An Exclusive Interview With Gar Samuelson
The reasons for the departure from Megadeth hadn't been illuminated then exactly. Could you tell us the drawback now?
As everyone should know, Megadeth was not only a sign for speed metal, but also a sign for uncontrolled drug consumption. Not only Dave Mustaine, but the whole band was relapsed into cocaine and heroin. I noticed after five years intense addiction that it couln't continue like this, so I turned my back to Megadeth. Chris Poland was thinking the same way, so we tried to start up a project together. His brother Mark was the singer, my brother Stew was the bassist. But it was in vain, our strength of will had no stamina, so that Chris and I had topart ways. It was a hard step. I realized that the only way to escape from this hell was separation. So I packed my bags and went from L.A. to Florida. This, as the things have developed, was the only right decision. I started to look for people and began writing songs. That's how Fatal Opera was born. The story of Chris must also be familiar. After his solo album he established Damn The Machine and released a fantastic album.
How does the rest of your band cope with the fact that the interest of Fatal Opera is limited nearly to the person Gar?
I don't act as a band leader and the guys concentrate on their fantastic abilities on their instruments. I was in a famous band, but that can only be helpful for F.O. In case of success, the others profit as much as I do. No, they don't have any problems with that!
But don't all those comparisons with Megadeth disturb you at all?
It is my past and people want to know more about it. I have understanding of this. What I don't like is a musical comparison to my former band.
Do you still have contact to the Megadeth guys?
Only sporadic. When we see us, we talk to each other, but to get along with Dave Mustaine and to take him seriously is a wrench for me. His long-yeared drug-consumption can be seen without problems in his attitude and views. If you compare what he says to the media and what to someone personally it really differs. Already at the beginning of Megadeth it was his aim to become a rockstar without considerations towards casualities. He managed this but for what price? It's not easy to be in the same band with him. Already earlier he tried to deceive us in financial affairs. Dave is a musical genius who could have made more out of his possibilities.
Let's stop with that topic and want to dedicate us to the real reason of this interview: the music of Fatal Opera is quite complicated: Don't you want to have success?
Sure, but it's my sympathy for the matter of music. After your third start, you find things that you have never been aware of before. I love this aspect because music should be in a certain way a voyage of exploration with many experiences. The new songs are less complicated. The debut is a gathering of long-yeared songwriting. In such a long time there evolve many ideas that were worked out in our songs.
With "Moon Turns The Tides" there is a cover version of Jimi Hendrix on the debut. How did this come?
I grew up with his music. Hendrix was the crucial person for me to start music and to learn an instrument. It was not planned to take this song onto the debut. At the end of our shows, we play either this song or "Burning of the Midnight Lamp," another Hendrix cover. So we thought it would be an interesting aspect to close up the debut with one of these songs.
Are there any experiences from your career that you like and not like to look back on?
It was hard work to build up my own studio. But now it's finished and it is a great feeling. Additionally, I really like to remember back to the Japan tour of Megadeth because the fans reacted totally enthusiastically. There are certainly enough negative experiences, but you should draw conclusions out of those and should try to change them into the positive. The worst experience are those that form you to a personality.
The lyrics are quite political. Do you think that bands should sing about political anomaly?
You can't sing about love all the time. It is a good oportunity for a band to make people aware of problems. For a normal human being it is difficult to throw away his frustrations and thoughts. Demonstrations or joining an organization is one possibility, but how many people do you reach with that? It is freedom of speech and I use it because I really can't be satisfied with the system. I don't know how much of the lyrics have influences on fans, but I hope that in our case it is of positive nature. We don't want to call on violence. We also don't want to be regarded as a political group, just as a group of five people who makes use of the freedom of speech and who wants to make people aware of various things.