I Pissed Off Megadeth This Week, My (Former) Favorite Band

Categories: Fiesta!

Last week, I finally got an opportunity to interview Dave from Megadeth. Well, Dave Ellefson, the bassist, who cofounded the band. While it was not Dave Mustaine, it was still a victory blow for thirteen-year-old Drew Ailes. Unfortunately, due to a problem with the e-mail system of the PR company working with them, the interview didn't get scheduled until over a week after we made the request -- and two days before the show it was meant to preview. Desperately, I did what any crazed fan would do and still agreed to do the interview with Dave Ellefson at 10 a.m., with less than 24 hours of preparation time.

I should've taken it as a soul-crushing harbinger when the person from the PR agency said something to extent of how she never got into Megadeth, but she used to listen to Metallica. After a short scolding, she then asked me for my address so she could send me press materials for a boy-band she referred to as "the next One Direction."

After appropriately shuddering, I hung up on the phone and immediately began dreading the following day. What was I going to say? How was I going to come up with decent topics to discuss in such a short period of time? The questions loomed over my head and generated constricting anxiety over the idea of doing a bad interview with the bassist of my favorite band. Later that day, I calmed down and retreated to my room, cranking out about fifteen uninformed and terrible questions.

I slept poorly that night. I had a dream that I was flying on an airplane that tried to land inside an airport. The plane decapitated a dozen people before coming to a halt. I woke up the next morning feeling shaken, discouraged and drained. I sat in my kitchen, staring at a lukewarm cup of black coffee and smelling the four strips of bacon I had just burned while lost in worry.

Then I realized that I had an ace up my sleeve to relieve myself of the responsibility of screwing up the most important interview of my life: I had forgotten to ask my boss at my day job if he would be OK if I happened to show up around a half an hour late. I asked. It wasn't. I was needed at the shop, as evidently Halloween is an important time for a business called Frightprops.

drewisdave.jpg
Speaking of, this is me, on Halloween a few years back, dressed as Mustaine.
I called and e-mailed my contact for Megadeth with a sincere apology that I would have to cancel the interview. I was sad, but not as sad as screwing over my coworkers to conduct a mediocre interview with a hero of mine. Besides, Frightprops actually encouraged me to go to the Gathering of the Juggalos this year. They had done enough for me.

After I calmed down and came to terms with the fact that I would not be talking to anyone from Megadeth that day, my phone popped up with a new e-mail. It was my PR contact, asking me if we could reschedule for 6:45 p.m. I agreed, feeling optimistic that I would have an opportunity to do some additional research and come up with some better questions.

At 10 a.m. at my job, I was unlocking some garage doors to start the workday when Dave Ellefson called. He hadn't gotten the message that we rescheduled and when I informed him of the 6:45 p.m. time, he proposed to talk around 9 that evening, after he was done with a guitar clinic. He was friendly and didn't acknowledge the flustered, choking noises that I was making while talking to him.

After a healthy day of stress, later that evening I left band practice to go sit in the florescent practice space parking lot inside of my Mazda 626 with "Megadeth" carved on the door. I reviewed the two wrinkled pieces of paper that held my questions for Megadeth's bassist as I struggled to ignore the cacophony of piss-poor Weezer covers and skillfully played mariachi music pouring out of the practice space. As I listened, the maracas put me into a trance, and I thought of Dave Mustaine and his comments on the Mexican border.

If he were president, he'd "build a great wall around the Mexican border and not let anybody in."

My thoughts wandered and I recalled my band's first drummer, Tim, and how he used to talk to Dave Ellefson over e-mail. Once, I asked him to contact Dave to see if we could pay him to take a picture of himself holding a piece of paper with our band name on it. I wanted to use it as the back cover of our record. According to our ex-drummer, Ellefson never responded to his inquiry on our behalf. I don't blame him.

The bassist for my favorite heavy-metal band called me around 9:45 p.m. (we spoke at 9 p.m., but he was eating dinner). I had forgotten to direct him to call my Google Voice number so that I could record and later transcribe the interview. Ashamed, I gave him the right number to call me back on.

About twenty seconds into the call, I completely forgot how to use Google Voice. I pressed the 7 to activate the call recording. I pressed the 8. I pressed the 9. I pressed the 7 again. At this point, it sounded like I was attempting to play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on the telephone keys.

"I'm sorry, man. Something is going on with this thing. I can't seem to record it. I can just let you go, I know it's late," I said.

"Yeah. Maybe we should just try tomorrow afternoon," Ellefson replied. "See ya."

Dave Ellefson hung up. Sadness washed over me..

