Merlin Alderslade of Metal Hammer spoke with Megadeth frontman Dave Mustiane and Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian. Highlights from the interview appear below.

Metal Hammer: What do you think of where metal is right now?

Scott: “Well, it’s good! We’re still out, we’re making records, we’re selling tickets, we’re having fun in so many ways. In some ways, nothing has changed from 30-something years ago because we’re still doing the same thing and playing a lot of the same songs. The only thing that’s changed is that the audience has got a lot younger!”

Dave: “I agree with Scott that the audience is younger, perception-wise, but for me, the spirit in our bands is still very young. We love playing this music, because we love that interaction with the fans.”

Metal Hammer: Out of all metal’s subgenres, thrash has survived in its purest form. Why?

Dave: “I think that a lot of times, when you look at most thrash stuff, it depends on who the person is that’s listening. If I’m listening to it now, it’s a completely different paradigm shift to someone who’s considerably younger than I am.”

Scott: “What we started back then with all these other bands, I just think the reason why it’s lasted so long, generation after generation, is because we created something great. We really left a mark. It didn’t just disappear. It wasn’t a trend. It wasn’t a fad. It’s music. It’s a branch on the tree of metal that just keeps growing. I mean, we did something really good back then, you know?”

Dave: “Yes, we did!”

Scott: “That initial foundation that we built in the 80s, it’s still really strong.”

Metal Hammer: Do you think it’s harder or easier to be a young metal band nowadays?

Scott: “I don’t know, you’d have to ask the younger bands, I guess…”

Dave: “It’s a double-edged sword. It’s so much easier for new bands to get their music out, but it’d be safe to bet one of my balls on the fact that Scott used to go into the same record store I did in San Francisco called The Record Well. And the fact that back then you could find a record store that’s strictly metal, and you walk in there and the person behind the counter will know you, and you can walk in and they can tell you what’s new. ‘The new Tank record’s out!’ or ‘The new Raven album’s out!’ or, ‘Dude, what do you think of the new Witchfinder General?’ And we were in there, like, ‘God damn, these are my people!’ It just feels great when you used to go into one of those stores, and you see people there that are like you. There’s not a lot of stores out there like that any more.”

Metal Hammer: So you think it’s a mixed bag for metalheads right now? What do you think of the general vibe around the scene at the moment? 

Dave: “There are no more rockstars. You know what you got? You got a lot of snot-nosed kids that work at music magazines – no offense.”

Metal Hammer: What advice would you give someone if they walked in here and said they were starting a metal band?

Dave: “Don’t.”

Scott: “I’d tell security to throw them out. Ha ha! Actually, you know what? So I would tell a new band, ‘Go watch Code Orange.’ They remind me of us in 1981 when all we wanted to do was bang our heads and make people listen to our music.”

Dave: “That’s what’s missing. That is exactly what’s f–king missing. These f–king new bands, these spoilt motherf–kers whose parents are attorneys or doctors, and they take every penny they’ve got and invest it in their productions, so they’ve got the big screens and the explosions and the dancing girls and the inflatables and the f–king ego ramps. They don’t know what paying their f–king dues is.”

Read more at Metal Hammer.

source: Metal Hammer via loudersound.com

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  • Doug R. on

    Dave sounds Angry Again.

  • Brian B on

    I agree. The only “current” rock star is Cardinal Copia !

  • genesraccoonwig on

    Agree with Dave – there has not been a new rock star in a long time

  • Rattlehead on

    Dave is right, IMO social media killed the “rock star”. There is no more mystique about them due to social media. Brian B., I agree with you that Cardinal Copia is the only “current” rock star, and that’s due to Ghost not being really active on social media, as well as them trying to maintain their anonymity. As a result, the band has been able to hold on to their mystique.

    I like how Dave recalls visiting The Record Well and how he “name drops” those great obscure NWOBHM bands. That’s exactly the way it was for me when I visited my local record store, Lou’s Records in Encinitas. The owner of the store turned me on to great obscure NWOBHM bands like the ones Dave mentions, in addition to a host of others…..

    Dave Mustaine…..THE PIONEER of thrash metal….

    • robert davenport on

      I have been thinking about the state of rock music for a couple of years now , and you’re right about social media , way too much exposure , and 0 mystique , the less you know about an artist the better, plus the decline of terrestrial radio and the dj who could control what they want to play , also urban music is what has taken over music to a large degree , it’s killing music and its mostly garbage and I have no clue why it has become so dominant ????? and the result is rock has lost not all but a huge chunk of the young audience – and IMO many of the classic rock acts are not putting out good material and are just not able to connect with a young audience , they are barely holding on to their aging original fan base- thank god some new bands are gaining a little bit of a foothold , the struts, rival sons , van fleet I suppose is good for rock (but I dont like them } star crawler another interesting new band and ghost to name a few , so I have a little bit of hope – get off social media its played out – YouTube, streaming services unfortunately are a necessary evil – please ! we need our Rockstar’s back –

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