Welcome to episode # 62 of the Rock Interview Series. For this feature, guitarist -Jeff Young is the guest.
In 1985, Jeff graduated from the prestigious GIT (Guitar Institute of Technology. He then went on to become the lead guitarist of the metal band MEGADETH from 1987-1989.
During that time, Jeff performed on the Megadeth release “So Far, So Good…..So What.”
Currently, Jeff is in a band called Kings of Thrash, which also features former Megadeth members David Ellefson on bass and Chris Poland on guitar, along with drummer Fred Aching and guitarist/vocalist Chaz Leon.
What follows is an exclusive interview in which Jeff discusses his new band, his time in MEGADETH, and much more.
For more on the Kings of Thrash, please visit www.kingsofthrash.com
This interview was also featured on Blabbermouth.net (see below)
In a new interview with Thomas S. Orwat, Jr. of the Rock Interview Series, Young was asked if he, Ellefson and Poland have gotten any reaction to the tour — either in the form of a blessing or an angry rebuke — from MEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine. Jeff responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “We’re really not concerned. I don’t pay attention. I haven’t really paid attention or followed MEGADETH since, I think, I heard the ‘Rust In Peace’ album a couple of times, and then what you might hear on the radio or in the press.
“For us, this isn’t about any spite or retaliation; it’s a celebration of the music that we were all a part of, that we helped create,” he explained. “And it’s fun for us to do this.
“People said, ‘You should do this.’ And we said, ‘Hey, yeah, you’re right. We should do this.’ It’s a win-win — it’s a win for us, and it’s a win for [Mustaine], because any performance royalties, anything… If we did include live tracks, he would make money off that. It’s promoting albums that hopefully fans will go back and buy, which is putting money right in his pocket. Especially ‘Killing Is My Business’, I think a lot of people are gonna go back and wanna rediscover that album after this tour.
“For us, it’s all about positivity,” Young added. “We’re all in this moment — we’re living in the moment, and we’re not looking beyond. We’re not reading any of the comments on Blabbermouth or any of the stuff. Because we know what our intent is, and intent is everything. And our intent’s positive. We like playing together. We know we’re crafting original music. We’re not relying on this; we don’t need to ride the coattails of this. This is just something that the fans wanted, and you wanna give fans what they want.”
Asked if he thinks MEGADETH deserves to be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Jeff said: “Well, that’s funny. I got a letter from Dave Mustaine a few years ago. There’s an episode on my ‘Music Without Boundaries’ [podcast] archives called ‘I Got A Letter’, and I read the letter. And I tell all the stories. So if people wanna hear all the gory details, they can go find that back episode. He was thinking they were gonna get [inducted into the Rock Hall] a couple of years [ago]. Maybe they will. He wanted me to be there. And as great as it would be to be there, I don’t think I would wanna share that same energetic space with such an individual.”
Circling back to the KINGS OF THRASH shows, Jeff said: “The cool thing is that Ellefson and Poland and me get to go do this thing without the toxicity in the room. I mean, who could have dreamed that it would have panned out this way? It’s just one of those things that we just can’t say no to it, it’s so cool to do. And it sounds so good. Every time we leave rehearsal, we’re just giddy… We didn’t have that musicality back then, so to be able to have the luxury and the opportunity to play these songs these years later when we’ve had all this growth as musicians and as people, it’s the coolest thing ever. I can’t believe this is even happening. I’m kissing the ground every day. Chris and me together with our sounds on the same side of the stage, they complement each other so well.”