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Story Behind The Song - Megadeth's Youthanasia
23 September 2002
Story Behind The Song - Megadeth's Youthanasia


RECKONING DAY
I liked the unorthodox structure of this one because it wasn't your typical 'verse, bridge, chorus X2, solo' structure that we had done so much of. The middle of this is very melodic and I like that.

TRAIN OF CONSEQUENCES
The first single off the record, we played it live on TV a lot. The lead solo was done in one take, the first take, with a $400 Japanese strat. I would have chosen almost any other song to be the lead-off single, but there were so many factors in making that decision at the time.

ADDICTED TO CHAOS
Cool vocal production by Max Norman. The complex vocal arrangement probably was what prevented us from ever playing this live. I borrowed David Ellefson's Les Paul for the creamy solo on this one.

A TOUT LE MONDE
Playing this song in France was the greatest!! It is an amazing feeling to hear tens of thousands of people singing your song in a foreign language! Believe it or not, I sort of fashioned the intro of the guitar solo after Larry Carlton's solo in Lionel Richie's "Hello". If you're gonna copy something, you might as well copy something that was a hit...

ELYSIAN FIELDS
I have no idea what this song is about, but I like the 70's rock vibe about it. This also has kind of an untraditional structure and it shows growth in the band, coming from thrashy roots and trying to be real rock stars. Cool tune.

THE KILLING ROAD
We did this tune live quite a bit. The solo in it is kind of a demented 'Tornado of Souls' solo, I guess that's why it seems to be popular with guitar players.

BLOOD OF HEROES
This tune rocks! I orchestrated the intro, and it was opening new doors for us as far as adding string arrangements to our music. Also this tune has me playing the solo with a wah pedal, something I very rarely use. Cool lyrics in this one.

FAMILY TREE
We did this live quite a bit. It was never my favorite song, maybe the theme of it was too depressing, or the music was a bit 'middle of the road', I don't know. That said, it probably would have made a good lead-off single with one of the catchiest choruses on the album.

YOUTHANASIA
Way heavy!! As you can see on the "Evolver" video, we did the basic tracks of this whole album live as a band in the studio. To listen to the playback of this tune on the huge studio monitors was absolutely like partaking in the nectar of the gods. Thick, saturated, heavy guitars never sounded or felt so good. My solo reminds me of an Irish jig (?!) but it's the rhythm guitars that rule this tune.

I THOUGHT I KNEW IT ALL
My fave tune on the album. This is also nectar of the gods at high volume. Nick and I wrote the music for the chorus at his house in North Hollywood. He suggested that I listen to this Gipsy Kings song and we both kind of got inspired from that. This kind of tune is what I love about Megadeth.

BLACK CURTAINS
Had we simplified this one a bit, maybe we could have tapped into some of Metallica's magic, but I guess it was just done our way. We never played this one live.

VICTORY
Literally written and recorded in the studio in 20 minutes with tape rolling. We weren't planning to write a song or anything, it just came out. It's amazing how inspired you get when you are in a world-class studio with world class gear and world class people around you. Everything that you play just sounds so good that the music just flows.
 
 
 
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