With my eyes watering from the frustrating failure, I got out of my car and hung my head. I relaxed for a tiny moment and gripped the handle of my car door, trying to tear it open so I could grab my questions for Dave Ellefson and violently expel them into the street. Then I realized that in my state of disarray, I had locked my keys in my car.

Screaming obscenities, I kicked a dent in the side of the vehicle, right in front of the door with "Megadeth" carved into it.

The next morning, on my way to drive to a wedding, I waited in my battered Mazda in the parking lot of a drugstore. I received and read an E-mail from someone named Jeremy with the subject line of "Megadeth."

Continue to the next page for the wrath of Megadeth.


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84 comments
Blake Kelley
Blake Kelley

So this guy is pissed at megadeth for his fuck up...dumb

Lassy
Lassy

And really, how diva is it that you cant suck it up and do what people who actually had integrity for their chosen field, that being journalism, and take notes, you know, with a pen or a pencil?  And enclosing the snippet from the guy you probably shouldn't have interviewed anyways because it seems you probably would have went off about Mexico and his personal view points on it, you need to see you lack of professionalism, you should be embarrassed, yet that guy is a dick because he showed you that.  I blame Seth Rogen for this arrogance.

Lassy
Lassy

Obviously this is a better way to admit you stop liking someones music because they hold different political views than you.

Payg Bitzer
Payg Bitzer

I remember reading this when it came out. Despite it all...its a fantastic article!

BillLink
BillLink

Why would this make you not like Megadeth? The interview attempt was a cluster but that's all it was.

rocknrollmachine812
rocknrollmachine812

It is weird how you can still be into a band and not really care about their newer music at all. I really quit caring about Megadeth after Risk came out. But still buy their albums out of some sort of weird habit.

MikeEMike
MikeEMike

Benman, you're a selfish bitch.... Mr. Ailes, your story was great and entertaining, and dealing with rockstar ego's is like walking a very thin tightrope... People that go out of their way to be mean to people, are just that... Mean people... Some make great music... Some make great movies... But in the race that is human... Being humane and humble... That is the key.... It was a great read...

benmansfield73
benmansfield73

and in the end, youre just a lowly douche guy writing an article because of your politics....

and Dave is still being nominated for Grammys and will go down as one of the best metal musicians in history


go you!

douche

rsmithing
rsmithing

This was probably more interesting than an interview.

william-g
william-g

beautiful

WEIRD AL 4 LYFE \m/

slayerswift
slayerswift

None of these people have a sense of humor and are all professional journalists. 

Joe Happy-Pork Chop Wood
Joe Happy-Pork Chop Wood

Haters... This was a funny as hell article. And probably more interesting than if all had gone well. Megadeath 0 = RFT Music 1!

Less Franken
Less Franken

why do I always regret reading anything from the RFT... lolz smh

dickchester
dickchester

I grew up on metal and classic rock, Megadeth has always been way more into themselves than the general popluation has. They had 1 mediocre hit and have always had the diva complex. And now Mustaine must be trying to tap into that ever present KKK/Skinhead movement with his recent political antics, just sad.

Drew Ailes
Drew Ailes

man that writer must be a real moron

mikeappelstein
mikeappelstein

The lesson Drew should have taken from this is not to screw around with Google Voice or similar apps.  I just got a pickup mic on Amazon for like $12.00, and it works perfectly.  Yeah, the publicist was acting like a dick, but you've gotta be prepared.

Either way, I'm frankly amazed that he had such a hard time coming up with questions for his "favorite" band.

Dan Allen
Dan Allen

It's odd to see how excited the RFT is to show that their writing staff is very unprofessional.

Aaron Wilbers
Aaron Wilbers

The one thing I got from that article is that you are an amateur and a bit of an idiot.

Eve Moon
Eve Moon

I understand being disappointed by meeting a rock musician you love (it's happened to me), but your blog reads like a fanboy rambling rather than the words of a journalist. How long do you need to put together research and/or questions for a band you've loved since you were a kid? Ellefson's actions are understandable.

Rachel Webb
Rachel Webb

What kind of journalist can't pull together an interview on one day's notice? I've interviewed cabinet members on less time than that.

johnnylojic
johnnylojic

This was a good story. The end. Don't read so deeply into who fucked this up but recognize a fascinating tale when one is told from the legends of old. Good article.

