Dave Mustaine explores classical-metal hybrid

by Brett Stevens
April 8, 2014 –


Speed metal tyrant Dave Mustaine (Metallica, Megadeth) takes to the stage with the San Diego Symphony to play guitar solos in place of violin leads.

He will play along with “Summer” and “Winter” from Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Air,” Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” and Antonín Dvořák’s “New World Symphony.” Mustaine described these pieces as shredding, fast and melodic.

In addition, the guitarist revealed some surprising background to his own music:

Mustaine also talked about Megadeth’s classical influence since its formation.

“On the very first song on our very first record, I actually played piano … Funny thing was, it was a very, very, hacked up version of Beethoven’s Fugue in D Minor and going back and listening to the actual performance of Beethoven, it’s kind of like, ‘Nice try Dave’ because it was close to it, but I mean, I was a gutter kid that grew up on the street and was playing from memory. I was surprised I could even play the piano.”

For the full story, head on over to The Daily Aztec.

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  • fenrir

    Mustaine going Malmsteen on us?
    I dislike the results of this kind of projects in general. It ends up being the electrical guitar screeching on top of the orchestra in a way I can only describe as distasteful.

    Prove my expectations wrong, Mustaine. I hope you do.

  • gestapo

    I can’t help it but quote a phrase from that half-assed blog called that’s not metal:

    “When you’re standing eagerly behind a shit factory like Dave Mustaine, waiting to see what comes out the other end, you only have yourself to blame when you’re expecting a gold bar to plop out and feel foiled by the steaming, fiberful result.”

    Mustaine stopped being relevant a long, long time ago. Why he’s still being mentioned in metal websites is beyond me. Props for calling him “speed metal tyrant” though.

  • Bro

    Bro, this bro is not fit even to lick the boots of bros of the caliber of Vivaldi, bro. He should stick to his Megaturd albums, bro.

  • Lord Mosher

    Lately I’ve been revisiting old interviews of him on Youtube and I’ve got to admit I like the guy!
    He’s lucid, eloquent and evidently a smart feller.
    I’ve no problem with the fact that he became a Christian, in fact, I find myself agreeing with most of his Conservative and pro-American opinions on various topics.
    Had he continued in Metallica and Cliff hadnt’ died, I can only imagine Master of Puppets not being their artistic peak!!
    They would be all doing entire albums in the vein of Orion, I can only dream.

  • Dissident Aggressor

    Dave Mustaine is everything that’s wrong with 80s speed metal. If it wasn’t for him and his Mickey Mouse-ass riffs there wouldn’t be half as much Guitar Hero metal out there today. I hear the dude knows karate though, I wouldn’t say any of this to his face.

      1. Barbaar

        No, see the Mustaine’s quote in the article. Laozi ment the intro of Killing is my Business. That’s a piece by Bach as well- not Beethoven. Mustaine’s full of shit. Whatever the hell he means by ‘the actual performance by Beethoven’ will probably remain a mystery.

  • eman

    The only guitarist I know who successfully fused classical-style music with metal-style playing is Paul Gilbert. Many of his leads and cadenzas in Racer X’s first album “Street Lethal” were heavily inspired by classical music along the lines of Beethoven and Chopin. He also has lots of classical-inspired riffs on his album “Silence Followed By A Deafening Roar”, namely “The Gargoyle”, “Suite Modale”, and “Eudaimonia Overture”.

    Malmsteem is a joker; “neoclassical” my ass, he just plays scale runs back and forth while an orchestra fills in chords behind him.

  • Barbaar

    Well fuck being ‘inspired by classical music’. It means nothing.
    An artist would start from being inspired by god/nature/the void, then maybe look at great artists of the past for details concerning the technical execution. People keep pushing this metal-classical connection where it is not. It’s been another way of selling shit for chocolate from the ‘baroque-pop’ start.

    1. trystero

      Its also just lame. Own metal, like it for its merits. Expound on them. Pushing the classical thing does nothing for metal, it only serves to big up classical music while making metal look bad. I like classsical music, but I like metal more. I do believe there is a connection between classical music and metal, but it comes from the blood. Its something deep seated and impossible to explain in terms of objects. Perhaps that is why so many metal musicians admit to be influenced by classical. It isnt anything direct, its a similarity of spirit. They recognized themselves in classical music. But that is the extent of it, and its not enough to talk about all the time…

      …and I still like metal way more than classical!

    2. eman

      This is a good comment, but I’m going to argue your very first claim. What it means to be inspired by classical music is to take to heart the reverence that classical composers had for structure and harmonic consistency, as well as the purpose of different music voices and their use to “color” certain passages with their varied tones. This is probably what you were saying, more or less, with the 2nd half of your 2nd sentence, no?

      Playing classical music on an electric guitar with a distorted signal is certainly not a fusion of classical and metal. However, if you consider what I said to be sensible, then you’ll find that there are connections between metal and classical, at least insofar as the technical execution.

      1. Barbaar

        The claim ‘inspired by classical music’ can really mean anything, so it is useless as an indication of, for instance, artistic integrity.

        I didn’t say there were no technical connections at all between good metal and some classical music. They’re just not present with every artist that claims to dig some old tunes. To investigate a possible connection could help explain why some metal is interesting (let’s not examine Ildjarn this way), but metal mustn’t draw its legitimacy as an art-form from it. That’s not in technical details.

    1. woe

      He was never a technically skilled guitarist and it shows. At least he is sitting like the rest of the orchestra and not posing like he’s the center of the universe, that’s something.