Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine Talks Turning 55, New ‘A Tout Le Monde’ Beer + More
Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine, who recently celebrated his 55th birthday, has teamed up with brewmaster Jerry Vietz of Quebec’s Unibroue to develop and launch the new beer A Tout Le Monde. It’s described as a flavorful Belgian style dry hopped golden saison with hoppy and spicy notes. Loudwire recently caught up with Mustaine and Vietz prior to the Orlando, Fla., launch party for the beer for a chat about beer and other topics.
What are the best and worst things about turning 55?
Dave Mustaine: I just saw a quote, I can't remember who it was from but he had said that by the time people turn 50, they deserve the face that they get ... and he died at 45. I thought, wow, I didn't think that I would live this long, so I'm actually really surprised and excited. A lot of my peers that are my age from the same time, the same scene that I played in, most of them have lost their hair and they've got fully white beards and stuff like that, so I think I'm aging rather gracefully.
The thing that I don't really like about my age right now is physically there's been limitations on the activities that I can do because of all the head-banging over the years. It's taken an effect on my skeletal system. I was just down in Argentina playing polo and I ended up hurting my back and that's the only bad thing about it. I heard an old saying that stupid people don't grow old, they die really young, so I'm glad that I'm getting older. Obviously, I’m going against the saying!
Tell me how you and Jerry got together to develop this new beer.
Mustaine: My management had contacted them. We had talked to some other companies and they just didn't really motivate me to pursue it and they had said that Unibroue was interested. I did some research on them and was just thrilled because of the quality and the caliber of the company. They've got over 300 awards with their product that they make.
I like drinking beer and ever since we met, we realized how much we have in common. We're both perfectionists at what we do and it's just been great. Every time we meet, we have more fun, we realize more things that we have in common and I think we really did something special with this beer.
Is there anything that's common in the creative process in writing music and creating a beer?
Mustaine: Absolutely. There's a lot of people who make music. It's prefabricated and you go into the studio with the digital workstations now like ProTools and you can put together a song, take a singer who can't sing and you can tune his voice and make him sound like Pavarotti if you want to. But I think at the end of the day, you know it's a fraud.
Same thing with really good liquid, like what Jerry makes. We could've rushed and made something, just slapped my name next to Jerry's name and put it out to the fans and said, “Hey, this is my beer.” Of course there would have been a lot of fans that would've bought it because my name was on it. But a lot of Jerry's fans would have said, this doesn't taste as good as your usual beer and I think that after the novelty wore off, that we wouldn't have repeat customers because they enjoy the product.
I think the time and the expertise involved in what Jerry does with this beverage is very much like with me. I don't release songs until they are done. I can sit with a song and work on it for months. In fact, the very first song that I wrote after I left Metallica didn't show up until the third album. The title track of my fourth album was a song I had in the band I played in before Metallica, back when I just turned 20, so I don't release anything until it's time.
Jerry Vietz: And it's same for beer, by the way. When I work on a beer, I would normally take 12 to 18 months to design a liquid, step by step, to make sure it will be exactly perfect. I have basic rules: quality, consistency and balance.
Quality, it's a day to day work, so if you screw it up, you know that you have to take care about that every day, but the balance, it's very important to make sure that all the flavors are combining and you have something perfectly well balanced, that's all we've been brewing since the beginning.
So to achieve this, at this level of quality, it takes a long time and it's been very interesting to do that with a partner for the first time, with Dave because Dave is really passionate as well, really involved in the process because he's really deep in quality as well, as you can see from his music, his writing and playing.
As a partner for the beer, we've been working on that back and forth, having to taste different batches together. I'm really, really satisfied to see the final liquid, finally designed a beer exactly to his taste, and a beer that will appeal to everyone as well.
Dave, you can afford any beer you want these days, but back in your younger days what did you have to drink when there wasn't a lot of money in your pocket?
Mustaine: The worst beer I’ve ever drank was Meister Brau. The other beer that I had that was probably the bottom of the barrel was just a white can with four blue letters on it, spelled out beer, kind of like Duff beer from the Simpsons.
My mom being a maid, we were really poor. We were living on food stamps and the welfare system in California. I just sometimes shake my head and just think how truly, truly blessed I am. That makes me so involved with our fans, wanting to help them the best that I can with everything that we do, the guitars I endorse, the products I endorse. That's why I didn't just want to get a beer, put my name on it, and let it roll like some of these other companies, other bands have done.
Anything else you’d like to mention?
I'm truly glad to be able to do this. Some people have been questioning what our alcohol content was. We wanted quality over quantity. It's real easy to make something have a high-octane level to it, but we wanted this to be something that was really crisp and really refreshing. The saisons were basically blended during the winter months by the brewers that had done this back in the day and they would put it aside until summertime to use it during the hotter months.
When people come to see us live in concert, to watch us play and to share in imbibing this great beverage, we wanted them to be able to celebrate with the great flavor, not have a couple of beers and go, wow, I don't feel good.
If you wanna get hammered and save money, and just get a bunch of real powerful beer to just knock you out, this is not the right stuff for you. This is fine quality. As soon as you taste it, you'll know.
Our thanks to Dave Mustaine and Jerry Vietz for the interview. For more info on the A Tout Le Monde beer, click here.
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