That time Scott Ian told me that, if there’d been a Big Five Tour, Exodus could have joined Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth

By Steve Newton Back in September of 2012 I interviewed Scott Ian. He’s the fourth Anthrax member I’ve chatted with, having hooked up with Joey Belladonna in ’91, John Bush in ’93, and Frank Bello in 2005. That band likes to talk. Anyway, two years before my chat with Ian, Anthrax had hooked up with … Continue reading That time Scott Ian told me that, if there’d been a Big Five Tour, Exodus could have joined Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth

That time Megadeth’s Marty Friedman told me that distortion was the common thread on the Clash of the Titans Tour

By Steve Newton Megadeth has featured a fair whack of wicked guitarists over the years. Alongside mainstay Dave Mustaine, the band has boasted such primo players as Chris Poland, Jeff Young, Marty Friedman, Al Pitrelli, Glen Drover, and Chris Broderick. When I did my first Megadeth interview, back in May of 1991, Friedman was the … Continue reading That time Megadeth’s Marty Friedman told me that distortion was the common thread on the Clash of the Titans Tour

That time Megadeth’s Marty Friedman told me about the satanic bonfires in Dallas on the Clash of the Titans tour

By Steve Newton Megadeth has featured some wicked guitar players over the years, but arguably non wickeder than Marty Friedman, who did his thing on killer albums like Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia. When I called Friedman up in May of 1991 he was in El Paso, Texas, where Megadeth was playing as part of … Continue reading That time Megadeth’s Marty Friedman told me about the satanic bonfires in Dallas on the Clash of the Titans tour

That time Dave Mustaine called out trendy jackasses while Megadeth toured behind Cyptic Writings

By Steve Newton When it comes to the so-called “Big Four” of American heavy-metal acts–Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax–I tend to pick Metallica as my fave. But I do like a few Megadeth tunes as well, “Symphony of Destruction” being particularly hard to beat. I’ve interviewed band leader Dave Mustaine three times, the first being … Continue reading That time Dave Mustaine called out trendy jackasses while Megadeth toured behind Cyptic Writings

Album review: Megadeth, So Far, So Good…So What? (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 20, 1988 By Steve Newton Another great album title from the young metal dudes that brought you Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? Led by former Metallica member Dave Mustaine, these Yankee headbangers sure do make a racket, from the opening instrumental “Into the Lungs of Hell” to the anti-censorship “Hook … Continue reading Album review: Megadeth, So Far, So Good…So What? (1988)

Album review: Megadeth, Countdown to Extinction (1992)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 17, 1992 By Steve Newton Used to be that whenever Megadeth albums like Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? or Killing is My Business…And Business is Good came my way, I’d pass them off as just too thrashy and evil-sounding for my more melodic sensibilities. That was good news … Continue reading Album review: Megadeth, Countdown to Extinction (1992)

The last time I interviewed Marty Friedman he was thrilled to talk about Megadeth; today not so much

By Steve Newton The last time I talked to guitar legend Marty Friedman he couldn’t stop talking about Megadeth. Mind you, that was 24 years ago, when he was a member of Megadeth. Today I interviewed Friedman for the first time since May of 1991–when Megadeth was in the midst of the Clash of the … Continue reading The last time I interviewed Marty Friedman he was thrilled to talk about Megadeth; today not so much

Dave Mustaine calls out today’s trendy jackasses on Megadeth’s Cryptic Writings

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 26, 1998 By Steve Newton When the conference-call operator connects me with Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, I’m expecting to be hooked up with the guy in America’s centre of loud music, Los Angeles. But it turns out the snarling metal man has settled down with his family—which includes … Continue reading Dave Mustaine calls out today’s trendy jackasses on Megadeth’s Cryptic Writings

Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson believes metal is a powerful force in the ’90s

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 26, 1992 By Steve Newton More than any other metal tune in 1992, Megadeth’s “Symphony of Destruction” was the one that made this jaded, riff-ravaged semi-headbanger sit up and take notice. Driven by a brutally direct, ’70s-style guitar riff, the sharp-edged cut was a welcome respite from the … Continue reading Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson believes metal is a powerful force in the ’90s

