Outspoken Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine recently conducted an interview with Denver Westwood, in which he talks about his drug related past, religious beliefs, and the unfortunate passing of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman.
One the subject of God and religion, Mustaine compares it to being in AA.
“Honestly, to boil it down, religion, it sucks. For me it’s really all about having a personal relationship with God, and people don’t want to do that because they don’t want to be held accountable. It’s kind of like when you’re in AA: You have a sponsor and the sponsor helps you get through the day without drinking. I needed that accountability to help me get off heroin.”
The drug-related answer brought on the question of Mustaine ever trying to get Jeff Hanneman out of his addiction with alcohol. To which Mustaine replied:
“Unfortunately, Jeff and I were never really close. We toured together a lot over the years, but our two camps were pretty separate. The bands were kind of acquaintances in the beginning, though that was more so me and Kerry [King]. Jeff was always a little more aloof. It would just be kind of, “Hey man, what’s up?” when we saw each other.
Also, for the greater period of the time I knew him, I was starting to go the route of getting away from my addictions, and I was unable to hang around with people who were partying. And people know about Jeff’s drinking, and that’s unfortunately what led to his death. It was liver failure.
And you know, getting bitten by a spider, that’s just random. But I think because Jeff was kind of unaware of what was going on and wore long sleeves all the time, no one else really saw his arm, and so no one said, “Dude, you’ve got a f*cking problem going on here.”
The sad thing is, we’ve lost a good guy and a mighty guitar player. But now what we need to ask is: What can be learned from this? How can we honor Jeff’s life? And how can we use his unfortunate passing to help young people not go the same route? So the whole thing saddens me, but I also can’t act like we were best friends, because we weren’t. It was a similar thing with Dimebag Darrell, where it seemed like everybody jumped on his bandwagon after his death. I don’t want to do that.”
Mustaine is currently finishing up the last two weeks of Gigantour with Megadeth, alongside Black Label Society, Newsted, and Device.