During the latest episode of the “Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon” podcast, MEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine spoke about the band’s new drummer Dirk Verbeuren and what he brings to the band.
Mustaine said: “The thing that Dirk brings to the band is this uncanny similarity to [late MEGADETH drummer] Gar Samuelson, and that, to me, is the best thing out of all of it. Whether he can play fast or not, he can, and whether he can play metal or not, he can, and whether he can play jazz or not, he totally can. And it’s been so long… You know, Nick[Menza, late MEGADETH drummer] was great, but Gar had something Nick didn’t. Nick was a metal kind of jazz guy. Gar was… he was an innovator. Dirk, to me, is like the ghost of Gar Samuelson; it’s really crazy. And, unfortunately, both those drummers [Gar and Nick], they’re no longer with us to have them do a drum-off, so I can say, ‘See, I told ya.’ But I’m flattered to have been graced with such great drummers in the first place.”
On MEGADETH‘s plan to stage a new festival called Kegadeth next year, Dave said:
“I don’t know that we’re announcing that yet, but it’s real. We were gonna be doing it at the beginning of 2019, but when the Ozzy thing [MEGADETH‘s recently announced North American tour as the support act for Ozzy Osbourne] came, we pushed it back. We did have the dates lined up, we had the buildings held and everything. So we’re just moving it back. We’re gonna have an announcement on when the dates are. But, basically, it’s a craft-beer-meets-metal festival. We’ve got a bunch of really great facilities held and we’ve got our eyes on some terrific bands. The thing is, it’s only two days a week; it’s four weekends in a row. So we’ve gotta find bands that can actually pull something like that off, because to have a band out on tour for 25 days and to only play eight or nine of those dates with us, they’re gonna have to find other stuff to do. And we strongly encourage that, ’cause we want the festival to be great for everybody and have a bunch of really great bands. There’s a lot of logistic stuff that needs to be worked out, and we’re real close to hammering all that out. The Ozzy thing came as something that was really, really great for us; I don’t know anybody in their mind that would turn it down. So we accepted it and just moved Kegadeth back a a little bit.”
On whether seeing artists like KISS and Ozzy Osbourne announce their farewell tours has made him think about MEGADETH eventually calling it quits:
Mustaine: “KISS is one of those bands that we love, because they say they’re gonna go away and they don’t. I love the band. I know that they’ve broken up, they’ve gone away, they’ve retired probably as many times as Ozzy said ‘No More Tours.’ I think there’s a ‘No More Tours 10’ coming up or something like that. But I don’t want them to stop playing; I never want Ozzy to stop playing. I’m a music fan. The thought of Ozzy not playing music, to me, is incomprehensible. When I see my peers and my contemporaries, my friends, the guys that are in my world, I don’t think of them doing anything but playing music…
“I kind of look at it like this: There are people in the music world that I think probably should hang it up. But it’s not for me to say. And I would hate for someone to tell me, ‘Dave, you’re too old,’ or, ‘You shouldn’t be doing this anymore.’ I think that that’s a pretty mean thing to say to somebody. But I, myself, I’ll know when I can’t do it. If it gets too hard to sing and play at the same time, I won’t do it anymore. I’ve already had to have my neck put back together from headbanging, so I don’t really know how much more the old skeleton can take. But until then, I’m gonna keep doing my job every day and I’m gonna do it as best as I can.”