Black Collar Workers


  • Axl Rosenberg

Mustaine Wept

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Dave Mustaine is a brilliant fucking musician, but that doesn’t mean he’s not also a whiney little bitch.

Reader Elvin sent us the below, which Mustaine apparently posted on the Megadeth forums:


I don’t know what to say.

How a record company could be presented with a Worldwide [sic] critically acclaimed record, and that they can let it plummet down the charts in just four weeks into the hundreds, is inexplicable.

I knew I shouldn’t have done this. Why didn’t I trust myself?

I regret a lot of things in my life, but this is the most regretable [sic].

A very disgusted Megaman.

Now let me tell you why I have a serious problem with what Mustaine is saying.

Yes, in an ideal world, Endgame would be selling many, many more copies. It is, as Elvin pointed out to us in his e-mail, a far better record than Death Magnetic, and it will only scan a fraction of the units of that album.

But that’s not really Roadrunner’s fault.

Roadrunner promoted the hell outta Endgame.  Roadrunner was smart – they knew they had a good product – and they sent out advance copies to some media outlets (including this one) as far back as July, more than two months prior to the album’s release, knowing that excited Meganerds who now write about metal for a living (or semi-living, as the case may be) would talk up the record. And they were right – every major metal site and magazine had positive things to say about Endgame (as Mustaine himself notes), and were hyping it for weeks and weeks and weeks prior to its release.

But Roadrunner didn’t stop there. They let the fans hear “Head Crusher” – about as good a single as you were gonna select off that album – weeks in advance of the release. And how many ads did you see for Endgame – on this site, on other sites, in magazines? Then there was the music video, the touring with Slayer and other high-profile acts, plus the endless stream of Mustaine interviews, which got posted and re-posted by Blabbermouth, us, and just about everyone else.

The awareness was out there. The metal community knew the album was coming.

And Mustaine’s core fan base all turned out and bought Endgame when it first came out. If its sales in subsequent weeks weren’t as high, well, that’s pretty much par for the course these days (a 50% drop in sales the second week of release is pretty average), especially with metal, where you’re dealing with a niche market. Add to that the fact that record sales in general are down all across the board, that there are kids who are just going to download everything illegally pretty much no matter what, and… well… what the fuck was Dave expecting?

To continue to sell thousands and thousands of copies a week, Dave would need to be reaching out to the non-metal community. Frat boys and party girls, kids who don’t normally listen to metal. It’s not like every metal fan in the world bought Metallica and that was all there was to it. Every metal fan in the world bought Metallica, but so did a gajillion other people, because songs like “Enter Sandman” and “Sad But True” and “The Unforgiven” and “Nothing Else Matters” had cross-over appeal.

There’s nothing like that on Endgame. Which is fine. It’s not a judgment. But Endgame is a metal record, not a rock record, and, as such, it was going to have a roof on its success. But that’s why you hear all the tr00 kids defending Mustaine as the pure artiste while they damn Metallica as sell-outs. Mustaine can’t have it both ways. He can’t stay true to metal and sell millions of albums. (And if “Crush ‘Em” is any indication, he’s not very good at selling out anyway.) And it’s worth noting that he’s still out on the road, still giving interviews left and right, still playing to big crowds every night. If he’s not winning new fans, he doesn’t really have anyone to blame but himself and maybe the current climate of general record sales.

I know that the cool thing to do is to point the finger at the big bad suits, and I know that Roadrunner is out favor in certain circles of the metal community right now because they’re not tr00 enough or whatever, but really, they haven’t done anything wrong here. This is just yet another instance of Mustaine blaming other people for his problems.


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