“Marty Friedman is my favorite guitarist,” says Dave Mustaine. “Next to me, of course.”
Megadeth frontman Mustaine is sitting in a concrete-block warehouse in south Phoenix where the outdoor temperature is well over 100 degrees. In fact, the temperature inside is pretty close to 100 degrees as well, but Megadeth and producer Max Norman have built a little studio right in the middle of the warehouse, where they have had the good sense and forethought to add air-conditioning. This temporary studio, which is literally a building within a building, has served as the birthing room for Megadeth’s newest record Youthanasia. The reason for choosing Phoenix to record the follow-up to their platinum-selling Countdown to Extinction is that the city has become the band’s hometown, far from the strain and stress of Los Angeles. (In fact, Phoenix and its suburbs are attracting more and more noted guitarists and bands: Michael Schenker and George Lynch both call the city home, as do Alice Cooper, Rob Halford’s Fight, and local boys the Gin Blossoms.)
The choice of this particular warehouse is another matter completely. It’s in the worst part of town, where fire alarms, burglaries, and nighttime gun shots are regular occurrences. But Mustaine & Co. came here when their first choice for a hometown built studio fell through.