DEC 1998

Mega Mogul Megadeth's Dave Mustaine pitches his Internet service and prepares another record Dave Mustaine flexes some mega-mogul muscle. Perhaps he's making amends for not ending up on Time magazine's list of the most influential people of this century. With the dawn of '99 upon us, Megadeth's Dave Mustaine is not only fine-tuning, the Internet service that his band launched on Nov. 27, he is also edging toward a degree in business management at the University of Phoenix. It's a program he began two years ago, before recording last year's gold smash, Cryptic Writings. In his spare time, the frontman also is a partner in Troika Web Design. As if that weren't enough, Mustaine is also a not-so-silent partner in Alice Cooper's entertainment and sports theme restaurant, Cooperstown, which is due to open in Phoenix on Dec. 18. This despite rumors that he and Cooper were no longer speaking after the Megaman pilfered the father of shock rock's drummer, Jimmy DeGrasso, last year. (The swap came after Megadeth's drummer Nick Menza was sidelined by knee surgery.) "Nah, everything is fine between us," Mustaine explains. "We just played golf two days ago, and we talked about it then. But more importantly, we talked about it before we made the change." Which is rather important, since Mustaine's company is currently designing a Web site for Cooperstown, as well as planning a number of cybercasts from the restaurant. When the Rolling Stone Network caught up with Mustaine at his home in Phoenix, he was just working on his homework for his nutrition class, and vowing to swear off Double Cheese Whoppers. "Before I took this class I thought I ate really healthy, but by the time I added up all the different food groups, the carbs, the proteins, the fats and the sodiums I ate, I realized I wasn't really as cool as I thought," the musician confesses. "And I'm really active. I do martial arts, a lot of weight training, and I sing for two hours every night. Well, not every night, but you know what I mean." Yes, we do. When he's not counting fat grams, Mustaine is a very vocal supporter of the Internet, and besides lobbying his record company for a Web site way back in '94 when his band released Megadeth, Arizona, he kept in constant touch with fans who ran their own Megadeth site. "We wanted to keep Megadeth, Arizona current even though the record company used up the resources allocated for that site. Some fans volunteered to create a site called, which I supported from the first day," Mustaine says. "I was always in touch with them, communicating and giving information to them on a regular basis." In fact, cyberspace is where the singer announced the birth of his second child, Electra Nobel, last Jan. 28 -- after he told his parents, of course. "I was so involved with the Internet, it just made sense to start to add an Internet dial-up access service." The service has been up and running since last February, but Mustaine wanted to make sure all the bugs were out before unleashing it to his fans. Now he offers a personalized e-mail service, chat rooms, state-of-the-art technology, and the fastest service around, all for only $19.95 a month. "The only thing you can get that's any faster is your own T1 or T3 line," Mustaine says. Along with the package, users get ten megabytes that they can use to create a personal Web site. While fans are busy scanning their dogs' mugs onto their personal pages, Megadeth are getting ready to go into the studio to record their next album. This past weekend, Mustaine and his manager listened to a two-hour demo the band had made of some of their new songs, and despite any reservations Mike Renault may have had about his client's ability to live up to Cryptic Writings, the future looks bright for the one-time Metallica axe slinger. "Mike was very apprehensive about listening, and he told me, 'Well, you know it's going to be tough to follow-up the last record,'" says Mustaine. "'Watch me,' I told him, 'Let the big dog eat.'" The band will travel to Nashville in January and hook up with Dan Huff again, who produced their last outing. "He's great, he was a protege of Mutt Lange, and he's perfect for us." So far, lyrics have been completed on five songs, and sixteen to twenty-five song ideas are in the can. "Now we have to assemble all the bits and pieces, then whittle them down to the twelve or thirteen that will end up on the album." JAAN UHELSZKI (December 1, 1998)