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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

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

Posted By on Tue, Sep 10, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Page 2 of 3

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.

Speaking of, this is me, on Halloween a few years back, dressed as Mustaine.
  • 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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