Dave Mustaine says he is a great ‘American success story’ as he recalled his journey from a difficult childhood to becoming a metal legend with a band which boasts album sales in excess of 50 million.
In an interview with Fox News the Megadeth mainman also revealed the secret of his band’s longevity was simply to treat people with respect – a trait he says is lost on many musicians.
Megadeth will release their 15th studio album early next month when ‘Dystopia’ hits stores on April 8, and discussing the themes and tone of his lyrics, Mustaine tells Fox News: “If you're a musician who writes happy love songs and stuff like that, if that makes your boat float, that's great. I like talking about things that affect me. I came from a broken family, broken home, latchkey kid, I was on food stamps, that whole thing, so I know what it's like to have the odds stacked against you.
“But I'm also a great American success story of perseverance and that you can overcome stuff. And I think a lot of that is what I share in the songs — like, [no matter] how bad it gets, you can always change things if you're willing to apply yourself to it.”
In 30-years Megadeth have amassed record sales north of 50 million and to survive in an industry as notoriousy cut-throat as the music business is no mean feat.
He explains: “There's a lot of real cheeky sayings, like 'It's a lot easier to turn a no into a yes,' which helped a lot. Also, don't ever sign anything unless you have an attorney look at it, which is another simple thing to do. But I think the most important thing is going back to 'The Sermon On The Mount' [collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus], with the golden rule: treat people the way you wanna be treated.
“I see a lot of people that are musicians that just act like idiots and treat people really awful, and I see that and I think, 'God, you didn't have to do that. You didn't have to treat people like that.' And I think a lot of that comes with new people in the music business. They think they have that self-righteous entitlement where they walk above everybody else.”
He adds: “And, you know, 35 years later, I think I'm pretty grounded.”