DAVE MUSTAINE On MEGADETH’s Killing Is My Business: “It Was So Ahead Of Its Time That People Didn’t Really Understand It”

Megadeth‘s debut album from 1985, “Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!,” is often praised as a standout in its genre. However, according to frontman Dave Mustaine, the album was a bit ahead of its time. In an interview with Trece, Mustaine shared that while “Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying?” is his personal favorite, “Killing Is My Business” has grown on him over time.

It’s tough to pick a favorite,” Mustaine explained. “Certain albums were really impactful for me. ‘Peace Sells’ was one of them.

He elaborated: “I think ‘Killing Is My Business’ was so innovative that it was misunderstood at first. That’s when art shines brightest—when it’s something entirely new. When you hear something fresh and different, that’s when it really grabs you. Who wants to listen to the same old stuff? It’s been a while since we’ve had a new band come along that really blew everyone away like Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Megadeth, or Guns N’ Roses did in their time.”

Former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson shared an interesting tidbit in a 2022 interview, revealing that “Killing Is My Business” was initially much slower. It wasn’t until a fan expressed a desire for Megadeth to be faster than Metallica that the tempos were ramped up significantly.

“The album is known for its blistering speed,” Ellefson explained. “But when we first started, the songs were actually quite slow, almost like Black Sabbath. ‘The Skull Beneath the Skin’ had this massive groove at the slower tempo, and ‘Chosen Ones’ allowed me to play bass with a style reminiscent of Geezer Butler.”

Then came the fan letter,” Ellefson continued. “It simply said, ‘I hope your new band is faster than Metallica.’ That was the catalyst. That night, we cranked up the tempos by 20-40 beats per minute, and the rest is history. ‘Killing Is My Business’ marked a pivotal moment where speed became a defining feature of the Thrash genre. Exodus was already blazing fast, and once Slayer caught wind of it, they followed suit.”


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