On gun control:
Mustaine: "When people in Washington say they're going to take away my guns, they better bring theirs if they're going to take mine."
On how heavy metal's popularity is affected by economic hardship:
Mustaine: "People oscillate at different rates of speed. When times get tough, when people are stressing a little more, heavy metal becomes more popular. It has the right speed, tempo, vibration and color. When people listen to songs like that, they connect."
On whether he cares about awards and ceremonies:
Mustaine: "It's relative to where the award comes from. I skipped the first seven Grammy Awards. I thought it was kind of hilarious. I went to the eighth. I'd like to win a Grammy, because it's been elusive to me so far. But I don't liken myself to the Susan Lucci of the Grammys. When we win awards and competitions awarded by our peers, that's totally different."
On MEGADETH's many lineup changes:
Mustaine: "That's the problem when you start a band. You have to pick the right guys. But things happen... We have our lineup and everything's working, and one guy says, 'I want more money.' Or 'I want to write more songs.' The truth of the matter is that it's hard to write songs. You have your whole life to write your first album. After that, it's hard."
On enduring a severe case of spinal stenosis (with herniated discs and bone spurs):
Mustaine: "Last summer during the [Rockstar Energy Drink] Mayhem [Festival] tour, everything just went south. Something had broken in the back of my neck; I had a bone fragment in my spinal column the size of an eraser. The pain when I was moving my neck had me on my knees, sobbing. My son had never seen me this way. My hand went numb. My ring and pinky finger were not communicating with my brain... But the surgery was a complete success. I had a disc fused in my neck, and the feeling has returned completely to my left hand. It shows you how God's with me in everything you do."
On how his surgery has affected his stage presence:
Mustaine: "The act of headbanging, when it started, was to play guitar, stand in a wide posture and move your head up and down. Now I move my torso a little bit more, and get the desired effect. I make the necessary adjustments I need to keep myself healthy. Really, it's been a blessing in disguise."
Read the entire interview from The Birmingham News.