MEGADETH's 35th-anniversary greatest-hits compilation, "Warheads On Foreheads", is accompanied by a 350-page graphic anthology, featuring comic book stories inspired by the songs on the album. The collaboration, titled "Death By Design", features stories written and illustrated by top talent from the comics, film, television and music world.
The project, carefully curated by MEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine and Heavy Metal, is a powerful book that gives both insight and understanding into the universe of MEGADETH and its harrowed mascot, Vic Rattlehead.
A one-and-a-half-minute video in which Mustaine talks about the making of MEGADETH's 1986 song "The Conjuring" for "Death By Design" can be seen below.
MEGADETH played "The Conjuring" live for the first time since 2001 in June 2018 at the Home Monitoring Aréna in Plzeň, Czech Republic, where the band was the support act for JUDAS PRIEST.
Mustaine said in a 2016 interview that he was reconsidering his decision to never play "The Conjuring" again, explaining that he wouldn't mind reintroducing the track at MEGADETH's live shows "as long as it doesn't hurt anybody."
Mustaine wrote in his autobiography, "Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir", that he practiced black magic as a teenager, and that the experience — which inspired "The Conjuring" — affected his life for years after.
Speaking to "The Morning Blaze With Gus & Izzy" show on the Fresno radio station 105.1 The Blaze, Mustaine was asked about his refusal to play "The Conjuring" at MEGADETH's concerts. He said: "I used to do black magic when I was a kid, and I put a hex on a dude and his leg kind of got messed up. The other one was I put a sex hex on this girl and the next night she was in my bed, so I think that it worked."
He continued: "But the funny thing [is] Chis Adler [LAMB OF GOD drummer, who played on 2016's 'Dystopia' album] just said, 'Hey, dude, can we re-record 'The Conjuring' with different lyrics?' And I was, like, 'Nah. You know what? Maybe I should re-think this whole thing.' Because when I first did the whole, 'You know what? I'm not gonna be a heathen anymore. I'm gonna clean up my life' thing, I kind of put some brakes on things I would and wouldn't do. And as I grow, I evolve in my outlook and my personal journey here, being a positive person and being a positive influence on other people's lives. So as long as it doesn't hurt anybody, I wouldn't mind doing the song again, 'cause it is a good song."
Mustaine previously spoke about his reluctance to perform "The Conjuring" during a 2011 interview with U.K.'s Total Guitar magazine. He stated at the time: "Performance-wise, 'The Conjuring' is one of the heaviest songs on [MEGADETH's 'Peace Sells… But Who's Buying?' album], but, unfortunately, it's got black magic in it and I promised that I wouldn't play it anymore, because there's a lot of instructions for hexes in that song. Although it seems kinda corny, anybody who's a Wiccan or a warlock or anything like that will know that all of that stuff is instrumental."
He continued: "When I got into black magic I put a couple of spells on people when I was a teenager and it haunted me forever, and I've had so much torment. People say, 'Goddamn, Dave never gets a break, he's had such a hard life,' and I just think, 'No, Dave didn't — he got into black magic and it ruined his life.' It wasn't that I was a bad guy or that I had a big mouth, it was that I got into witchcraft and black magic and it ruined my life. Fortunately for me, with all the work and the love of my friends, and not giving up with my guitar playing, I got over it. So I look back now and I think, "Hmm, I don't wanna play 'The Conjuring'."
Mustaine went on to say: "When I first got saved, I was really scared and I was basically holding on to anything that I heard in church or whatever, but as I've grown I've learned a lot and lightened up a lot, and I see people around me doing certain things and instead of me saying, 'Man, you shouldn't do that!' I think quietly to myself, 'Dude, you don't know what you're doing…' It's a huge growth process."