Dave Mustaine: 'If You Want to Be Treated Intelligently, Act Intelligent'

"A lot of heavy metal performers act stupid," says Megadeth frontman.

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In Dave Mustaine's book, there's a lot more to metal music than guitar shredding. As Megadeth mastermind recently pointed out, metal artists should take on a smarter approach to their music and image in order to give genre the respect it deserves.

While chatting with VH1, Dave didn't hesitate to call a great deal of metal performers thick-headed, praising Foo Fighters and bashing some of the young bands for their attitude along the way.

"To their own demise, a lot of heavy metal performers act stupid," the singer/guitarist kicked off. "You know, 'Hey bro, duh.' It doesn't further our cause any. If you want to be treated intelligently, then act intelligent.

"I remember a lot of the opportunities that I've had to do coverage for different shows or stuff, with the whole political process. People forget that. You don't have to be like 'Hey F You dude,' this kind of stuff to be cool. I think that rock 'n' roll and heavy metal is about rebellion and if everyone thinks you're stupid then rebel, be smart."

Mustaine also reached the subject of more extreme metal bands. "To me, it's all metal," he said. "It's basically how you sing. The majority of these black and death metal bands have great players but people won't take them seriously because of their lyrical content."

After stressing that "we're overdue for a new band that's going to really knock the music world on its butt" and praising Foo Fighters as "the last big band that changed anything," the frontman focused on young bands and what he described as an undeserved sense of entitlement on their behalf.

"Going back to all the digital stuff and all the plug-ins, it's made it real easy for people who aren't musicians to be perceived as musicians," Dave noted. "And it's no fault with Pro Tools or Cakewalk or whatever any of those other Garage Band kind of programs are. I think it's really great to get people involved in music."

He elaborated further, "But I think the onus falls on the people in the record companies where they find a band that's got one really great song and they sign them and then there becomes a bottleneck of untalented pubes out there jamming up the runway for people like us for whom this is our calling. We were made to make music."

Mustaine then specifically addressed the young bands and their unacceptable behavior. "It's not just the metal community. It's people in general. People in general have a sense of entitlement right now like people owe them something. We've been on tour and had several incidents where there's been bands that were nobodies and acted like they should be headlining over us, and it's like, bless your heart, that's a great attitude to take but you know, don't shit the bed.

"It's kind of weird sometimes how people, because of the digital audio work stations and how easy you can make a song on a computer, lose sight of that fact that that doesn't make you a musician. It means you know how to cut and paste. And if you can write a song and you're a great musician, that doesn't necessarily mean you've got a great band," he concluded.

