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5 Albums I Can't Live Without

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without: Dave Mustaine of Megadeth

(Credit: Travis Shinn)

Name  Dave Mustaine

Best known for  Probably guitar playing and probably a little bit of sarcasm and probably a lot about political lyrics.

Current city  I’m in Nashville, Tennessee. I live in Franklin, Tennessee.

Really want to be in  My daughter’s over in Europe right now and I really wish we were all together somehow, whether it was here or there, because I’m here with my son and wife and daughter-in-law and our ever-growing family. It would be cool to be just visiting some of our House of Mustaine wine projects. We have stuff that comes from California, where we lived before, which is not such a big deal for travel. As it is, we just got a vineyard over in Marche in Italy, and that’s really exciting. They just went to Portugal, too, looking at some more vineyards in Portugal.

I thought Portugal was renowned only for Porto wine, but of course, there’s a great metal scene there, too. I think there’s a lot of people who would say Portugal’s most famous for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Excited about  My koi pond. I don’t really have any hobbies. My thing that I do is martial art, and there’s only so much you can have your face smashed into the floor. There’s not really much new about that. So, when the koi pond came along, it was part of my meditational program. Having stuff to just be around and chill out because life can’t be Mach 10 all day long, or you burn out. 

Sting had said something really brilliant: you have to live life in between records to have anything significant to sing about. And I don’t know where he was living when he wrote “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da,” but sounded like it worked.

My current music collection has a lot of  My current playlist…it’s usually made up of the spur-of-the-moment things. I can’t really answer this one honestly and say I have a playlist because my playlist is constantly morphing. On the way over here this morning we listened to Nazareth, to the Scorpions Don’t Make No Promises. We listened to Black Sabbath Neon Knights. We listened to a couple other older bands. We were coming through some stuff, listened to Exciter Pounding Metal. Some [other] known bands.

I don’t really have a playlist, but I would say for me, I live for the rhythm of the music and sometimes it’s good to have it fast. Sometimes it’s good to have the real driving and pounding. My playlist would be made up of more of the international metal bands.

And a little bit of  To a lot of songwriters…for the songwriting structure that they do. For example, there’s a guy named Roddy Frame who is the singer for a band called Aztec Camera, and most metal people would call me a pussy if they heard Aztec Camera, but it’s a great band with beautiful songwriting. That’s where I turn to when I want to learn something. I’ll go to people who are exceptional in their field. And Roddy Frame writes for a lot of people. When somebody has unlocked the secret of songwriting, for me, I want to maybe not pick their brain, but at least observe. 

Some other people that people would be surprised I listen to…Crowded House is one of the bands. We were listening to Alan Parsons yesterday on the way home from an appointment we had. Alan was the producer for Pink Floyd and is an exceptional songwriter himself. Songs are a bit progressive, and I think that’s where the whole prog thing came, had a lot to do with Alan Parsons because Pink Floyd is obviously one of the originators of that whole synth prog stuff.

Some people can say Kraftwerk and some of these other bizarre bands with keyboards were the predecessors, but I think Alan Parsons can be heard in a lot of different music genres.

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without:


The White Album, The Beatles

One of the most influential records for me as far as songwriting is concerned is the Beatles’ White Album — brilliant bass work and harmonies. I think Sir George Martin was immortal amongst mortals and his talent is just mind-blowing. Where would we be if it wasn’t for his overdubbing? I don’t know. We’d still be using four tracks, I’m sure. I love the combination of McCartney and Lennon, although it’s really easy to see the difference between John’s writing and Paul’s writing. John’s stuff was kind of the intense stuff, and Paul’s stuff was kind of the love song, syrupy kind of stuff. I love them both. 


Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin

The way that they were able to feature a solo guitarist and have a band with such breadth and depth…it doesn’t really seem like four guys can get on a stage and make that sound. It’s almost like an occurrence, like the soundtrack of a fucking train wreck or a hurricane coming through. When you picture something like that, it’s just awe-inspiring. 

I loved the Tolkien stuff that Robert Plant sang about…I felt that it was really neat because the medieval approach that the band emoted with their music. It dovetailed nicely with the Tolkien lyrics. 


Phenomenon, UFO

I was a young surf punk when I first heard this record. Someone had been playing “Rock Bottom” off the Phenomenonrecord at a keg party. Keg parties were where we would go in a backyard in Huntington Beach, we’d set up band’s equipment and get a keg of beer, and people would come and hang out in the backyard and you’d blast music. It was just a way of life there.

UFO Phenomenon was one of those records that I heard, and I just fell in love with the guitar playing, and it started me off down that road. 


Let There Be Rock, AC/DC

That [record] pretty much changed my life when I heard Malcolm playing rhythm and the tone that Angus got and just the whole approach. It’s supposed to be a boogie woogie band, and it’s far fucking from it. I loved Bon’s attitude. He just seemed like…the epitome of the snot-nosed singer, if you know what I mean. I loved him.


Lightning to the Nations, Diamond Head

Because of the riff – the way the riff has been created. 

The press in England had said that Diamond Head were the successors to Led Zeppelin. I thought they very well could have been, but the band imploded – the singer had some issues – and they fell apart, and now the guitar player’s playing in Saxon. 

Megadeth is currently on tour. Visit their site to purchase tickets.