MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine recently told U.K.'s Guitar & Bass magazine that he has a serious reason why he wants the band's new album, "United Abominations", to be the best it can ever be. "This is my last real shot at achieving anything significant," he said. "If I don't do it this time, there probably will never be a next time. I'm 45, I have a nerve disorder in my back called stenosis" — an overgrowth of bone closing off the hole in the vertebrae where the nerve emerges to go to the arm — "and it's making it harder for me to play. Prior to the damage to my arm, I was already starting to feel weird things happening [and] my arm was starting to go numb. But I've got two black belts in karate. I'm a tough guy," he winked. "I can handle it."
Having already faced the unimaginable prospect of never playing again, Mustaine is surprisingly calm about his possible fate. "I have faith that I will be healed," he said simply. "But if that doesn't happen, I'm in a place in my life where, if it all ended tomorrow, I'd be pretty happy."
Mustaine said that some of the fire in his belly returned after a particularly vital conversation with an old friend back on the 2005 Gigantour.
"Frank Bello [bass] from ANTHRAX sat me down one night after a show and said, 'Dave, I really like MEGADETH, but we really need you to get pissed off again. MEGADETH is important music and the best stuff you ever wrote was when you were pissed off.'
"The thing is, as I said to Frank, I'm not an angry person anymore! But then I figured that there was a lot of things in the world to be angry about as well that had to be spoken out against. In my personal life, I stopped fighting and started to seek reconciliation where I could."