I Pissed Off Megadeth This Week, My (Former) Favorite Band
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.
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.
Speaking of, this is me, on Halloween a few years back, dressed as Mustaine.
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.