DAVE MUSTAINE: I Was Worried About Sounding ‘Real Kirky Jerky’ When Playing Wah Pedal Live For First Time

Dave Mustaine

In a new interview with Music Radar, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine talked about playing wah pedal live in concert for the first time on his current “Experience Hendrix” tour.

When asked how his first wah experience went, Dave responded:

“I’m not too sure! [Laughs] I think it came out okay. This is going to sound funny, but I don’t know if I’m more comfortable using my left foot or right foot!

“I’ve gotten really close to Zakk Wylde, I love that guy… he’s such an imposing figure but once you get to know him, he’s such a nice guy.

“We were joking around about using wah-wahs; some other people don’t use them properly or overuse it, so I wanted to make sure I hit the right spots and subtly.

“I asked him which foot he preferred and he said *thick New Jersey accent*, ‘Ah, Father Dave, it doesn’t f*ckin’ matter!’ I tried to remember that during the show and apply that sense of ease to how I used the wah.

“At first, my adrenaline was going at a zillion miles an hour and I was hoping my ankle would stay smooth, otherwise I might sound real Kirky jerky!”

On which wah pedal he end up using, he said:

“I don’t actually know; some of the other guys helped take care of that. I haven’t ever told anyone this story yet – Dweezil Zappa said he’d like to help with my tone.

“I knew he was an amazing guitarist and we had some connection because I had befriended his sister back when we were on Rock & Roll Jeopardy!

“Dweezil started helping with my tone because, let’s face it, it’s light years away from what Hendrix sounded like. One day I had to stay at home and tend to some appointments, I couldn’t make soundcheck, so he ended up working on my rig and I was really grateful.

“Then I found out Eric Johnson had been playing my guitar and helping with my tone, too. He came up to me one night, taking out his phone and showed me a picture of him playing my guitar.

“I went, ‘Oh my God!’ I was really looking forward to meeting him and, honestly, this has been one of the greatest experiences for me ever – not only having this legend wanting to play my guitar but also helping it respond better live.

“They’re both gearheads and watched me play enough to know how I wanted to interpret these songs, in a more metal style.”