DIAMOND HEAD guitarist Brian Tatler recently spoke to "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" about a collaboration project he began with MEGADETH's Dave Mustaine but never finished.
Asked how the idea for the project came about and what became of it, Tatler said (hear audio below): "You remember [Mustaine] did an album called MD.45 [in 1996]? So he did that, and then maybe a year later, we got in touch with each other. And he said about that album, he said, 'I'd like to do another album like that, with yourself,' and he named a couple of other players. And I thought, 'That sounds fantastic. I'm up for that.' So I started writing material, and I would send stuff over, and he'd say, 'Yup. I like that. And I don't like that. And I like this.' And on it went for maybe a year or so. And every now and again, he'd apologize and say, 'I'm ever so busy. I'm doing the MEGADETH album,' and this, that and the other, and it seemed to drag on a little. And eventually, he said, 'I'm not gonna be able to do it.'"
Tatler continued: "Do you remember [Dave] hurt his arm [in 2002]? He went to sleep on his arm. And so he couldn't play guitar anymore. He sold his gear. MEGADETH stopped playing. That was the end of it. So he couldn't do our project either. So I just thought, 'Oh, okay. That's life.' One good thing: it forced me to write some songs, so I had about 30-odd song ideas that I wouldn't have otherwise, had I not had this opportunity. I had a fantastic reason to get my fingers out and start writing. And so some of these songs I've used on various albums that I've done since. That's the good thing that I took from that, negative. And we stayed friends, and MEGADETH offered us a support tour in 2005 — we did 22 dates all across Europe, opening for MEGADETH. So they did us a favor in the end — a return favor. And that went really well. It's all good."
Tatler also commented on Mustaine's throat cancer battle, which has forced the cancelation of all of MEGADETH's touring activities for the remainder of 2019.
"It's a shock," Brian said. "I didn't see that coming at all. It was just out of the blue, I think, for everybody. We just saw that picture and the news. I mean, I've had cancer in my family — I lost my sister, and my brother's got it at the moment — so I know it's a tough place to be. But I just immediately wanted to wish him all the best. You've got the best treatment in the U.S., and he's got plenty of money, so he can afford the best of the best [doctors]. So hopefully he'll be able to get on top of it and conquer it. And he's a fighter, isn't he, Dave. So God bless him, and let's hope he pulls through and gets rid of that shit."
Mustaine has been very vocal about what a "massive influence" DIAMOND HEAD and Tatler were on him and the music he wrote for both MEGADETH and METALLICA.
Tatler, for his part, has repeatedly expressed his gratitude over the years to METALLICA, who have covered four DIAMOND HEAD songs and kept the band in the spotlight.
DIAMOND HEAD's latest album, "The Coffin Train", was released in May via Silver Lining Music.