Al, you were temporary member/touring
guitarist for Megadeth. And you were also a member of Savatage
back then. At first you were a temporary member am I right?
Pitrelli: I was never a temporary member of
megadeth let's make it clear first .. When Jimmy deGrasso called
me, Dave asked Jimmy because "Marty is leaving we need
guitar player now!" Jimmy suggested Steff Burns for Dave I
guess but they didn't get right vibe or something, Marty
recommenced somebody and Jimmy's solutions was "How about
my buddy Al " We probably can pull this off. Let's get him
a chance. Jimmy called me up the day right after Christmas. I
flew out to Las Vegas. Then we talked the whole day what was
going on. I did check some notes, listened to CD's and watched
vintage livetapes. The more I listened to the music the more I
was thinking about situation. Alright I'm in Megadeth. I am
really convinced I'm a new guitar player. How good job I do Is
how I can convince Dave. Then I'm his guy.. You know what I mean
..? So I was never, I never proceed myself as a temporary member
I proceed myself as well I'm in!
Was it difficult to choice with who you
will play in the future? I mean you were also a member of
Savatage back then.
Pitrelli: It really wasn't a choice to leave
Savatage now. I don't know what was said in the press as far as
my involvement's with Savatage. Savatage was pretty much
unemployment at that time. They weren't doing anything. During
the release of album The Wake of Magellan 97/98 we toured about
two months and that was it. At the same time the side project
TSO had an idea for a Christmas record which was very good. I
think their two records have sold 1.1 - 1.2 millions copies in
America. That took press for me to do that. Savatage got put bad
burned. Because of successful, commercial is a successful record
and in America all their efforts and attention. Savatage was
pretty much a dead issue I mean they were talking about doing
another record one day but nobody knew what was going on?
Did you take any part on new SAVATAGE
album "Poets and Madmen" ?
Pitrelli: I was involved for Poets and Madman
album when we first started writing songs for that years ago. I
mean it was about year and a half to two years ago. We were
demoing ideas some ended to be good sounding demos. Every time
we started to work for our record I would say listen. This is
new TSO record I wanna do something for TSO. Basically I saw
Savatage not really continuing on. TSO keep me working on and
that band was the thing I wanted to do. Day after Christmas I
finished TSO tour and then Jimmy called me "Merry Christmas
Brother" Thank you I said. "What are you doing"
Then I knew that something was wrong. And immediately I knew was
sort of a opportunity of a lifetime for me. Everything I have
worked for my entire career for. Back then maybe there was no
choice to do. I love Jon Olivia as a friend, I think he's
brilliant I wish him all the success cause I think he deserves
it. He's been through hard times. But when this came up. It was
just like ok, I'm in Megadeth now.
Alex Skolnick also played with Savatage
Pitrelli :There were two tours (one on the east
coast and one on the west) I don't wanna do too much time for
this but... Alex Skolnick is a great guitar player he was in
Testament and he was in Savatage he got fired from Savatage. I
got hired to finish the record he got fired from. It was just
another session for me. TSO was also another session as well. I
mean as a guitar player position would you like to play with New
York philharmonics absolutely that was a wonderful opportunity
to play traditional Christmas music with full orchestra.
Speaking of eighties metal …Are you
still in contact with Mr. Dee Snider ?
Pitrelli: I spoke to Dee a couple of months ago
he left message on my voice mail just to congratulate me. Cause
he was a very very big Megadeth fan. He hasn't been able to stay
as a musical career and one the things he said "I'm so
proud of you, it's such a great band and you deserve to be on it
and I wish you up." It was really nice. I mean we spent a
lot of time together and it was hard to be with him. When he was
in Twisted Sister he deserved all popularity and success. And
when I was with him he had fallen from grace like quicker than
anybody I had ever seen and he was having a really hard time
dealing with that. So I spent a lot of time with a man who was
kind a not in a good way. Sometimes you can see somebody's
riddle character. It's nothing to be a star and rich and
suddenly nobody cares who you are its almost like "oh no
you are him". So it was hard time for him and at that time
we became very close.
