Dave Mustaine revealed that the radiologist who treated his cancer wrote lyrics for a song on Megadeth’s upcoming album The Sick, the Dying … and the Dead!

He asked the doctor for assistance in writing “Dogs of Chernobyl,” set in the aftermath of the 1986 nuclear reactor meltdown that caused havoc across parts of Europe.

“I said to him that I needed a couple of phrases and some information about the radiation poisoning when everyone got sick at Chernobyl,” Mustaine told Metal Hammer in a recent interview (via Music News). “[S]o he wrote this masterful piece for me and I used it in full.”

The musician added that writing about tragedy in Europe before the Ukraine invasion wasn’t an example of foreseeing the future. “Believe it or not, it’s a love song,” he said. The same, he noted, applies to the title track, inspired by the bubonic plague epidemic of the 14th century and not by the COVID-19 pandemic. “[I]t was written before,” he explained. “I think if anyone wants to take the piss about me being Nostradamus, there are plenty of other songs… After the song was written, I knew people would think it was about COVID.”

Mustaine announced he’d been diagnosed with throat cancer in June 2019, then confirmed he’d been given the all-clear in four months later. In 2020, he recalled: “They hit the cancer really hard, nine doses of chemo and 51 radiation treatments, which just beats the hell out of you. […] I’ve got a metal plate in my neck that I figured might cause problems, but the doc told me, ‘Dave, you are in perfect health, 100 percent. You’re free to go.'”

Megadeth will release The Sick, the Dying … and the Dead! on Sept. 2.

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