Dave Mustaine: 'Singing Is Not My Strong Point'

Megadeth front man talks vocals in new interview.

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Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson have been talking to Colorado classic rock station 103.5 the Fox about Mustaine's vocal abilities. In the interview, the front man states (via Blabbermouth) that singing is not his strong point:

"Well, my pal here, Dave [Ellefson], and I were auditioning guys and we kind of ran out of patience. The last guy that auditioned as a vocalist came - and we were homeless at the time - and the guy rolled up with a 12-pack of beer, and we thought, 'Great! ' Then we got a closer look at him and he had eyeliner on. And we figured, 'As soon as the last beer was down, he was out of the band.' It was New Year's Eve one night, and David just goes, 'Man, why don't you sing? ' and I was like, 'Why don't you? ' So I ended up doing it, and it stuck.

"I actually enjoy it a lot of times, but it's not my strong point. I've been working really hard at it the last few years. I wish I would have given it as much attention in the beginning as I do now ... It's definitely a unique voice sound. You know, you hear people like Axl [Rose] or myself or [James] Hetfield or some of the other people that are really easily identifiable, it's scarce. Like Chris Cornell, you hear Chris, you know it's him."

The statement comes after the recent revelation that Megadeth have been tuning down their songs in order compensate for Mustaine's aging voice.

But what do you think? Is Mustaine being too hard on himself? Let us know in the comments.

61 comments sorted by best / new / date

    He hasn't got the greatest voice but it is one you instantly recognize and I really digged his early vocals! However he's just born to play guitar..the amount of awesome riffs he wrote..the guy's a beast. And I dare you to play and sing Holy Wars at the same time.
    IMHO Dave used to be a very good singer back in the day - go listen to Youthanasia!
    Yeah man, I always go back to "Victory" off of Youthanasia. That's the best distinct Mustaine snarling vocal we ever got. Have a go at that
    Haven't seen an article this obvious since Lars Ulrich's 'I've regressed at drums'
    Doesn't give himself enough credit. He's gotten better with age I think, some of his lyrics could use work though.
    James Hetfield is a singer who plays guitar. Dave Mustaine is a guitarist who sings.
    James is actually one of the best rhythm players in thrash.
    James Hetfield started as a vocalist for Metallica, without playing guitar. So it's a little true. He's a sick guitar player though, glad he picked it up
    I actually think James is a better lead player than Kirk, although it's rare when he does.
    I agree. Kirk just seems to try and shred, with little regard for fitting into the mix, but James realizes that he has to fit into the context of the song, and plays accordingly. Kirk's solo is at 1:12 James' solo is at 2:20
    Of all the Motorhead songs they've covered, I can't believe Metallica picked this one to jam to with Lemmy. Such a shame! Cuz the other three songs are amazing. Stone Dead Forever.....Overkill.....Too late Too Late!!! Anyways, returning to the subject at hand, first of all, Kudos to the guy to actually own up to NOT being a singer. That said, I have loved his singing (in certain songs) simply bcuz he sings in key AND across the riff (unlike Ozzy did) AND his voice makes him sound like a man on the street. I don't mean to bash anyone else's singing here, but I seriously can't identify with a guy who sings of despair while having an amazing melodious voice that hits all the right notes even though they're sky high. The voice is amazing, the song is amazing, the lyrics are amazing but it doesn't strike the right chord with me. Dave Mustaine's voice, on the other hand, to me, seems to be of a guy who's learning to sing. No special talent, no smoothness, no refinement. And the lyrics go well with it. The guitars, obviously, kick ass. So it makes for a great song. The only song that made me admire Dave as a singer is Foreclosure Of A Dream. I still can't see why the guitar abilities of James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett are in question here.
    Perfect example just here. Kirk's great and all, but sometimes it just feels like he shreds because he thinks he should be. For a solo to lock into a song properly it needs to have that fitting groove, and thats what James gave it in his solo just there.
    I have seen some James's improvised solos and I didn't really like them (compared to Kirk). His solos in Master of Puppets and Nothing Else Matters are cool though. I think James is better at slow melodic stuff and Kirk is better at playing faster solos, though I think Kirk repeats himself a bit too much, at least today. I think he used to be better in the late 80s and early 90s. And IMO Kirk gets way too much hate. Same as Lars.
    but actually james never wanted to be the singer of the band.... he just wanted to play guitar
    That just isnt true... James Hetfield started metallica in his garage with lars and he was playing guitar.... he was not a vocalist lol
    actually, i think its the other way around, i think in the some kind of monster documentary, james showed up as a guitarist, and ended up doing the vocals too, as none else applied for the band.
    Excuse me?? A singer?? Oh no, you got it all wrong buddy. James always played rhythm guitar, Always. The same thing happened with him that Dave said happened to him. James never considered singing, but ended up doing it because they couldn't find anyone that fit the role. I've read it countless times.
    hum I'm sure I read somewhere that when Mustaine joined Metallica, Hetfield has given up guitar and was only singing. The story says they even played live once as a 5 piece with a rhythm guitarist named Jeff Warner...then James went back to playing guitar
    Mustaine writes better riffs and thats a fact
    Mustaine has a very unique style and his riffs tend to be very funky and sinister sounding (think Bad Omen). Hetfield is more straightforward and his riffs are usually more crushing and powerful (think fight fire with fire). I mean at the end of the day both guys are killer rhythm guitarists but they have very different styles. Whether you pick one over the other is down to preference really.
    But worse songs.
    I agree. Mustaine is a way more talented guitarist, but I find that most of Megadeth's songs just lack drive. When he was starting Megadeth, he wanted to play faster and heavier than Metallica. While that may be true for some songs, I find that Metallica has a thrashier sounds. It's easier to mosh to early Metallica stuff than Megadeth's stuff.
    I enjoy reading a Dave Mustaine article that I know people won't get pissed at him for saying stupid stuff. Although, I dub this to be not news worthy as we all know singing isn't his strong point.
    hes good for what he writes i love the ude but he isnt a good singer his voice just matches his songs.....thats all that needs to be for it to work
    Dave "Captain Obvious" Mustaine strikes again! lol Singing may not be he strength, but there are far worse "singers" out there who have no other role in their band but to sing.
    What happened?! He sings perfectly in the albums. I mean the best song he sings is last rites and wake up dead.
    yeah well, if you listen to the chorus of forget to remember and most of risk you can hear he can sing pretty well but if you listen to the pre-chorus of off the edge he sounds terrible. what im trying to say is that he is pretty inconsistent
    Megadeth should have been doing this since 2007, but not tuning 1 step down, it makes the music sound very different from the records on albuns. The perfect should be 1/2 step down
    Dave Mustaine: 'Singing Is Not My Strong Point' Category: wif? Well you did post an article a few days ago about Megadeth having to downtune their guitars because of his voice, so you shouldn't be too surprised he's saying that...
    They should have a sub-category just for Dave Mustaine. I expect WTF? to be just filled with sextapes and cats playing banjos.