Mustaine On How The Internet Has Changed Music

The Megadeth frontman says Napster ruined "hundreds of thousands of lives" and that technology aids "inferior" musicians. What do you think?

Ultimate Guitar

Dave Mustaine has commented on how the internet and technology have affected the music industry.

He says digital recording might make it easy for a band to sound good, but it takes a band like Megadeth to pull it off live as well.

"There are certain things that the digital world has made so that very inferior players can get away with sounding like they are good. The problem with that is not that the record doesn't sound good and is enjoyable, it's when you go to watch them live," he told Seymour Duncan (via Blabbermouth).

Commenting on the world wide web, Mustaine accepts that it isn't all bad - but human nature means people will always find a way to exploit it.

"There is piracy and people who steal. They don't realize it is intellectual material and it is the same thing as food. Giving something to get, that's the deal.

"Myself, I think the dude who created Napster probably ruined hundreds of thousands of people's lives because of that peer-to-peer file transferring, but if he hadn't done it, there are plenty of smart people out there who would have. It's human nature."

He adds that Megadeth work to keep their live ticket prices down despite declining revenue in the music business:

"I may have had a great life and I may have been overpaid and underworked, but I am not punishing the fans and being a really hard-a-s about stuff. So I try and pass that gratitude onto them by not gouging them with prices."

Has Mustaine finally shared an opinion we can all agree on? Share your reaction in the comments.

