Electra Mustaine wasn’t even born when her father’s band Megadeth released their 1994 album Youthanasia. But that didn’t stop the just shy of 18-year-old singer from choosing a song off that record to introduce herself to the country music community. Today, Mustaine releases the video for “I Thought I Knew It All,” a Megadeth deep cut that she and producers Ben Fowler and Phoenix Mendoza reinvented as an elegant, almost Celtic, ballad. While dad Dave Mustaine originally howled the lyrics (listen to the original below), his daughter lingers over the notes with a lilt in her voice.
Mustaine says her interpretation is for both country fans and disciples of the thrash titans. “We thought it’d be a great tribute to Megadeth fans for all the years of support. I wanted to say thank you, because honestly if it weren’t for Megadeth fans, I wouldn’t be able to try to fulfill my dreams now,” she tells Rolling Stone Country. “I thought, let’s show everyone this is where I come from, and yes, I am Dave Mustaine’s daughter, but look what I can do with it. We tried to make it organic, raw and vocally driven.”
In the cinematic video for “I Thought I Knew It All,” Mustaine is seen in the Tennessee countryside, commanding a horse in the early-morning fog. It’s not the only time recently that the young artist has been in front of the camera: she and her family just completed a reality-show pilot that they’re seeking to premiere and turn into a series. It follows the Mustaines as they relocate from Los Angeles to Nashville.
“Everyone knows the story of Megadeth and who my dad is. That story has already been told. But the one that hasn’t been told is what he’s like with his family, what it’s like for him to move to Nashville,” she says. “And what it’s like to have him walk into a tractor store and try to fit in. He is funny as heck.”
While the elder Mustaine and Megadeth just released their new album Dystopia, Electra is currently in the studio writing and recording tracks for an EP. She says she’s influenced by everything from the songs of Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood (“Carrie’s new Storyteller album was really motivating”) to the coolness of Chris Stapleton. “I want to have that Clint Eastwood vibe in my music,” she says.