“What the world needs now is a new Megadeth record.”
So said bassist David Ellefson back in 1994 on the eve of the release of the band’s Youthanasia.
It had been two-and-a-half years since Megadeth’s previous album, and during that time frontman Dave Mustaine felt that some of the day’s successful metal acts had borrowed a riff or two from Megadeth as well as from his old band, Metallica.
“When I got together with James [Hetfield], he and I created a guitar style that everybody and their brother is playing now, everyone,” Mustaine groused. “I’m not gonna name anybody ’cause I’m not gonna promote them. OK, we’ll say ‘panther’ in Spanish [Pantera]. You’re welcome guys. We might as well be cooking their dinner for them or pushing their little wheelbarrow to the bank for them.”
The sixth album of Megadeth’s career, Youthanasia came with striking cover art featuring an elderly woman hanging babies by their feet on a seemingly endless clothesline.
“Yeah, it’s a direct line from a song that says, ‘We’ve been hung out to dry,’ ” Ellefson explained. “That song [‘Youthanasia’] was probably the strongest representation of how we feel about the young people who listen to our music and what their future holds for them. It’s like you have a choice, you can become proactive or you can choose ‘Youthanasia.’ ”
The Dave Matthews Band became the latest case of a rock band coming into the mainstream spotlight as a result of a dedicated fanbase, which managed to help the eclectic group’s major-label debut album enter the pop chart in the top 40.
“We really never thought that they’d get this big,” one longtime fan said. “We saw them at fraternity parties and now we gotta stand in line for two hours and then it gets sold out before we can even get tickets. It’s almost like an overnight thing.”
The Dave Matthews Band probably would have disagreed with the
“overnight” assessment. In the three years since the South
African-born Matthews introduced himself to some well-known local musicians
in Charlottesville, Virginia, who eventually became part of the DMB, the
band grew steadily from obscurity to one of the hottest club acts
in the country, all by word of mouth.
“Just close friends [would help] and we said, ‘Do you think you can push this pencil or make these telephone calls for us,’ and it worked out for us,” Matthews explained.
“A lot of kids get bootleg tapes from us and spread them around to their friends and they initiated that kind of stuff themselves,” the group’s Boyd Tinsley said.
“I think the reason RCA [Records] was attracted to us was because of how we built up a large fanbase with our own independent release and our own album and with how we promoted it, with our merchandizing, whatever,” Matthews said. “Our first two albums were live, and then going into the studio for two months … it was a little alien, in a way.”
Mariah Carey’s record company held a very early Christmas party this week at New York City’s famous Rockefeller Center ice skating rink to celebrate the release of Mariah’s new album Merry Christmas. MTV News went rink side to chat with Carey about the LP.
“It was a really tough decision,” Mariah said, “like which standards to do and which originals to do, ’cause there’s so many great Christmas songs and it’s like, which cute ones do I do and which more spiritual ones do I do?”
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