Greg Prato for Heavy Consequence spoke with Megadeth‘s Dave Mustaine about the different genres of hard rock and heavy metal, here are Mustaine’s thought

“The whole thing with glam and thrash at the time, metal had so many different factions and splinters that had taken place in the very beginning. We were all heavy metal. And then, you started hearing people called the power metal trio, and then there was, ‘Well, heavy metal’s not good enough because you’re thrash metal.’ ‘What’s thrash metal? I’m f–king playing all over the place. OK. We’re not thrash, we’re speed metal.’ ‘What the f–k is speed metal?’ ‘We’re faster than thrash.’ ‘OK. Well, we ain’t thrash or speed…we’re black metal!’ ‘Well, what the f–k is black metal?’ ‘Well, we talk about the dark side.’ ‘OK. Well, we ain’t black. We’re white metal!’ ‘Well, what the f–k is white metal?’ ‘Well we talk about the light.’ ‘OK. So, what about, uh…death metal? What about all the other types of metal? Outlaw metal, grind metal, punk metal?’”

He added, “Y’know, it’s like metal has become a qualifying word just to signify a certain heaviness of music regardless of what original genre it is they come from. And I think if you can have people say bands like Blink-182 is like alternative metal. Or you see bands like Green Day, alternative metal. Pearl Jam, alternative metal. But are they? They’re pop bands. And what does pop mean? Is that a bad word? Well, some people think so. But what does it really mean? Well, pop is short for ‘popular.’ So if Megadeth had a really successful record with the population, it would be a popular record – like Countdown to Extinction was. Countdown is a triple platinum record and we’re probably going to be seeing some certification for that in the near future. And that was a popular album, which would make it a ‘pop album.’ Do you get what I’m saying? How weird all these terms are.”

“So, what do I think between glam and between heavy metal?,” pondered the thrash icon. “Let’s boil it down to its least common denominator. Let’s look at the first two albums by Mötley Crüe and Metallica. You can’t really say that the first Mötley Crüe record [Too Fast for Love] didn’t have some metal tracks on it – because Take Me to the Top or Live Wire had the same kind of real fast right hand picking like James [Hetfield] and I were doing. And when Vince [Neil] was first singing and James was first singing, their voice was very similar in the registry where it was at. They both sang really high.”

He continued, “But I think that if you would have taken those two songs and had Metallica record them, they would have been heavy as f–k. Probably would have stayed pretty similar because we were doing a lot of copy songs. And so, when you take a band that is dressing up, wearing high heels, wearing leather, wearing makeup, using hairspray, belts and chains and big hoop earrings and jewelry and fingernails painted and stuff like that, and start getting way into mascara, lipstick, foundation, all that kinda s–t, that’s somebody’s impression of what a rock star is supposed to look like. I promise you, if you go up to a guy who’s dressed up like that, who has that kind of an image, and, and you say, ‘What is this image that you’re going for? What would it be described as?’ They would say they’re a rock star. And I think if you go to a little kid and you said, ‘What is this?’ They would say, ‘You’re a rock star.’ Not that ‘You’re glam.’”

In recent Mustaine news, the guitarist has recently launched the Dave Mustaine Collection with Gibson guitars.

3 Responses

  1. Mustaine gets deep in his heavy metal genre philosophy. But, IMO, there’s no way “Too Fast For Love” and “Kill Em All” are similar. But Mustaine wrote alot of “Kill Em All”, and I didn’t… what do I know???

    1. I love Megadeth Rattlehead. But there is absolutely no way Too Fast For Love is on anywhere near the same level as Kill ‘Em All and KEA is definitely not pop or glam metal. Dave, in my opinion, has carried this bitterness about what happened with Metallica for far too long. It’s all about the money. If Metallica wouldn’t have made it big, Dave would never talk about them. Fact of the matter is Metallica has been a much more stable band with only two lineup changes since Kill ‘Em All. One of those was due to the death of Cliff Burton. I believe Dave is a better guitar player than Kirk. But James writes better riffs. When you compare the Metallica and Megadeth libraries overall from top to bottom, Metallica is more appealing to me personally. I believe worldwide record sales confirm millions of others feel the same. Like I said, I love Megadeth but Dave just should’ve let this go years ago.

  2. RPS, in general, I agree with you about Mustaine’s bitterness. But I’m not sure if Mustaine is deliberately “throwing shade” at Metallica or not. After all, Mustaine wrote alot of “Kill Em All”, so to “insult” that album by claiming its “similar” to “Too Fast For Love” would also be “throwing shade” at himself as a songwriter.

    Personally, I enjoy Megadeth’s body of work much more than Metallica. First four albums, I give a slight edge to Metallica, but not by much, as “Rust In Peace” is my favorite thrash metal album.

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