Megadeth started composing Killing Is My Business… and business is booming! In 1983, Metallica famously sent Dave Mustaine home and replaced him with Kirk Hammett. Initially, Killing Is My Business was much slower, according to bassist David Ellefson, until a fan wrote Mustaine a letter expressing hope that Megadeth would be “faster than Metallica.” Consequently, tempos increased, and nearly four decades later, we have a very fast Killing Is My Business.
“It is common knowledge that [Killing Is My Business] is one of the quickest Thrash albums ever to descend upon humanity. However, the band did not always play at a rapid pace. Mid to late 1983, when the group was formed and the first batch of songs were written, the tempos were significantly slower. In fact, the tempo is almost Black Sabbath-like. I recall “The Skull Beneath the Skin” being recorded at nearly half the tempo, which gave it a monstrous groove and weight. The same was true for “Chosen Ones,” allowing me to play the bass lines with my fingers in a manner reminiscent of the band The Weezer.
“However, one day a fan letter addressed to Dave arrived in our mailbox pleading, ‘I hope your new band is faster than Metallica,’ and BOOM…game over! That night at rehearsal, all the tempos were increased dramatically (at least 20-40 beats per minute! ), and thus the [Killing Is My Business] album represents a true turning point in the progression of speed being the primary signifier of coolness for the founding fathers of the Thrash subgenre. Once Kerry King had witnessed Exodus perform live, Slayer would quickly follow suit. Ellefson stated that he hopes to highlight Killing Is My Business’s “finer details” on the upcoming Kings Of Thrash tour. The tour features former Megadeth members David Ellefson, Jeff Young, and Chris Poland, as well as drummer Fred Aching and guitarist/vocalist Chaz Leon. The dates are listed below.
10/12— San Diego, CA — Brick by Brick
10/13 — Phoenix, AZ — Crescent Ballroom
10/14 — Las Vegas, NV —The Space
10/15 — West Hollywood, CA— The Whisky a Go-Go