Megadeth: Play For Blood

 
Most festivals in the States have the same band ten times with a different name and a different backdrop. They sing the same and sound the same. That's a snore fest. I went to Europe for a festival one time and it changed my perspective. It was in Scandinavia and it was Faith No More, R.E.M., Oasis, Sheryl Crow, Bo Diddley and Megadeth. It's so unbelievably diversified that it attracts so many different people with different backgrounds. Granted, overseas people handle it better. In the States there'd be hecklers and shit talkers and people who are going to try and ruin it for someone else.

-Dave Mustaine

 
Image of Dave Mustaine from www.megadeth.com

Gigantour

Dave Mustaine
In 2005, Mustaine started Gigantour, a traveling, multi-band metal road show that's become one of the biggest annual tours in the world. The 2008 North American installment begins April 12 at The Fillmore in Denver, Colorado. Besides Megadeth, Mustaine discusses the rest of this year's roster.

"Gigantour is based on the idea of having really talented guys. Children of Bodom's Alexi [Laiho] is a guitar wunderkind. I'd heard about In Flames when I was at a festival in Europe and saw them in Japan in 2006. Job For A Cowboy and High On Fire were recommended by our agents and I listened and liked them," says Mustaine. "There's not the usual guitar 'shredsmanship' with High On Fire but they've got a lot of energy. So, where it's kind of counter to the Gigantour philosophy of 15-fingered guitar players, I think when you listen to bands like that it continues the beauty and premise of Gigantour, which is to introduce people to different kinds of bands and have a festival like in Europe. Most festivals in the States have the same band ten times with a different name and a different backdrop. They sing the same and sound the same. That's a snore fest."

"I went to Europe for a festival one time and it changed my perspective. It was in Scandinavia and it was Faith No More, R.E.M., Oasis, Sheryl Crow, Bo Diddley and Megadeth. It's so unbelievably diversified that it attracts so many different people with different backgrounds. Granted, overseas people handle it better. In the States there'd be hecklers and shit talkers and people who are going to try and ruin it for someone else. I'm not talking about Gigantour having such a diverse lineup. It's all metal but there's a lot of different types, which is refreshing."

You'd be hard pressed to find two more different metal bands than Megadeth and Sweden's Opeth, who shared the stage on Gigantour 2006, which also included Lamb of God, Arch Enemy and Overkill. The 2007 edition included Static X, Devildriver and Italy's goth monsters Lacuna Coil, whose lead singer, Cristina Scabbia duets with Mustaine on Abominations' "A Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free)," where the pair sings in French. No "Freedom Fries" bullshit here. There's an underlying continuity to Gigantour, and it's a credit to Mustaine's ears and instincts that he keeps putting together a synchronistic assortment of bands each year that showcase metal's continuing evolution as well as celebrating its past.

Megadeth
"That's the beauty of all this. In a really weird way, we've all kind of been influenced by the same bands," says Mustaine. "There's so many different factions in metal. Like we didn't get nominated for a Grammy [for United Abominations] because we're no longer considered heavy metal. We're categorized as 'classic rock.' I was like, 'You're kidding me.' If that's the reason then it's sad. I've been nominated seven times and not won so it's not anything new. I got over feeling like Susan Lucci a long time ago."

"Megadeth has been around for a really long time, and it's not because I won't go away. In fact, there's been times where the thought of me going away has been all I could think of. But the public has made it clear to me that they still appreciate the work I do. Establishing Gigantour has made it even more fun for me to be a musician. I can now enjoy a lot of the flavor and fruit that's been produced. I'm booking a festival where I'm giving young bands an opportunity to come play with me. Gigantour is not like 'Dave Fest' like Ozzfest. It's something that can continue on whether Megadeth is on it or not," comments Mustaine, whose band has toured in recent years with Heaven And Hell (aka Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio singing) and other heavyweights besides the Gigantour. "There's still a couple things I'd like to do. I've talked about doing something for our troops overseas, perhaps a broadcast performance from a secret location on a military base here in the States for the men and women who are protecting our rights and freedoms. I wouldn't mind doing one of those corporate gigs where you do a concert for one kid for his birthday, where he gets a Big Wheel and there's snot gurgling out of his nose and I'm playing 'Holy Wars' [laughs]."

Continue reading for more on Megadeth...


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