IN YOUR BOOK YOU TALK ABOUT MEETING ALICE COOPER, AND HE ENDED UP WARNING YOU ABOUT DRUGS. IT SOUNDS LIKE HE WAS SOMEONE YOU REALLY LOOKED TO WHEN YOU WERE COMING UP. WERE YOU EVER HESITANT ABOUT MEETING HIM — OR ANY OF YOUR MUSICAL HEROES, WORRYING ABOUT WHETHER THEY WOULD BE A JERK OR DISAPPOINT? Not really. You know, when I met Alice, we had done the Constrictor tour and I was pretty much out of control at the time, and he was sober and he asked me to talk to him in his bus and I thought it was gonna be cool — we'd go in there and hang out and stuff. But he gave me a fatherly talk and I just wasn't mentally ready for it. It wasn't that I didn't want to meet my heroes, because it didn't have that kind of effect. I do know that phenomenon of meeting your heroes and having it be a disappointment. I don't really know how our fans feel when they meet me because my onstage persona is totally different from my offstage persona. Something happens before I go onstage. I guess it's kinda like Popeye and spinach or something, I just lose my concern for the menial things around me because I'm performing and that's it. Offstage I'm a pretty reasonable guy and levelheaded. I know what I want and I'm pretty driven — but onstage I'm a madman.

YOU SEEM LIKE YOU WOULD BE DEMANDING AS A BANDLEADER — ALMOST LIKE A METAL VERSION OF JAMES BROWN. [Laughs] Bite your tongue! I don't really know Mr. Brown very well so I don't know if that's a compliment or a friendly insult. I know that for us, what we do is try to make it as enjoyable for the listener as possible. When you're playing extreme music, you can't be sending out chocolate and flowers to your staff after you're done — you know? It's like everyone is eating broken glass nachos and stuff like that, so you gotta have that slugging each other in the arm kind of thing. I know that would seem like it's demanding, but when you have people that are dedicated to what we're doing here and they're all at the top of their game, there really isn't much to be demanded, you're just kind of calling out the plays and people do it. It's a very heads-up football kind of thing; I'm calling audible quarterback plays and taking the whole approach with Megadeth like it's very militant, everybody has their roles, and when it's time for the show to start, the lights go out, it's synchronized, it's like a pit crew. You see these NASCAR guys come in and they have a car completely changed and filled up with gas in 12 seconds — that's what my guys are like, they're all top-notch professionals.

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