DAVE MUSTAINE On 90s Music Trend: ‘We Decided We Wouldn’t Change To Fit The Trend And Would Tough It Out’

Dave Mustaine Metallica in the 90s

Dave Mustaine reminisced about how groups such as NIRVANA were “f**king things up” during the early 1990s, and highlighted that MEGADETH consistently remained loyal to their fundamental sound, even though numerous metal bands underwent transformations in terms of image and style during that era due to the influence of grunge.

When asked in a new interview with Guitar World how important was MEGADETH‘s 1992’s Countdown to Extinction album to him, Dave responded: “It was our biggest record. That’s pretty much the way I measure it. A lot of it was because of the timing; it came out in ‘92, and ‘92 was when everything was imploding because of alternative music. You had PEARL JAM, NIRVANA, SOUNDGARDEN, MOTHER LOVE BONE and BLIND MELON f**king things up, and radio gravitated toward that. 

“They thought the yuppies would listen to alternative music while drinking their Stella Artois. [Laughs] The types who don’t drink Miller High Life and definitely don’t listen to metal. And the advertisers who handled brands like Lexus, BMW and s**t like that would advertise on alternative stations, which f**ked metal.

“So, as these metal stations went the way of the great white buffalo, we had to decide, ‘Are we going to be alternative? Are we going to change like every other band?’ METALLICA cut their hair off, put makeup on and all that stuff, and I got little haircuts during that time, but I never chopped it off. We decided we wouldn’t change to fit the trend and would tough it out,” he added.

“Sure, we made some minor changes at the behest of the record label, but that was as far as it went. The fact that Countdown succeeded despite the shifts in popular music showed that the music was more potent than any trend. We didn’t sell out like other bands. We didn’t change who we were. I think that’s the greatest measure of Countdown’s importance.”