In a brand new interview with Paste magazine, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine was asked how much has changed as far as what informs his lyrics now as opposed to being that guy in his early 20s. He responded: “I think probably as a kid who wrote my first lyric for ‘Mechanix’ when I was very, very young, and then ‘Jump In The Fire’ around the same time, those were the writings of a young male who was not quite 21 yet and had been severely religiously abused from my mom’s religion. She was a Jehovah’s Witness, and, to me, I don’t believe in it. My opinion is that it’s a cult, and my family’s still in that religion, and it’s a bummer. You grow up learning certain things like you can’t do the pledge of allegiance, you can’t have a birthday party, or any of that, and that kind of stuff really affected the way my myopic of the world and the prism that I saw it through. It’s like with this whole political thing where everybody’s saying I’m a Republican. I’m not a Republican. I’ve been an Independent ever since I was able to vote. Now, there are certain states that we’ve lived in where the paperwork to register only had certain things you had to fill in on it in order to get registered, but I voted for Clinton, I voted for Bush, and when it comes down to watching the whole political process right now, they’re all the same. Of course, with my lyrics, I’m not trying to generalize those things necessarily, because once you start to water down stuff so that it’s a much broader brush, I think you lose the focus. It’s like a candlelight versus a laser beam, and I would rather that I was able to really stay focused on what I write about. That’s something that I think a lot of younger kids are starting to be aware of.”
He continued: “Millennials are pissed right now because they’ve got no future. I’m hearing that there’s even a name for kids called the ‘Throwaway Generation.’ What the hell is that? I was just thinking about a lyric Sting had where he says, ‘The Russians love their children, too,’ and I was thinking about how poignant it would be to do that and say something about who our current political or foreign adversaries are, because that’s such a brilliant lyric. If you really love your kids, you’re not gonna push the button because the balance of something like the nuclear armament is mutually assured destruction. At some point, you just have to ask yourself, ‘How much of this is fiction and how much of it is reality?'”
Mustaine also talked about how his own mortality has started to influence what and how he creates. He said: “Not to be redundant with my source of quotes, but I think Winston Churchill is the one attributed to the quote that says something about when you’re young, you’re more inclined to be liberal, and when you’re older, you’re more inclined to be conservative, and I think there’s a lot of that that makes sense. Life is like a candle, and when you get down to the very end of it, you want the fire to burn slower.”
He went on to say: “I mean, you look at mortality and the people who are just a mere 20 years or even less older than me dropping like flies. Of course medication has advanced to help extend our lives, but it really makes you think about what is gonna be left behind for you. Think about it. Scott Weiland died, and he was in the press for like two days and then gone. All the great songs that he wrote and all the wonderful shows that those guys put on, and the same thing with Lemmy, although the heavy metal community did a great job of memorializing him, this giant, who I’ll never forget, but he’s out of the headlines. [David] Bowie went a little bit slower than any of them, obviously, but then someone like Glenn Frey just came and went. He was just as quickly in the news as he was out of it, and nobody even really made mention at all of Natalie Cole dying.”
Mustaine added: “You think your life is this grand thing, but it’s just that dash between the year we’re born and the year we die. Everything you do, every word we say, and every deed we accomplish is summed up in that dash.”
Read the entire interview at Paste magazine.