Roy Jacobs
Roy Jacobs

Neither, Metallica nor Megadeath. I am all for Milli Vanilli ..They rock!

perock
perock

that's not the best reason to have a band stop being your favorite. shit happens.

whitemoses
whitemoses

I really hope you read the comments here and realize you are 100% in the wrong.  I was just as pissed if not more than the guy you tried to interview by reading your own account.  When you ask someone to do you a favor you make 100% sure everything will work ahead of time.  It's as simple as that.  Not having the time to take off is somewhat understandable given the late notice.  Not having questions, not giving the right number, not knowing how to work you own phone absolultly not. Now blaming the band??? I hope this is not a sign of the lack of personal responsibility we will see with people coming of age.  Good luck working at a Halloween store until you are 40 and blaming somone else for your raw deal. 

docm22
docm22

What a whiny piss-ant

starby.rimbleton
starby.rimbleton

I've been in a number of semi-successful bands which have had fans call us for interviews, and who have inundated our inbox with messages, requests for interviews and other things of the like. Me and my bandmates always strived to treat each person with the same respect they show us. Fans are the only thing that make your band cool. Period. Treating them like shmucks is absolutely bogus, unprofessional and rather un-godly of a metal legend. "Waah I rescheduled some shit and someone was so taken aback by my awesome presence that he choked during a 30 second interview waaah" what a huge bitch-baby. That juvenile, egomaniac rockstar attitude is the opposite of what bands these days need in order to proliferate and build a fan base. The fact that they treated you like the Associated Press fucking up a huge thing was shocking. If they truly deserved to be where they are today, they would have handled the mishap gracefully, without throwing a princess baby fit and having one of their ass-wipers email you to bitch you out. Don't feel so bad, and try not to take it so personally. This article was a phenomenal read, and you got good things ahead of you. You'll be laughing about this soon. 

Christine Henry
Christine Henry

This guy's got enough sour grapes to make a case of shit wine...

angelfactor
angelfactor

Your under-critics are a bit harder on you than I imagine they are on themselves.  Or perhaps, they are those ever-elusive ppl types who never make any mistakes that they admit.  Obviously, they are not about to admit they have ever had a bad day.  

It was an enjoyable read. The descriptions of past events carried it along.  There's a book called, "You Can't Make This Stuff Up," that could help your writing.  In my experience, writers tend to read as much as they write so it  wouldn''t be a total waste. Your local library almost certainly has copy.

Thanks for the diversion.

Angel Factor

Tessa Smith
Tessa Smith

"Ain't nobody got time for that" article!

Sara Walker
Sara Walker

How were you not equipped to interview your subject, let alone a member of your favorite band? How does a writer not have a voice recorder ready, as well as the voice recorder application featured on ALL CELL PHONES in the 21st century? I will say I'm impressed by how the writer made me second-guess Mustane, et al., of being the assholes of the story. Most would find that beyond difficult. Kudos?

Benjamin A. Snow
Benjamin A. Snow

Just saying, there's a reason why Megadeth's lineup changes every six months. Mustine's ego, yo!

a1b2c3po
a1b2c3po

Wow! Is this best writers the RFT can or will hire? Seriously, maybe he is in the wrong line of work. Glad to see someone so proud of their inability to do their job. I suggest the RFT just picks random readers to do a story. At least I would then expect them to get the damn interview done.

skeletal13
skeletal13

Too bad you guys stopped hiring local writers, much less anyone who actually cares about their assignments and the subject matter.

Bill Long
Bill Long

Metallica..and Justice For All

Whit Movesian
Whit Movesian

Megadeth still. At least they have talent in their band, no matter how big of dicks they are. They also have never done a movie where they were crying about how hard their lives are.

Jason Gerfers
Jason Gerfers

Talk about an anti-climactic story...sheesh. So Drew pisses off the Bass God of all metal and now HE is done with their music?

Thomas P Brasile Jr
Thomas P Brasile Jr

Man, Drew Ailes is one pathetic LOSER! ##%#!% up the interview, then keys AND kicks a dent in his own car? DOUCHEBAG! Maybe I should key up my car, refuse to shower, stop giving a damn about anything, then maybe I'd meet the criteria for employment at a shithouse like RFT

Fritz Krieg
Fritz Krieg

There's a perfect example of a non Oliver Reed type man, Devon....

benmansfield73
benmansfield73

@dickchester 1 mediocre hit


you have absolutely no grasp of the genre...


40 million album sales.....


second only to metallica in their genre...

BlackCheese
BlackCheese

@Rachel Webb Completely different field, not relevant.

ronwarner
ronwarner

Oh hey there Sara!  I know you!  Yeah, this article is kinda sad because like, I know he didn't mean to screw this whole thing up, but he did, and he needs to just admit to himself that it was his screw up and no one, not even his favorite band, owes him a third, fourth, fifth chance...


To the author, if I were you I would just concentrate on admitting to yourself that you blew it and it wasn't anyone else's fault.  Then forgive yourself and move on.  Make sure to learn from it.

BlackCheese
BlackCheese

@Jason Gerfers  The bass god of ALL metal? Please stop listening to metal. 

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