Megadeth kicks the most butt on the Clash of the Titans tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 30, 1991 By Steve Newton Marty Friedman is one happy camper. The Megadeth guitarist is soaking up the sunshine in El Paso, Texas, just hours away from the fifth show in the four-band Clash of the Titans tour of the Lone Star state, and he reports that things … Continue reading Megadeth kicks the most butt on the Clash of the Titans tour

Yngwie Malmsteen shreds on what he once called “a piece of furniture”: the Gibson Les Paul

By Steve Newton One of my most popular posts on Ear of Newt is the one where Yngwie Malmsteen calls Ibanez guitars “a bad copy” of the Strat and says Les Pauls are “furniture”. Well, if you ever wondered what the Swedish Fender freak would sound like shredding on a piece of furniture, here ya … Continue reading Yngwie Malmsteen shreds on what he once called “a piece of furniture”: the Gibson Les Paul

That time Derek Trucks told me about watching a hip Barack Obama mouth Howlin’ Wolf lyrics

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed slide-guitar master Derek Trucks three times so far, including back in 1999 when he was only 20 years old. We had our second conversation 13 years later, when he was touring with his wife Susan and their 11-piece band, Tedeschi Trucks. Four months earlier Trucks had performed for Barack Obama … Continue reading That time Derek Trucks told me about watching a hip Barack Obama mouth Howlin’ Wolf lyrics

That time J.D. Fortune told me about the pressure of competing in the reality show Rock Star: INXS

By Steve Newton I interviewed INXS vocalist J.D. Fortune in January of 2006, two weeks before the band kicked off a North American Tour in Vancouver. The Canadian singer had earned the frontman position with the Aussie group the year before by winning the 11-week reality-TV competition Rock Star: INXS. So at one point in … Continue reading That time J.D. Fortune told me about the pressure of competing in the reality show Rock Star: INXS

That time Fernando von Arb called and told me that Krokus was kicking Sammy Hagar’s ass on tour

By Steve Newton If you’re old like me you may remember Swiss metal band Krokus for that early-’80s tune “Long Stick Goes Boom” and for the fact that they sounded a lot like AC/DC. I interviewed guitarist Fernando von Arb on November 12, 1984, three months after the release of the group’s Vancouver-made, Bruce Fairbairn-produced … Continue reading That time Fernando von Arb called and told me that Krokus was kicking Sammy Hagar’s ass on tour

That time I told Gary Moore it was the shits that he wasn’t coming to Vancouver with Rush

By Steve Newton It’s Gary Moore‘s birthday today–he would have been 69–so I figured I’d post an audio excerpt from my one and only interview with the Irish guitar legend, one of the finest pickers to ever pick up the instrument. It was May 11, 1984, and Moore was opening for Rush on their Grace … Continue reading That time I told Gary Moore it was the shits that he wasn’t coming to Vancouver with Rush

That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

By Steve Newton Back in the ’80s, most successful recording bands liked to put an album out every year. Sometimes they’d skip a year, to vacation in the Bahamas or release a live or best-of LP. After three years their fans would start to get a bit worried, and so would their record label–especially if … Continue reading That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

That time Long John Baldry told me that he inspired Eric Clapton to take up guitar

By Steve Newton Long John Baldry had a huge influence on the British blues scene in the sixties. In fact, when I interviewed Baldry back in 1985, he confirmed that none other than Slowhand himself was urged to take up the guitar after seeing him perform. Have a listen: To hear the full audio of … Continue reading That time Long John Baldry told me that he inspired Eric Clapton to take up guitar

That time Robin Gibb told me that the Bee Gees had never been a disco group

By Steve Newton Back in the ’70s when rock music was having a huge impact on me I was rabidly anti-disco. I didn’t go so far as to wear a “Disco Sucks” t-shirt like one of my high school buddies, but I was with him in spirit. But in 1977, when the blockbuster Saturday Night … Continue reading That time Robin Gibb told me that the Bee Gees had never been a disco group