Dave Mustaine ’Can Barely Play and Sing the Same Ten Songs Every Night’ Claims Ex-Megadeth Guitarist

Jeff Young, a guitarist who played in Megadeth in the late 1980s and who performed on the band’s third record ‘So Far, So Good… So What!,’ recently sat down with Misplaced Straws for an interview.

During the chat, Young discussed his new band Kings of Thrash which also features former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson and occasionally features Chris Poland, the band’s early guitarist. Since the group is playing old Megadeth material, Young was asked whether they received any feedback from Mustaine to which the guitarist replied:

“We haven’t, nor would we care or concern ourselves with any of that. It’s a win-win for all of us, including him, because on this live ‘Best of the West,‘ Kings of Thrash ‘Best of the West, Live at Whisky a Go-Go,‘ who’s getting the publishing on every one of tunes, not me or David Ellefson or any of the Kings of Trash, so he’s making the money.

As he further explains, Megadeth these days doesn’t play as many of the old songs because Mustaine can’t perform them properly. He continued:

“To answer your question, they don’t play those songs because they can’t play those songs, he can’t play or sing them. I’m not being a dick. It’s just a fact. He can barely play and sing the stuff that they’re doing, the same ten songs every night.

To further clarify his stance, Jeff Young went into more detail on how Kings of Thrash came to be and what brought them all together. He explained:

“Again, I wanna say a little bit as I lead up to that, so there we were writing our originals, and there’s a thing happens at the Whisky, a bi-weekly since the Covid thing, it was every week, but they cut it down, the Ultimate Jam Night, a lot of people may be seen past things on the music, Blabbermouth, and elsewhere, where they cover events, I’ve done the Eddie Van Halen tribute, the Randy Rhoads, they have different themes every two weeks.


“But when the whole Ukraine thing happened, I didn’t play that night, but we took some friends to see it, and a band came up and did a System of a Down song and a moshpit out at the Whiskey. There’s a sign on the beam right next to the stage that says, ‘If you stage dive, you’re gonna be ousted from the venue.‘”

“A mosh pit broke out, I know the Ultimate Jam had never seen anything like that. I don’t know how long I’d been since the Whisky had seen anything, but it was no surprise, and I got a chuckle when I saw the theme for the next Ultimate Jam two weeks later, which was the Big 4.”

“So of course, they asked me to play and I said, ‘Well, I’m writing with Ellefson now, you want me to call him an Arizona and see if he’ll fly out to do this?’ And of course, he did that gave us another chance to go in and demo, work on the originals, sculpt a little more, and the cool thing, because this leads directly how we found Chaz [Leon, Kings of Thrash frontman] and Fred [Aching, Kings of Thrash drummer], they both played that night.


“Chaz played with us, the Ultimate Jam people, a lovely lady named Jessica she’s the lady of Ira Black, who’s the guitarist in Bullet Boys, our drummer also doubles with the Bullet Boys, he’s in their new video for ‘Fuck Yeah’, whatever it’s called.

“She’s kind of like the matchmaker, so if you imagine you have a theme night, it could be 75, over 100 musicians from every instrument taking the stage for two songs, three songs, and it’s fast changes and everything, and she’s got to match, make like, ‘Okay, here’s Jeff Young and David Ellefson, who’s the rest of the band?’ Well, we said, ‘Okay, let’s bring Heller to play drums’, so Mike Heller played that night. These videos are on my YouTube and what you’ve seen is totally unrehearsed, and the first night we met Chaz.


“She paired us up with Chaz only because he was in a Megadeth tribute, and I think he’d done a jam somewhere in San Diego with Ellefson at a book signing, David did. So David kind of knew him, but we’ve never heard him, we didn’t know how it was gonna go.

“We rehearsed a hallway upstairs while the band was downstairs on stage, blasting, you can hardly hear no amps, and we’re like trying to run through ‘Mary Jane‘ and all these difficult changes, but we went down.

“As you can see from my YouTube videos for an unrehearsed jam as songs that are pretty tricky to play, I think we did okay. My gal actually sang ‘Mary Jane’, which was really cool, kinda blew up the internet, got picked up by David Ellefson’s manager now our manager in Kings, of Thrash, saw it and booking agency, and of course said, ‘You guys gotta take this on the road’, so we were kind of cornered into this.

Dave mustaine explains how Jeff young and chuck behler got fired

“We’ve been asked so many years, you can imagine, David, it shows just like where we are, the fans coming up, ‘Sign this ‘Killing is my Business,‘ and why aren’t you guys playing this? I would love to hear some stuff on this or ‘So Far”, for him.”

“So he already kinda had the seed in his head, so it wasn’t a big leap that, Okay, while we’re writing the original is why we’re recording this album, let’s just go out and get tight and have fun, you give the fans what they want. Because it’s so hard to break a new band and if Kings of Thrash today dropped an album of 12 astounding originals, it would fall on deaf ears.

“They’re checked out of the music industry, they’re checked out of music there too into other distractions, as we’ll say, and again, maybe it’s because of what we talked about earlier with the analog versus digital. We’re gonna go that distance and we’re going to that extra effort and that expense, maybe as an experiment or maybe because we care about the fans and the listeners that much that in our own music that we wanted to be documented in a sonically superior manner.

Into The Lungs Of Hell / Set The World Afire - Kings Of Thrash - Phoenix 10-13-2022 Megadeth

“So the whole thing is just kind of organically, magically unfolded, and Fred played some Slayer that night with other musicians, and we could have missed him and never known, But we heard the Slayer, I peaked my head out, ‘Who’s that kid behind the drums plan like that?’ A 33-year-old kid from Peru, amazing player.

“So now we got two guys half our age, which is great because they bring a freshness and they’re kind of in their own age, so it’s cool for them, and you got the OGs on the outside.”

“It’s a great thing, because David and I have our influences that we came up with, Fred is a Nick Menza [ex-Megadeth drummer] aficionado, he loved him, he sent me a picture when he first got in the group of him in Nick at NAMM and they’ve all loved Megadeth.


Jeff Young further expressed his admiration of Chaz, the band’s frontman, and how well he performs Megadeth material. He continued:

“And of course, Chaz in a Megadeth tribute, he also fronts Soundgarden tributes as Chris Cornell, maybe his look, you can see why, and he’s got that vibe in his voice, so when he does Mustaine as one critic says, it doesn’t come off like an impression or something comical. It’s huskier, it’s cool, it’s really cool.

“He’s just growing every gig, and these are hard-working, really mature young men for their age, and we’re just really blessed how that whole thing just happened out of an Ultimate Jam. We were just getting up to play three tunes and have some fun, and here we are.

Photo: Markus Felix | PushingPixels (20170804 Wacken Wacken Open Air Megadeth 0020)

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.