Dave Mustaine “hated” improvisation in Megadeth songs, says ex-guitarist Chris Poland

“He used to get so upset, and that was fair.”

[L-R] Chris Poland and Dave Mustaine of Megadeth

Credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images

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Former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland has recalled the way Dave Mustaine “hated” when he would improvise his solos while performing with the band.

In a recent interview with Guitar World, Poland speaks about his time working with Kings of Thrash, a band featuring former Megadeth members David Ellefson and Jeff Young, and the way it compares to his experience in Megadeth.

“It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been interesting getting together with those guys and playing those tunes again,” he says. “I was worried I might have forgotten how to play them, but to my surprise, after a few times playing them, all my muscle memory returned. I was like, ‘Holy cow! I can still do this after all these years!'”

Looking back on his lead part in the 1986 Megadeth classic Wake Up Dead, Poland says: “But take the Wake Up Dead solo, for instance; I’m very proud of that solo, and I know many people liked it. It’s only like 10 seconds long, but I didn’t want to improvise it, which is something I did while I was in Megadeth that Dave hated.”

“He used to get so upset, and that was fair,” the guitarist recalls. “I shouldn’t have done that. But anyway, I really took the time to actually learn the solo, and I was happy that I still could.”

He continues: “I came from a different place than Dave. But I guess that was the beauty of our incarnation of Megadeth. The differing opinions probably made the music as good as it was.”

Elsewhere in the chat, Poland — who’s appeared on the band’s first two albums – also weighs in on Megadeth current lineup, saying “Honestly, I pretty much like all of what Megadeth has done.”

“Well, I wasn’t that into the Risk album, but Dystopia from a few years ago was incredible. That was a really good Megadeth record. And I liked the new album, too. But as far as the albums I was part of, while I didn’t realise it then, yeah, those albums were special. It was a special time, and I think it was meant to happen as it did.”


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