140 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The internet is here and we have to accept it. If I really like a band's sound, I'll go out and buy the CD even if CD's are a thing of the past and the quality is essentially the same as the tracks on filesharing programs.
    Amen to that! There's just something I like about getting a new CD that a download doesn't do.
    I too enjoy having an album in my hands. I dont know, but i like to have a physical copy of something i buy. I enjoy looking at the album cover, i enjoy reading along with the lyrics. I may be old fashioned, but to each his own. And no, looking up lyrics online or digital artwork does NOT count.
    The CDs are generally just as cheap and a lot of digital download services don't offer lossless quality too.
    100% agree. It usually costs the same to get the CD version and then I can just burn the lossless files to my computer but still have the actual album artwork and liner notes to hold in my hand!...something people seem to be missing out on nowadays.
    Chaos Ignited
    The CDs being cheap kinda depends on where you live i guess...In Malaysia an album costs about 60 bucks.Plus metal albums are almost impossible to come buy,hence i have to download them.Feel bad for my favourite bands but what other choice do i have.
    Well in your case it absolutely makes sense as you have no other choice. I beat up on my home country quite a bit, but we do get the benefit of having access to just about anything! I suppose the web really opened things up for people like yourself who live where there is limited access to metal music.
    What exactly does the quality sound of recorded music have to do with how the artists play live? Cuz that's what Mustaine is talking about here. He said recorded music can sound great no matter what now, but it's different if you can actually sound good live.
    if a band sounds good in the studio and can't pull it off live legutimately then they're screwed
    That's what I said. This talk of CD quality music has nothing to do with anything though.
    Artemis Entreri
    I really don't think they're screwed. I know plenty of bands who are shite live but have made quite a living.
    The problem is that the albums I want to buy (Mercyful Fate, My Dying Bride, The Melvins, Dax Riggs) aren't sold at very many record stores. So, I kinda have to download them. I have no problem finding Coldplay albums though.
    Mustaine speaking sense? someone pinch me...
    I recently watched him on Guitar Center Sessions and it was a great interview. I was completely different than the way UG paints him... which almost seems slanderous by comparison.
    Sorry, but if you seriously think that Dave Mustaine is not the way UG makes him out to be, he actually says that he thinks the Obama administration were responsible for the Aurora shootings, as in the guy was a government agent and Obama wants a random theater full of people DEAD. Mustaine has lost it. And I saw the GC Sessions. He had some interesting points, and some bad points too.
    It is ridiculous how stupid UG paints Dave. I love to watch interviews of any kind from him because I know I will have a changed or enhanced view on something. But I guess people tend to remember the unintelligent remarks he has made over the overwhelming amount of intelligent ones.
    Dude he made some seriously controversial comments, and everyone knows he's a conspiracy theory nut. It's not the media who desperately tries to paint him stupid, he does it himself just fine. It's ridiculous to start blaming media for all the stuff he said. tags: Obama Aurora Shooting, Michelle Obama dress predicts future, prayer circle led by Dave Mustaine heals cancer, Obama is a nazi, Alex Jones, Black Magic....
    His only problem is that he talks politics. It's one of the three things you don't talk about, the other two being sex and religion. Mustaine isn't as bad as people make him out to be
    Yeah lets not talk about religion or politics so the status quo can continue cause right now both seem totally logical and who ever wants to get to the truth of things?
    It's widely accepted to be private matters. Let the politicians talk about politicians. Let the preachers preach. Let kanye and Jay z rap about it.
    Your appeal to popularity does not give a sound reason. These things are the very source of the corruption that we need to learn our way out of. I think we should talk and hear what the other side has to say and not be close minded about there side ether. As Aristotle said, the mark of a educated mind is to be able to entertain a thought with out embracing it.
    The interviewer's follow-up question: "So, how about those black people?"
    How do they do that when all they do is sit around collecting unemployment?
    When you consider they worked for free for hundreds of years, I think a few years "sitting around collecting unemployment benefits" is well earned
    I dunno about you guys, but this is how things go down for me when I visit this site every morning. I see a name in article head that always stands out to me. "Mustaine Slams Internet" I take a long gander at it, pondering. I breathe deeply.. Is it worth it? What are my other options? "Nickelback AND Avril Lavigne? HA." Top 10 Basslines? Worst Metal Album Covers? *opens new tabs respectively* I break a sweat. Mustaine. "Fuck it." I say to myself. "He always delivers."
    *a name in an article I also realize my mistake of misquoting the article head. However that is just all we see when I decipher UG's clever language.
    Veronique Vega
    Dave is just sharing his perspective. He's been saying for years that, basically, pro-tools and the like allow bands to record music they can't perform live to save their life. He's said in the past that it makes for good CDs, but not so much live shows. I'm just glad to see his sharing a couple opinions that aren't foot-in-mouth political slam slam slam.
    He does make a pretty good point. I've heard a lot of bands that sound great in the studio but kind of do a mediocre job when they play live. I've been disappointed countless times with some newer bands that have done that. It takes a pretty solid band to be able to do both really well.
    The internet has also made it possible to watch kids going from internet forums and youtube videos to being on the cover of guitar magazines. And you can still interact with them in near real time. That is just awesome.
    Studio work and live performances are two different types of art - They really are. Studio is, since multitrack recording came to be, about creating something, not about catching a moment in time on tape. That being said, if you're a live performing artist you should think twice about doing stuff in the studio that you can't reproduce live.
    Internet has nothing to do with letting inferior bands record stuff
    Why, it certainly does. How do those bands release their music? Digitally, on web services.
    Yep, its completly true, some band focus on sounding excelent in studio and then forget about live performances. I read almost a year ago in a magazine, an interview to zakk wylde, he said a great truth "If you can't do something live, don't do it in studio" I really get dissapoined with bands that take advantage of studio recording seasons to sound great and then screw everything in live. Like this underground metal band from my country "Criptofonia"
    You listen to their single then in their live performances, their sound is horrible, the drummer can't beat the beat propperly, and the singer doesn't reach to the tone in studio.
    The internet has made the music landscape so much better if you're a music lover. The focus is now on the music itself instead of a Brand Name or Trend, which is why there has been so many brilliant underground artists coming through in recent years. Dave is just out of touch... he's certainly not the only one though.