98 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Dannym95
    This website goes so out of its way to try to make Dave look like a hypocrite...
    Sarr
    That's right! They're trying all the time. And... Megadeth music still defends itself . Nice try!
    Iommianity
    Yeah, they figured out a clever way to discredit Dave by posting his interviews verbatim. Those devious bastards, using Mustaine's words, actions and views to paint an accurate portrait of him.
    ChasenPipo
    oh, the irony...
    vikkyvik
    Indeed. Especially since... If you want to be treated intelligently, then act intelligentLY.
    estabon37
    His grammar isn't the only problem here. His advice is to 'act' intelligent, not to BECOME intelligent. It seems that in his view slapping on a pair of horn-rimmed glasses and using long words is good enough to earn the respect of others, and it wouldn't matter if the content of every song you wrote was completely pointless or shallow.
    Charlie4
    I'm picturing Dave at a gentleman's club in a suit, whiskey in one hand, cigar in the mouth and saying to the lads: 'If You Want to Be Treated Intelligently, Act Intelligent'. Oh the irony indeed.
    mitchy86
    yet in previous news: Dave Mustaine on Online Haters: 'I Own Those B-tches' Dave Mustaine: 'Thrash Metal Fans Don't Want to Accept Rock Dave Mustaine: 'Metal Is Just Punk Rock With Long Hair' Dave Mustaine Attacks Fan During a Concert, Calling Him 'C--t' and 'Fa--ot' Dave Mustaine Says He Doesn't Believe in Evolution the list goes on..
    FiddleJohnny
    Yeah, but recently he said he was reading more about science and maybe we'll see a different Dave from now on. And maybe, just maybe we will see a new UG headline "Dave Mustaine says he believes in evolution". A man can dream.
    codyjt5150
    You're right except for the evolution one> You're going to call someone stupid for someone's beliefs. Even it is "just good ol' hypocritical Dave". Calling someone an idiot for their beliefs is like calling you a retard for believing in evolution.
    Gantz92
    What's so sacred about a persons beliefs? We should be able to debate and critisize it like we do everything else.
    Jonagorn
    The thing is , evolution is based on facts yet religion is based faith and belief. There's no evidence what so ever, hence most religious people are less intelligent.
    Gantz92
    Im not so sure about that. Most religious people are taught their beliefs from birth and even if you are of average or high intelligence it's hard to change your mind when you've been indoctrinated for so long. Im not a 100% sure i would be an atheist unless my family was.
    Jonagorn
    Maybe it requires intelligence to challenge those beliefs. It's bad enough religion being taught in schools. If they want to teach kids how to be morally just - which I think is the main aim of religion as a whole anyway then surely there are better ways instead of saying crap like how Noah built an impossibly large Ark for that time in history.
    Familyghost
    Yeah, but these articles are typical Mustaine-rant on random topics. Nothing so over the top on those articles. I even agreed with him on the first article you mentioned
    Tamriel
    Dave should heed his own advice, what he says is always true but apparently doesn't apply to him (I love him as a musician don't get me wrong)
    aureliusgtr
    did you actually read the article, or just the headline...he actually made a lot of really sound points...this current generation has an over-indulged sense of entitlement and in music specifically, it does seem to be more about writing a song on a computer with a program instead of sitting down with your guitar or whatever instrument you play, and actually playing music...this over-production non-sense and little $hitheads thinking they are the best thing since sliced bread because some suit tells them they are...i think dave was spot on here folks
    Vermilion314159
    Except, whereas I can just plug a guitar into an amplifier and write something well enough, electronic music is probably the hardest thing I've ever tried to do. You don't only have to write the song. You have to create the instruments. Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it isn't just as valid as what you do.
    westley23j
    just because his views dont line up with yours, doesnt make him any less intelligent. hes alot more intelligent than alot of other people out there, but you probably disagree because your views line up better with those "other people"
    ermonski
    lots of people actually don't follow their own advice they give to others.
    Ritchie360
    since when is artists saying shit, news?
    Hydra150
    Since the first music focused publication, I reckon. Although no doubt some old newspapers had an arts section.
    BlackLabel5150
    Agreed. Its pretty funny to read these posts on Dave. The guy is a seasoned rocker that's all, if anyone really takes his political views, religious views etc seriously needs to get a life. at the end of the day hes up on stage, and were thumb phuckin a key board. seems like he has it figured out. cant wait to see him Sept 5th with Maiden.. Up The Irons..
    stoltofthe80s
    Ain't that the pot calling the kettle black. I think he was talking about a different kind of stupidity though.
    bustapr
    the part about music software and young bands gave me a headache. what exactly was he getting to?
    ChucklesMginty
    That he has no idea how digital music production works and thinks that every DAW just has a button that says 'auto create song'.
    Abacus11
    "The majority of these black and death metal bands have great players but people won't take them seriously because of their lyrical content." Has Dave Mustaine ever really paid attention to his own lyrics? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE early Megadeth but his lyrics have always been about as cheeseball as it gets. He could learn a thing or two about writing lyrics from these bands that he's criticizing.
    Familyghost
    Which certain bands he is critizing here, I mean, from which certain bands he has to learn from? 3.5 out of his last 5 records are lyrically quite good...
    Mustaine1940
    tbh dave hasnt said anything to unbelievable the last few months, i get why people dont believe some of his conspiracy pieces but atleast hes being smart with his mouth
    mop10893
    Some headlines from the past few months: Mustaine To African Women: "Put A Plug In It" Dave Mustaine: "They Take God Out Of School To Dumb Us Down" Mustaine Accuses Obama Of Staging Shootings Need I go on?
    Familyghost
    Yes, actually you need to go on. Not defending Mustaine right now, but please, go on! First article you mention is 02/24/2012 Second you mentioned is 12/20/2011 Third you mentioned is 08/16/2012 All articles you name here are more than 1 YEAR!!! old. Give me something like that from past few months
    vikkyvik
    What's the statute of limitations on bringing up stupid comments from the past?
    aureliusgtr
