JEFF YOUNG Says He Turned Down Initial Offer To Join MEGADETH Due To DAVE MUSTAINE’s ‘Voice’

Jeff Young Dave Mustaine

Former MEGADETH guitarist Jeff Young recalled turning down the initial offer to join the band after hearing Dave Mustaine‘s voice and shared his creative approach to playing with them.

Despite Jeff Young‘s brief two-year tenure with MEGADETH, he made a significant impact on the thrash legends’ 1988 album, So Far, So Good… So What!

In a recent appearance on the Metal Mastication show with his former MEGADETH and current KINGS OF THRASH bandmate David Ellefson, Young recounted living in an apartment shared with artist Barry Levine, in the same house where MALICE guitarist Jay Reynolds resided, shortly before joining the band.

He revealed that he had actually received a previous offer to join MEGADETH, which he declined after hearing Dave Mustaine‘s voice.

“That was about six months before [MEGADETH members] were thinking of getting rid of Chris [Poland, guitarist] and Gar [Samuelson, drummer]. [Ellefson] played me, Peace Sells, and I was doing like a Gary Moore, John Sykes, THIN LIZZY [kind of music]. I heard his voice, and I was like, ‘No, thanks.’ So I passed on it then.”

Some time later, after moving out of the house, Young began playing with Mark Poland, Chris‘ brother. One day, he visited Levine to share a demo with his former housemate when the phone rang.

“I’m sitting at Barry‘s kitchen table, and the phone rings,” Jeff said. “He picks it up, and his face goes straight white. He goes, ‘I can’t believe it,’ and he hands me the phone. And it’s Jay, being all cryptic and saying, ‘Jeff, I got an amazing business opportunity for you. I’m living in Laurel Canyon now. Can you come over?’ I said, ‘Sure.'”

“I stopped by there, and he was like, ‘I’ll pay you 50 bucks an hour to help me figure out all Chris Poland‘s solos off Killing [Is My Business… and Business Is Good!] and Peace Sells, plus, you’ve got to help me write my solos, because they only got two weeks to finish the [new] record!'”

Since MEGADETH‘s style differed significantly from what he had been doing at the time, Young took the opportunity to blend in some unexpected influences alongside the more typical ones.

“I was copping a lot of Alan Holdsworth at the time,” he said. “I don’t know if there’s anything faster on this planet or more alien than that… If you think of the influences of MEGADETH, there’s a healthy dose of [IRON] MAIDEN in there, and [SEX] PISTOLS, and all the rest. So I already figured out all their stuff. Those bands were big influences on me, so it kind of made it transparent. And I think also Chris Poland and and I had a lot of the same influences, listening to Jeff Beck, and Holdsworth, and John McLaughlin.”