It's not lost on Dave Mustaine that Megadeth, which has gone through 22 members since 1983, has kept the same lineup together for its last two studio albums, 2011's "Th1rt3en" and this year's "Super Collider."
And he thinks that may be one of the reasons the latter debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart in early June, Megadeth's best showing since 1994's "Youthanasia."
"For this lineup, it's great," says Mustaine, 52, who formed Megadeth after being booted out of Metallica. "Shawn (Drover) has actually been with us longer than any other drummer (since 2004), but it's like when Jason Newsted came into Metallica after Cliff Burton, everyone was calling him the new boy even after he was in the band longer than Cliff. It's that way with Shawn, too."
Mustaine adds that Drover and Chris Broderick, Megadeth's other guitarist since 2008, also "collaborate more" than some of their predecessors. "The two of them have really become part of the sound and part of the direction of the band. It's really nice to have that kind of input and let them take some of the weight off my shoulders."
But Mustaine remains most happy about his reconciliation with Dave Ellefson, Megadeth's original bassist who left acrimoniously in 2002 but returned to the fold in 2010.
"David and I had kinda of hard period where he got some band direction and we ended up in a lawsuit," Mustaine explains. "After that got dismissed we went out to dinner 'cause I still loved him -- contrary to popular belief, I don't hold grudges. He was like a little brother to me.
"He was on his way back from somewhere and coming through Phoenix (where Mustaine lives), so we went out to dinner. He said, 'I apologize,' I said 'I forgive you,' and now we're playing together again and it sounds great, exactly like it should."
Megadeth, Fear Factory and Nonpoint perform at the WRIF Thanksgiving Throwdown on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30-$60. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.
Send your thoughts and comments to