“You can’t have everything 120 BPM. It’s obvious that’s a radio tempo”: Dave Mustaine was “unhappy” with the speed of this classic Megadeth album

“I believe when you do something together, you have to make compromises. But that was just too much.”

Dave Mustaine on stage, he has a white V-shaped guitar in hand and stands before the mic, with blue lighting in the background.

Image: Mike Lewis / Getty

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Youthanasia might have succeeded Megadeth’s best-selling album, Countdown to Extinction, but frontman Dave Mustaine wasn’t happy with the choice of tempo used throughout.

According to Mustaine, producer Max Norman told the band they should slow everything down to 120 beats per minute. Although he felt proud of the record’s commercial success, he argues it was “obvious” that Norman’s choice of speed “was a radio tempo”.

Youthanasia landed in 1994, marking the band’s sixth album. It shot to platinum certification right off the bat, and was recorded by a lineup of Mustaine, David Ellefson, Marty Friedman, and Nick Menza.

Speaking to Alejandrosis on YouTube ahead of the band’s return to Colombia for the first time in 10 years, Mustaine reflects (via Ultimate Guitar): “[Youthanasia] was immediately certified platinum when it came out. That was the first time that happened for us. It wasn’t our first platinum record, but it was the first one that came out of the box platinum, and that was a great accomplishment for us,” he says.

“But [there] was also some stuff going on on that record I was unhappy about. The producer we were using, Max Norman, thought we should slow all the songs down to 120 beats per minute. So, if you’ve got a metronome when you listen to those songs, they’re all really slow. And I didn’t want to have any part with that.

“At the end of the record, that was the end of our production team. I believe when you do something together, you have to make compromises. But that was just too much. We’re a metal band, you can’t have everything have 120 BPM. It’s obvious that that’s a radio tempo.”

Megadeth are continuing to tour following the release of their 2022 album The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! Teemu Mäntysaari has been filling in on guitar in place of Kiko Loureiro who departed to due to family reasons.

View all upcoming Megadeth tour dates.

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