Music News

Speed Dealers

One of the last speed-metal bands from the golden age, Megadeth remains forever fast and furious in form and function. The band's latest album, United Abominations, goes old-school, eschewing the overblown studio production and soaring anthems of recent efforts for straightahead, rip-your-face-off thrash. Dave Mustaine remains outspoken as he preaches about society's woes but leaves no doubt that the world is ultimately screwed. We recently caught up with Megadeth bassist James LoMenzo, who discussed the present state of metal, Mustaine's grim outlook and...Lisa Marie Presley.

Westword: Dave Mustaine calls this an old-school metal album made to shake up the metal community. Is a shakeup needed?

James LoMenzo: We were doing the Gigantour, and it occurred to us as we were watching a lot of the younger bands that they were the epitome of what they do. It shook us up and got us looking back at what Megadeth did classically. It seemed that, as one of the forerunners of this type of music, that if there should be a shakeup, we should be leading the charge and making that noise.

Dave is a rather outspoken guy when it comes to the world state of affairs, and many of his lyrics seem to point out our ultimate destruction.

This is stuff that's written everywhere. It's written in scriptures, commentary on TV, the president's talking about it. This isn't a unique idea at all. It's something that's on people's minds. But when we're taking about people, the world's survival and where we're going as a spiritual people, it does seem -- and I don't think anyone would argue it -- that we're all heading to hell in a handcart. So it's topical. Why not?

Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil sings on one track. How did that come about?

That was a happy accident. We had a list of people we were considering, and one was Lisa Marie Presley. That would have been very interesting. I don't know if people would have taken it seriously, even though I know she can sing great. At the last minute, Cristina's name came up, and she was really right for what we were doing.

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Glenn BurnSilver
Contact: Glenn BurnSilver