Classical music featuring a Heavy Metal Legend

Classical music featuring a Heavy Metal Legend

by Josselyn Molina

Metal and classical music elegantly fuse together in what San Diego’s very own Dave Mustaine, founder of Megadeth, is calling a collision of worlds. The Daily Aztec had the opportunity to interview Mustaine on his upcoming collaboration with the San Diego Symphony, which will feature Mustaine playing his Stradi VMNT guitar in place of the lead violinist. “Symphony Interrupted” will come to Copley Symphony Hall on Saturday, under the direction of Ken-David Masur, an associate conductor of the Symphony.

The performance will feature the pieces “Summer” and “Winter” from Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” Johann Sebastian Bach’s illustrious “Air,” Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” and Antonín Dvořák’s “New World Symphony,” each of which Mustaine described as shredding, fast and melodic.

But the composition of the pieces, Mustaine’s specialized guitar and the wonderful Masur are only a part of the bigger picture, the social aspect. Mustaine emphasized the social importance of the fusion of the two worlds.

“There’s such a difference in the societies. That’s the thing that I’m looking forward to, seeing how these two worlds are going to collide,” Mustaine said. “In my mind, I’m getting ready to go walk out to the stage, come in with a little tuxedo on, I’m going to get down there and they’re going to go, ‘F— yeah Dave!’ and all the classical guys are going to go ‘Oh my God, he said the F-word!’”

Mustaine also talked about Megadeth’s classical influence since its formation.

“On the very first song on our very first record, I actually played piano … Funny thing was, it was a very, very, hacked up version of Beethoven’s Fugue in D Minor and going back and listening to the actual performance of Beethoven, it’s kind of like, ‘Nice try Dave’ because it was close to it, but I mean, I was a gutter kid that grew up on the street and was playing from memory. I was surprised I could even play the piano.”

“Symphony Interrupted” can also be seen as a stepping stone for Mustaine.

“The great thing about it was I was born down here in La Mesa, and to be able to do this, to be able to represent and do something so great like this is so rewarding; I feel great,” Mustaine said.

“Symphony Interrupted” has received much attention from fans and experimental music goers that Mustaine said there is talk of a second collaboration with him and the Symphony.

Tickets to this show are sold out online, meaning Copley’s 2,231 seats will be filled with listeners from two polar opposites of the music world. If you would still like to attend the show, a limited amount of tickets will be on sale the day of the show.

“These are the times I wish my mom was still alive to be able to see this stuff, because I remember when I first started playing guitar, she would say like, ‘Turn it down you’re going to kill somebody!,’” Mustaine said. “Guess what mom? I’m playing with the symphony now.”

Update: Beethtoven’s piece is called “Fugue in D Major”

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Photo courtesy of Travis Shinn