and can really make a crowd go nuts so I respect them for that.
    Maiden95
    Oh man, that's funny... but kinda f*cked up at the same time, Dave. And btw, I'm sick and tired of rolling over that damn ad about gambling addiction. Jesus.
    Downfault
    I think that was the premise of Nu Metal. It's intended to be brash, angsty and have lots of attitude and was kind of breaking away from the conventions of typical metal music.
    dm4512
    Hehe no guitar solos... so i can safely say that St Anger didn't rip Dave's face off!! I like that definition of the solo. In the early 00s, Dave said "Dude, if you watch MTV, the left hand doesn't move!"
    frusciante_5
    "It's just funny because I come from the school of AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, and man, the riff had to be kick-ass, the lyrics had to make sense, and when it was time for the solo, the solo had to rip your face off," Dave said. "And hey I may not be part of the family anymore, right at the forefront ... but I'm the crazy uncle" This whole paragraph is simply cringeworthy
    Rocknrolla35
    " This whole paragraph is simply cringeworthy "I don't really think so. Some stuff he said can be argued, like always having a meaning in the lyrics. Sometimes the lyrics were VERY meaningful, but sometimes it was plain sex/partying/the love of rock'n'roll music, or some other rather simple topic like that. Sometimes the lyrics could be very, sorta, lacking in connection.Think "Live Wire" by Motley Crue.Basically it's about sex, but at some points it seems as if it's about rape, whereas at other points it seems like it's about crazy, mutually consented sex with a girl. But in general, he is right about the instrumental side of things. It HAD to be kickass.
    joeyreece
    Nu-metal may not be the best genre, but a song doesn't have to have sensical lyrics or crazy kickass face melting solos.. A song is however the writer decides. Genres only suck when it's deemed unacceptable to not be doing something that everyone else does. And if you ask me, in-your-face guitar solos aren't impressive anymore. Only thing I can hear with those solos is "wow that guy spent too much time on his arpeggios when he should've learnt how to write a song first"
    Eissari
    Im not huge fan of nu metal but id rather listen any nu metal band over metalcore. But who cares anyway? screw the genres and elitists.
    crazysam23_Atax
    Something tells me you don't know what Metalcore is. It's literally "Metallic Hardcore".
    Eissari
    Well i don't care what it is in fancy terms and words. Every single metalcore band ive heard was horrible for my taste. Don't get butthurt.
    slayer_rule_\m/
    Well they're far from Nu metal...but Gojira don't play solos, and they're an infinite amount of times better than Megadeth. But hey, I'm all about my rhythms anyway.
    postmortem2006
    You raise a good point, actually; I've come across a lot of bands (signed AND unsigned) who have a nasty habit of putting solos in songs for the sake of it, even if the song doesn't require such a meager addition. Huh.
    FXchicago
    Why doesn’t Dave evaluate other music? He’s good at it….ahmmm…..Well maybe not so much. All music is valid….if you don’t like it, don’t listen to it….
    ledzep426
    Slipknot has an occasional guitar solo, actually a good chunk of their songs have guitar solos, but are they really nu-metal?
    Shadow-Michel
    ALthough I would like to pull Mustaines eyelids out, he has a point, most nu-metal sucks.
    Desenova913
    Solos aren't everything, Mustaine, especially if you're doing the same basic build to your solos over and over again.
    Danc-8666
    He's definitely talking about korn... They toured with megadeth when their debut came out, (or life is peachy? i have to go read fieldys book again)which in my opinion is better than anything Dave has ever written or been a part of writing.
    JelloCrust
    About a decade and a half late Crazy Dave. Also, "It's just funny because I come from the school of AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. . . the lyrics had to make sense," Have you even looked at Zeppelin lyrics? . . . well the ones that they actually wrote and didn't steal.