MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine spoke to Noisey about the band’s forthcoming album, “Dystopia”, which will be released later this month via Universal Music Enterprises / Tradecraft / T-Boy Records. Asked if it is still important for MEGADETH to one day be recognized by the Grammy Awards, he said: “The thing is, in the beginning, the Grammy thing was really important to us. Then, we started to see that it wasn’t really as easy as somebody would think, because the people that are on the board, they’ve gotta listen to 45 Latin records and a bunch of Hawaiian stuff and then WEIRD AL YANKOVICH kinds of records, and so when it comes time to listen to metal, they just go, ‘Oh fuck, I ain’t listening to that. What’s the name that I recognize there?’ And that’s why they saw JETHRO TULL and went, ‘Okay, give JETHRO TULL the metal award.’
He continued: “There’s been some bad ones. But I’m cool with it. If I get the Grammy or if I don’t get the Grammy, I’ve been recognized by my peers a lot. I’ve been nominated almost a dozen times, so at the end of the day, it’s, like, are you satisfied with what you have? And I’m — let’s say this — I’m content. I’m not satisfied. I’m not giving up yet.”
Mustaine added: “I’m hoping that I’ll be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, too, but, you know, if they don’t want me in there, it’s okay. I mean, I am in there vis-à-vis METALLICA, and no matter what those guys say or what anybody believes about their induction ceremony, they wouldn’t have been there if it wasn’t for me being in the band, because I was there in the beginning, so I have some satisfaction.”
Mustaine, who was a member of METALLICA for less than two years, from 1981 to 1983, before being dismissed and replaced by Kirk Hammett, was not inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the band during the April 2009 ceremony at Cleveland, Ohio’s Public Auditorium.
METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich later explained to The Plain Dealer that Mustaine was not included because “you’ve got to kind of cap it somewhere. Dave Mustaine never played on any METALLICA records. No disrespect to him. But there [were] half a dozen other people that were in the lineup in the early days. We thought . . . the fair thing to do would be to include anybody that played on a METALLICA record.”
He added: “Dave Mustaine was in the band for 11 months, predominantly in 1982. . . . I’m not trying to play it down. I have nothing but respect and admiration for his accomplishments since.”
METALLICA invited Mustaine to attend the Rock Hall induction. He declined, citing European tour commitments, but issued a statement congratulating the band. He later explained his absence in an interview, saying: “I’m not gonna sit in the audience and watch the band I started with these two guys get inducted and me not be a part of it.”
He added: “There’s ten million people that agree [I should have been inducted]. . . You know what [Lars] said to me?! He said, [imitating Lars‘ Danish accent] ‘Only the people that are on the fucking record can be at the Hall Of Fame, man.’ And I was like, ‘Well, Hooked On Phonics worked for me; I can read my name; it’s all over [the first METALLICA album]. [Laughs] But you know what?! It’s OK, ’cause if I’m gonna get into the Hall Of Fame, there’s nothing he can do to stop me.”