    considering the point he was making was RECENTLY...its actually a very relevant limitation
    El.Roberto.net.
    Your all a bunch of entitled talentless cry baby 12 year olds. Mustaine is a GOD and always will be continue to cut and paste your dub step beats behind your drop tuned 8 string binary guitar riffs.
    third(-)eye
    "continue to cut and paste your dub step beats behind your drop tuned 8 string binary guitar riffs" Um... what?
    JHalson
    Binary as in, only composed of 011001010001101 when viewed as a tab. It'd be quite clever, if it wasn't so very very stupid.
    EvilorDivine68
    If there's a band that's slowly changing things, it's Battlecross. Those guys write some awesome, uplifting lyrics, and when you fit that with thrash metal, people will listen. I just recently became friends with the guys, and they're cool as hell. Humble and wise beyond their words. They're doing good things for metal!
    megaluisdeth
    Seem them live before. Nothing new in my opinion. The songs were just chugging riffs pedaling off the low e string. Vektor is a band that brings something fresh to metal. But they are some cool guys.
    dan0z
    hahaha you gotta love some of UG's headlines, they really make my day.
    Morphogenesis26
    The majority of these black and death metal bands have great players but people won't take them seriously because of their lyrical content." "It's kind of weird sometimes how people, because of the digital audio work stations and how easy you can make a song on a computer, lose sight of that fact that that doesn't make you a musician." This isn't news, this is someone talking bullshit. This shows Dave doesn't want an, "overdue rock band to kick the world's butt" he just wants some catchy Rock band that he likes to get big and say they're the saviors of Rock and Metal or some shit like that. He doesn't care about the Metal, Rock, or just the music community in general, he only cares about some bullshit preconceptions of music that he has.
    Familyghost
    Well, read again your last sentence. I think this is not only about him, it's about 90% of the people here in UG too. We might tolerate other bands, but mainly we only care about those who are our favorites.
    Filipe.mota89
    If any of the poeple who are always critic on Dave should pay atention to other bands. The thing that hurt mosts of words (either they're intented or not) are atittudes. Metallica for once is a band with bad atittude. They don't give an F about the fans. They're always like: we're the chosen ones, we decide what you want to hear or not... And no one points a finger to them... Lulu! a word that puts Dave on an altar even with his opinions... Who gives a sh*t of what he thinks or not? (people who hate them and try to him the worst guy in metal...) I love Megadeth as I do love Metallica and other bands. Still I don't judge every word they say...
    Iommianity
    What universe do you live in? Metallica have gotten shit since the Black Album came out, and it's never stopped. They've gotten shit for every album they've done since, for every time Lars opened his mouth, for Napster, for cutting their hair, for not sounding metal enough. Lulu is literally one of the most critically panned albums in recent history, and the fans completely rejected it. No one points a finger at them? Right. St. Anger anyone?
    abhi1393
    Does MegaDave actually know what Pro Tools is?
    Familyghost
    Probably does. He isn't directly agaist people using it. Just against people using it to craft a cheesy song out of 3 chords and trying to be extremely professional musicians. And don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with using only few chords. Symphony of destruction and Pantera-Walk use simple riffs based on 2-3 chords mostly but they conquered the world.
    Ich 666
    "The majority of these black and death metal bands have great players but people won't take them seriously because of their lyrical content." Burn, baby, burn.
    aureliusgtr
    i personally dont pay attention to alot of them because i cant understand a word they are saying...metal is great, but thats exactly why I prefer the metal bands such as megadeth because, like the lyrics or not, you can at least understand every word
    ripper992
    Hah, you got him there. I liked Super Collider, apart from 3-4 tracks, and that's definitely one of them
    satanist39
    I people are missing the point. He isnt talking about religious or political crap but how you carry yourself. Dave doesn't sound like an uneducated idiot when he speaks just a lunatic at times. And he has a point that many younger bands are idiots. Just take a look at Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria. The arrogance is unreal. Although I disagree with the black and death metal remark as a general statement.
    Familyghost
    Lots of people missed the point when he was expressing his opinions about pro tools etc last time. About many younger bands being idiots, it really comes to where they are from(both geographical location and social). 1 thrash band is getting big here where I live. They have opened for Sepultura and Overkill. They are having shows in foreign festivals and almost got to Tuska Open Air. But they are still the same guys - polite and rather helpful and supportive.
    christianonbass
    I'm just a bass player, but I would love articles similar to this: Dave Mustaine shows some ways he writes solos for songs; Dave Mustaine explains how he got his sound on .....song; Dave Mustaine explains how they record so you can still hear the bass,etc. Downvote all you want, I read because the musicians who play the music I like are on here (sometimes), and I would like to hear about music!
    theTYTAN
    You know I actually agree with the guy on this. He's said some pretty crazy things, but at least he doesn't have dumb lyrics like say 3/4's of Five Finger Death Punch's songs.
    shad.harvey
    I love that if you disagree with someone, he must be an idiot. Has Dave said and done some stupid things...oh ya. But his political views at least show some thought...you can't say that for most people...sadly.
    christianonbass
    He has actually matured considerably since I first heard of Megadeth. There were some very colorful stories back when Mustaine was feuding with Metallica back in the mid 80s. The fact that this guy is clean and sober is a miracle in itself. Having unpopular opinions isn't the worst thing he could be doing.
    Stephen Vaughn
    Just like if you act like the great guitarist you once were, you should play like a great guitarist on your albums. Not whatever bullshit that was on super collider
    Carl Hungus
    This coming from the same guy who claimed that Obama orchestrated the Aurora Colorado theater shooting. This whole article is like a Far Side cartoon.
    Efilnikufesin89
    despite this being really ironic, i think what dave said here is true and smart.
    ripper992
    Agreed, several fair points, but also a few not so fair ones in the black/death metal bands part