Bryan Reesman of Metal Edge magazine recently conducted an interview with Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine.
On the title track of the new album, "United Abominations", with its harsh criticism of the United Nations:There are a lot of songs on the record that you could have as the title track, but I just thought that 'United Abominations' fit, given [that] what's been going on the last five years is so outrageous. When I was younger, there was one incident where a Russian diplomat was absolutely inebriated, drove through a stop sign and killed an American in New York City, then was let off because of diplomatic immunity. If anything, he should have had to have some kind of restitution for taking a human life while driving a vehicle out of his mind on alcohol. If anything, they should have recalled him and punished him at home for manslaughter. As far as I remember, nothing happened.
That made me start looking at what the U.N. stood for, and I started seeing stuff like the 'oil for food' crisis and finding out that one Secretary General was a former Nazi, and another guy was a former spy. I feel really safe having these guys run the world's organization to prevent war and promote peace. There's a new movie coming out called 'You and Me', which I had some involvement in, and it's basically the 'Fahrenheit 9/11' for the U.N. I think once people see some of the stuff, they're going to be so blown away. Just the trailer that I saw that made me commit to being part of the movie was so unnerving."
The somewhat bluesy new Megadeth song "Amerikhastan" takes a critical look at what is going on in American life, but its lyrics really could be co-opted by both conservatives and liberals in terms of what it stands for. At one point, a line abut the Statue of Liberty being tattooed with "Property of the USA, a subsidiary of Halliburton" is soon contrasted with the battle cry, "Hey, Jihad Joe, guess what? We're coming to get you!" This lyrical schizophrenia recalls Mustaine talking to different aspects of himself in "Sweating Bullets".
"I think being able to see something through a kaleidoscope instead of a magnifying glass is so much more beautiful in the long run because it's not always my opinion or perspective that's right," asserts Mustaine of the song's double-edge meaning. "There is more than one way to approach things. Sun Tzu said about good generalship, [that] if you meet an opponent head-on, you're certainly going to have a battle, but in order to win sometimes you're going to have to flank them. I look at a lot of that stuff and think that it totally makes sense."
Mustaine has certainly been outspoken about his views on politics. He even admonished Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello and the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines for allegedly having hypocritical stances during an interview with Pit magazine in 2004.
"I think as far as politics are concerned in music, most musicians shouldn't say anything unless they're willing to get into the trenches and fight," contends Mustaine. "I put in my Selective Service card when I was 18, but I didn't get drafted. In 1992 I went to the White House with the Rock the Vote campaign for the Democratic National Convention coverage. I was a participant in getting a bill passed into law, so I am ingrained in the history of this country. I'm probably one of the very few musicians, and the only one in metal that I know of [to do that]. But I'm also the unofficial elected official of the disenfranchised youth of America. I can get into the focus groups and actually say what is relevant. Even though I'm not 18 anymore or struggling with Stridex and testosterone, I do still have an 18-year-old inside of me."
Metal Edge's entire interview with Dave Mustaine can be found in the magazine's July 2007 issue, available on newsstands now. Thanks for the report to Blabbermouth.net.