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Megadeth drummer on heavy metal, kids

Shawn Grover speaks with Radio 2’s Sparky ahead of his band’s gig in Dubai at the Gulf Bike Week

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What happens when a football fan meets a golf fan? Or when Radio 2 presenter Sparky meets rocker Shawn Grover, the drummer of heavy metal band Megadeth, who’s all set to return to the UAE with his band this Thursday at the Gulf Bike Week in Dubai? Do sparks fly? Read on to find out.


Sparky: You’re the most important cog in the wheel of any rock band. You’re the drummer, the man in the back.

Grover: That is a correct assessment. And let it be known that I am very important.


Q: Do your bandmates know this – do they realise the role you play?

A: Of course they do. All kidding aside, I drive the machine, so to speak. To have a drummer who doesn’t perform well in any band that’s going to make the band sound really bad wouldn’t you say?


Q: Is this a first for Megadeth in the Middle East?

A: No. We were in Dubai in 2006 where we played at a festival. It was fantastic. The whole area is such a unique area to be in. You see all this metropolis and all of a sudden there will be five miles of sand. So it’s quite a different experience.


Q: What can we expect from the show?

A: We’re doing the 20th anniversary of the Countdown to Extinction record so we’re going to be performing it in its entirety. Without giving away too much, it’s going to be a different kind of show… More visual stuff going on than ever before and we’re excited to bring it there to let you guys see it.


Q: Where do you think rock and metal stand in the music world at the moment?

A: Metal does very well on a worldwide scale. It’s something that’s never going to go away - our fans are testament to that. Maybe not always from a commercial selling point but from a fanbase selling point, we rival any market out there in terms of fan appreciation and loyalty. I would really say that heavy metal has the most loyal and best fans on the planet. I would put that against any genre of music any time.


Q: You’ve got the Countdown to Extinction tour, you’ve released the album into a box set. It’s all so 2012. The Mayan Calendar says the world will end this year. Do you know something we don’t?

A: No. I don’t. It’s just a bunch of hogwash. If this is the case everyone should quite their jobs and go on a vacation. We continue to tour and do what we do inspite of whether the world’s going to blow up or not. I don’t pay much attention to that. I hope it’s not true but you never know right?


Q: Any new music lined up?

A: We’re gathering ideas as we speak. Dave [Mustaine, founder and lead vocalist] is constanly getting stuff together. He has so many riffs he’s compiled so we’re never at a loss when it comes to the time to record. But we’re in that process now. And when the time comes, we’ll go over everything and work on it. That should be happening some time next year.


Q: You’ve been tweeting about golf…

A: I’ve been playing gold since I was eight, even before I touched drum sticks. It’s been a lifelong passion of mine. It’s also a frustrating sport. You can play like a dog all day long but one great shot and you can redeem yourself. It’s like a drug, you just want to keep going back for more. I’m looking forward to playing [in Dubai] and it’s already been prearranged.


Q: People kind of imaging a band like Megadeth would live in some kind of back cave dungeon type thing. What’s your day-to-day existence?

A: I’m just a semi normal dude who lives in a suburban neighbourhood who mows the lawn and washed the car like everybody else. When I am home, I shut the rock and roll thing up and try to have as much normalcy as possible - just get back to my kids and wife and just watch NFL football as much as possible.


Q: Do you ever tell your kids to turn the music down?

A: No that goes against the laws of metal. Actually, I probably would have told my daughter to turn off some of the trash she listens to. Not to turn it down but to turn off because it sucks.

*Megadeth perform on the sidelines of the Gulf Bike Week on October 18 at Dubai Festival City. Tickets priced Dh295 are available on