allo you 'orrible lot!
A lengthy post on Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine and his new found faith in Christ -
First up, Dave, to me, is a guitar god to whom I pay homage regularly. His no nonsense cynical attitude is legendary. Sticking to his guns and fighting it out is what has brought him to the forefront of speed/thrash metal. Having said that, lets come to the issue at hand -
Dave Mustaine apparently threatened to pull out of several festival appearances in Greece and Israel because two of the support acts on the bill were "full-on Satanic" bands called ROTTING CHRIST and DISSECTION. Mustaine, who converted to Christianity several years ago after his nerve injury, explained his position in a posting at the official MEGADETH web site. "Yes, I did say I would prefer not to play on concerts with Satanic bands," he said. "That doesn't mean I won't, it doesn't mean I would not talk with the bands either...But to make a life-altering change and then not have some kind of effect would not have been a change at all, would it? It's not much different from staying away from booze if you have made a decision to be sober." Mustaine added, "If I don't feel it is right for me to do something, then (I) would just respectfully decline. I would not ask that anyone be taken off if they were already confirmed...I have to draw the line and stand for my beliefs or they aren't beliefs at all, are they?"
This was in response to rumors that he had gotten those bands booted off the bill in those particular festivals. Then he made it clear that in the event that those bands were already confirmed then it would be Megadeth that would 'respectfully decline' from playing with these bands that have an obvious anti-christian stance. This coming from a guy who wrote 'Devil's island', 'The conjouring', 'Good Mourning, Black Friday'! Wouldn't playing these songs be in conflict with his faith? (even on a stage that includes bands of his choice, like Gigatour for example) . His values are now in conflict with the metal scene that he helped forge and he is using his position as an icon of the scene to influence fans of Megadeth to exclude bands that are in conflict with his faith. I want to ask a question at this point - does playing on the same bill mean that he is endorsing their point of view? I don't think so. Does he think his faith will be affected by playing with these bands. If it is, then it wasn't as strong as he thought it was eh?
I love Megadeth and I am not christian. Does that conflict with Dave's new found faith? I don't care. I am one of the biggest fans of Dave and Megadeth because of the crushing songs he composes and plays with blistering speed. I am also a really huge fan of Rotting Christ and Dissection. Does Dave's new stance mean that I have to choose between these two sides (though they were all part of the same goulash of metal genres to begin with?). I can't imagine how Dave's recipe for hate and angst will taste in a sauce of christian metal. Jung ho christians feel that it is their responsiblity to save the world from the fires of hell. I have been accosted by so many of these evagelists who try really hard to convince me that my faith will lead nowhere and Jesus is THE ONLY way for me to reach salvation. Even when I do not appear to sway (I am not one of those insecure persons who is searching for God and the purpose of life) they go out of their way in trying me to convert to their way. Dave defending himself by saying that it ain't much of a change if it doesn't stick, is a double edged sword - if you end being up so affected by even playing with these bands then your faith isn't as strong as it should be. It also goes a long way in giving us a sense of tolerance, his as a representation of a larger group of evangelists.
Going to something bigger - black metal and its obvious anti-christian stance. A christian friend of mine recently remarked that it was very easy for non-christians to like black metal. Probably so, but hey we are not the ones who invented this genre - christians themselves did! Atleast people on whom christianity was forced upon. But today, the scene is brimful of bands who come from all over the world. I agree that Philipino or japanese black metal bands are poser from the point of view that they can never associate themselves with the true feeling of anti-christian hatred that fueled the birth of this genre. The inclusion of these bands whose association with the scene almost became a point of ridicule (I would definitely laugh at a Christ hating, goat worshipping japanese/burmese band) gave birth to a sense of 'true pagan black metal' (pagan being the dominant word) and spawned another genre NSBM (Nationalist Socialist Black Metal) about which someday I post my thoughts (or someone else with more information could throw some light on the birth of NSBM?). But sure, they can borrow the same style and sing/growl/screech about religious oppression (or whatever it is that they don't like) and gain fans all over the world. Black Metal no longer is about being anti-christian - it is more of a statement of your religious freedom - freedom to practice, freely and liberally interpret the religious teachings and forming your own code of life. Some return to their asatru days (viking/pagan metal) while others sing positively about their religious beliefs (Rudra). Of course, NSBM is a very exclusive club and people who are offended by such view points are not invited to the party. In the end, it boils down to freedom - the very strand on which metal music stands on.
Whatever my thoughts and feelings in this issue, I am still a rabid fan of Dave and Megadeth. The man, his band and legacy are way too big to be affected by these temporal dispositions.