Ok, both are great guitarists, but I can’t see the thing working simply because their guitar playing doesn’t fit. Slash is a pentatonic note-to-note guitar player; Mustaine is a scale user who loves to go fast. No match at all. In an interview with Appetite for Distortion, Mustaine talked about his friendship with Slash, his Experience Hendrix, among other things (as transcribed by UG).
You’re good friends with Slash, is it true that he once tried out for Megadeth because of the friendship and idolizing his work?
“Yes, we’re most definitely friends. He didn’t try out, but he had an invitation. He and David Ellefson had played together several times, so that was fun.
“And he liked playing with Dave, and he liked the idea of playing with me, and I thought it was a great idea too.
“That’s probably where we became such great friends. Although we don’t see each other a lot, whenever we see each other it’s, ‘Hey, what’s up, man?’
“And there’s, I think, a deep, deep, deep mutual respect for each other.”
In his book, Slash wrote about living in the same neighborhood as Mustaine.
“I crashed wherever I could, and did whatever came to mind, and there was a point in there when I hooked up with Dave Mustaine of Megadeth.
“We became friends; he was strung out on smack and crack and he lived in the same neighborhood, so we hung out and wrote songs. He was a true, complete f*cking maniac and a genius riff writer.
“We’d hang out, smoke crack, and come up with MAJOR heavy metal riffs, just f*cking dark and heavy as hell.
“Sometimes Dave Ellefson would join us; we got along great, we wrote some great sh*t. It got to the point, in our drug-fueled creative zone, that we started seriously entertaining the idea of me joining Megadeth.
“Guns was in a holding pattern, after all, and I was high enough to consider all kinds of bad decisions.
“Dave Mustaine is still one of the most genius musicians I have ever jammed with, but still, in my heart of hearts, I knew I couldn’t leave Guns.”
You can check out a few other quotes from the first interview with Dave below.
I’m talking to somebody that who I respect very much and look up to – I’m wondering if that’s the feeling you got when you were asked to participate in this Experience Hendrix tour. Was Jimi a big influence on you?
“This thing came about in a really unique way. I didn’t know anything about it, and my management has asked me – I don’t know any Hendrix, I honestly don’t, and I had never learned any Hendrix growing up.
“I remember one time I was playing music with these two guys from my band Panic, and we played ‘Fire’ two times, so once I had to learn the song I realized how awful I was playing it.
“But I never learned the stuff. And the crazy thing is that two recordings on [2013’s] ‘Super Collider, we got this song ‘Don’t Turn Your Back,’ meaning, ‘Don’t turn your back on a friend,’ but also, ‘Don’t turn your back because a friend may stab you’ kind of a thing.
“The beginning of the song, I wanted it to be really kind of sad, I had Chris Broderick – who was a really great player – do this blues part, kind of like the song ‘Little Wing’ Jimi has.
“He does it again at the very end of the song, but that’s not it, I never learned, never known – and going back and learning this stuff, it’s been so rewarding.”
It’s hard to argue in the community of guitarists that Jimi is looked to as a god. A lot of people may say the same thing about you: a guitar god, a heavy metal god. How do you look upon people talking about you?
“I don’t fancy being called a god. That makes me uncomfortable, ’cause I’m just a guy. But I love my job, and I take pride at being good at it.
“But I also know that there’s guys that are so much better than me. Zakk [Wylde], for example. Zakk’s an amazing guitar player. But then who else is there? Eric Johnson, one of my personal favorites. And Joe Satriani, one of the best in the world.
“And Dweezil Zappa, who is probably, to me, the biggest surprise, a great guitar player and a sweetheart of a guy. He’s been helping me with my sound. I went to the show the other day, and Dweezil is working on my amp and Eric Johnson is playing my guitar, and I’m thinking, ‘Man, I died and went to heaven. Look at this.'”