If he wanted to record another Widowmaker
album, would you take part on it ?
Pitrelli : No .. I would like to remember my
time with Dee for what it was almost Ten years ago I have no
inspirations to do anything except to become best guitar player
Megadeth ever had ..
Any change to hear any Twisted Sister
songs covered by Megadeth?
Mustaine: Yeah just NONE !!! (laughter and
showing zero with his fingers!)
Well I just think cos you have done a
number of covers…ehhh..
Mustaine: Twisted Sister was a real good band
when they were around at that time. But I am not really sure
that if we need to copy someone else, because we do pretty good
I know this is a tiring question but there
are and were a lot of rumors that you again asked Jeff Waters
from Annihilator to try out for Megadeth after Marty Friedman
left? I guess this must have been asked hundreds of times, but
it is about time to find out the real truth?!?
Mustaine: Never crossed my mind… I have heard
some album called….Alice In Hell whatever is called.
That's the first one…
Mustaine: Yeah that's one I have heard…
Not even new albums of Annihilator?!?
Mustaine: No…Something happened… It is
obvious he is very talented and if he really wanted to do
Megadeth. But there was some reason I don't know what it is. But
there are also some stuff said in the press…I don't know to
consider it right… But for some reason it never happened and I
haven't really given a though to Jeff of Annihilator since then.
He is really good!
When Martin decided to leave, all what I wanted
to do was fucking scream because I knew I was going to go
through to teach the stuff to another person again. That was so
ridiculous.. I knew I was going straight back to hell. It's
better with Al cos he learns pretty quick, but even there is a
lot of shit anyway…
I have read that the tour with Motley Crue
was very successful, but on the other hand kinda very hard on
the personal level and then this Anthrax thing as got thrown out
of the tour…So did you get along with these MC dudes?!?
Mustaine: We definitely got along with the
Motley Crue guys even though it wasn't something personal. Nikki
was very friendly, Vince was pretty much drunk every day, Mick
didn't deal with anybody cos he had a tight disease during the
tour. Randy had this stomach thing and wasn't there and Sam
Mallow from Hole was there instead. She was really excited about
the whole thing. She truly enjoyed the lifestyle of Motley Crue.
Vince…. When I was seeing him and he was like
"Hi dude" and I was like "Hi". I spent a
month with him in a rehabilitation so I know him very well, but
we are not friends by any manners, but I know him very well. He
said my name one time on the entire fucking tour and very
anxious "Hi Dave" and I was like "MY NAME
When Megadeth played the first gig with
Abattoir and Trouble in Bay Area San Francisco Berkley Ruthies
Inn… In 1984… Do you still recall that first gig ?!?
Mustaine: Yeah I remember that gig, I remember
Abattoir, and I remember Trouble. Yeah it was in San Francisco…
I remember it was the first date, that's my first date. I played
a couple of concerts before that. I do remember playing in Bay
And Kerry King was in the rank at that
Mustaine: Yeah !
But did you ever try to get him to stay in
the band permanently?
Mustaine: No I didn't, he was very happy with
Slayer and I respect his involvement with his band. We never
tried to encourage him to leave Slayer… And I like Slayer…
What do you think of the current reunion
boom for example all these old bands are back for example
Exciter, Agent Steel and the list goes on, do you find it
Mustaine: Agent Steel is not one of my favourite
bands, but I like one Abattoir tune that I could tell you its
guitar riffs and chorus right way. Exciter…Exciter was one of
the first bands with whom Megadeth ever toured in America and we
were an opening band. I always thought Dan Piler is related to
Chuck Piler.. Laughter….It was a funny tour indeed…
No I don't think this reunion thing is
ridiculous. I think it is great some bands get back together I
hope the original Van Halen would get back and the original Guns
And Roses. Any these which I actually have living memories. Even
I would like to see the original Metallica would get back
together in some point, but I don't think it will ever happen!!