    I don't know why this is being down-voted. It's true. While there might be a lot of crap music out there, there's also more great music out there than ever. The internet gives people a chance to discover music by brilliant artists and bands that aren't signed to big labels, promoted heavily, and given airtime on the radio. Most of the music I listen to I didn't discover on the radio or TV. I did it with the help of great services such as, Pandora, hell, even iTunes, since it makes suggestions based on what you're listening to.
    Seen them twice. You have to understand that he drank and used drugs for almost 20 years, not to mention his neck surgery. And the guy's been singing for 30 years on top of that. He's not going to maintain the vocal sound of Rust In Peace, and quite frankly I'm okay with that.
    Mustaine on the Internet: I blame Obama. Nah, jokes. But it's good to see him sane again, after a while.
    He's actually a pretty insightful guy. Check out the Guitar center interviews. UG is just a cheap tabloid looking for controversial things to write about... The guitar based version of TMZ or the National Enquirer. Replace abducted by UFOs or celebrity sex tapes with musicians and there ya go...
    I agree with him to an extent BUT Megadeth's fanbase and record sales would be significantly smaller if people had not discovered the band over the internet.
    Mr Winters
    "There are certain things that the digital world has made so that very inferior players can get away with sounding like they are good." says the guy who can't sing for shit
    That's fun coming from a guy struggling to sing his own songs live.
    My Last Words
    Yeah, the only difference is the fact that his voice is aging , while those people he's talking about are the pinnacle of suck.
    says the person who's probably never seen Megadeth Live
    My Last Words
    What the **** man, I don't expect him to be on the same vocal level as he used to be back in the 80's. Just accept the goddamn fact that people get OLDER. Not to mention some recent neck-surgery n stuff. Oh, and for the record: May 14, 2012, Parkstad theater heerlen, Limburg, The Netherlands. Hell, I still have the onstage setlist on dave's side given by Willy (the guitar tech) after the show.
    Vicryl 2.0
    even his voice back in the 80s isnt really that good.. i think majority of people who listened to megadeth were more into his riffs than his vocals.. regardless of how he sings live.. im still a fan.
    I wouldn't want to hear him sing an unaccompanied vocal solo (well, maybe, might be interesting), but I think his vocals fit the Megadeth sound perfectly. That nasally snarl is perfect. I can't imagine songs like Black Friday or Rust in Peace without it.
    But it's always been shit, why would you want the voice he had from the 80s?
    His voice has held out a lot better than Hetfield's over the years. They're both still pretty solid though.
    Dave says the stuff that everyone else is afraid to say. Just like Ron Paul. Two American heroes in my book.
    I prefer vinyl over CD and download. There's seriously something about it that makes it great. If vinyl was pushed more it might actually appeal to people.
    Hell must be having a cold day. Mustaine has not only said something that makes sense, but something I agree with as well. Holy shit.
    Despite Mustaine expressing he loves argetinian fans, Megadeth's tickets are not even close to unexpensive. I know, cause i'm argentinian, but it really sucked when i read what he said about ticket's prices... but what could i do...
    Hate me all you want, but I think he's a pretty nice guy. I've read his book, and yes he's been a bit of an egghead, and his political views can be controversial to say the least, but I like him. He's a smart guy.
    I've never cared what anyone else said. Dave Mustaine is a great man in my opinion.
    buying cd are what we do to support fans and we got to respect there art that they gave us
    Because of the Internet, I have a chance to listen to Megadeth songs. I can't find any of their materials from music stores.
    It's a double edged sword. On one hand, you have more musical exposure; lots of incredible groups out there today whose work would never be sold in a record store. On the other, less money. The music world ain't perfect, just like anything else in life.
    I'm blown away that this guy finagled his way through an entire interview without sounding like a ****ing twit; he even said some things I agree with! Wow-zers, UG! Dave actually makes himself appear as a very smart, down-to-Earth guy when his political views aren't involved.
    Dave Mustaine is right. Without the internet he wouldn't have been able to alienate so many of his fans with his crazy right-wing political views. Up until the internet, I always just thought Dave was a cool guy who made cool music. Now I know hes a bigoted, self centered, egotistical jerk who supports politicians who are basically hell bent to turn back the clock on civil rights for women, gays and even lower class wage earners AND start world war 3, all while contradicting themselves by saying they stand for "smaller government." VOTE DEMOCRAT!
    Hypocrisy is AWESOME! Wouldn't you say?
    If you had been referring to the band Hypocrisy I'd be inclined to agree.
    Nah, I was referring to people who rip on people who they claim have crazy political views and then go and express their own crazy political views in the same fashion.
    Dave Mustaine was alienating people in interviews with the print press long before the Internet was around.
    That's great, coming from someone who overdubs vocals on "live" CDs, DVDs and video performances. Wasn't there on article somewhere about the recording process Megadeth goes through and at one point they go through a "massive Protools session"? I love Megadeth, but I can't help but laugh whenever these interviews are posted
    "but it takes a band like Megadeth to pull it off live as well" well... i saw megadeth live two times at the big 4 shows and dave mustain is not exactly what i call a good singer!
    ...still better than Katy Perry.
    the title would be hilarious if Dave said something stupid instead. he speaks words of wisdom here though. xP
    For once he's not talking shit. Love Megadeth but was starting to get sick of Dave's asinine comments.
    This coming from the guy who probably would have never heard of his influences, or would have gotten Megadeth's name out there, without the help of his generations version of internet piracy: tape trading. An entire scene revolved around a system of sharing music that was deemed illegal because it "killed the music industry", in which Metal and Punk bands willingly ignored copyrights and "intellectual property" because they realized the key to getting out there was getting their ****ing music out there, not being greedy douchebags. The same system that is responsible for a number of big bands becoming big, Megadeth included. So, go ahead, Dave. Continue to prove you have strayed so far away from the Metal world, and you have nothing in common with Metal, its values, and its fans.
    The difference now is the scale of sharing... before you and your friends shared the CD collections you owned and maybe 1 out of the 4 people you swapped CDs/tapes with actually owned it. Now one person can buy it, upload it, and 1 billion people can get it for free. However, services like Spotify which are ad-supported or subscription services are definitely a step in the right direction; guilt-free and sometimes cost-free listening alternative to piracy. I think Mustaine would approve, because how else are we going to hear about some of the more underground artists? His view is probably a bit pessimistic though, because it has also made it easier for people to create and share their music, and the scene has never been more diverse. Yes, some of these bands can be average live, but there are a lot that work hard and have come far from their home studio/internet roots... just look at Periphery and Ola Englund. You can't knock their skills.