dave mustaine

Mustaine stands tall with the Gibson Custom Shop version of his signature Flying V EXP, which will become available in October.

Photo courtesy of Gibson

The Megadeth leader survived his most difficult challenge—throat cancer—to make a new thrash metal opus, The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!, with guitar foil Kiko Loureiro.

Megadeth’s leader Dave Mustaine was about to dive into making the band’s new album, The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!, when he received a terrible diagnosis: throat cancer. “I was told by an oral surgeon just like he was ordering a cup of coffee. ‘Oh, you have cancer.’ I went out, sat in my car for a long time, and had tears down my face. I had just gone into a numbness,” he recalls.

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Megadeth’s current line-up includes (left to right) drummer Chris Adler—on furlough from Lamb of God, guitarist Kiko Loureiro, frontman/guitarist Dave Mustaine, and cofounder/bassist David Ellefson.
Photo by Chapman Baehler

The thrash metal pioneers plot world conquest via Dystopia, an edgy new album that revisits the band’s roaring roots while showcasing the blazing Kiko Loureiro on guitar.

“I like painting,” says Dave Mustaine, “but I’m probably more partial to sculpture. And I can find a lot of majesty in great architecture. I think that’s really helpful when you’re writing music.”

Calling in from a tour stop in India, the Megadeth frontman, guitarist, cofounder, and all around mastermind has just broken off from a story about the band’s 15th studio album, Dystopia, to answer one of those obligatory interview questions about art and musical influences. And after more than an hour of conversation with him and Megadeth cofounder and bassist David “Junior” Ellefson, it’s easy to see the connection between stone, steel, and the thundering riffs that hold together this towering follow-up to 2013’s Super Collider.

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Whether giving blistering gear demos or autographs, these well-known artists drew crowds in Anaheim this year.

John Petrucci at the Music Man stand.

One of the draws for the industry crowd at Winter NAMM is the appearance of many notable musicians. Sometimes they’re there to look around at the gear but most are there to perform and demo the latest gear (the things with their name on it), meet people, and sign autographs. This year Steve Morse played for Ernie Ball, George Lynch played for ESP, Greg Koch played for Fishman, and Mickey Mouse brought the whole darn Disney Marching Band for the opening ceremony. People lined up to get selfies with Eric Johnson, John Petrucci, and Corey Feldman. Yes, people lined up to meet Corey Feldman, the guy from The Goonies and Stand by Me. He’s in a band. Who knew?