Head Crusher

Last updated
"Head Crusher"
Megadeth Head Crusher Itunes Cover.jpg
Single by Megadeth
from the album Endgame
ReleasedJuly 7, 2009
Genre Thrash metal
Label Roadrunner
Songwriter(s) Dave Mustaine, Shawn Drover
Producer(s) Andy Sneap, Dave Mustaine
Megadeth singles chronology
"À Tout le Monde (Set Me Free)"
"Head Crusher"
"The Right to Go Insane"

"Head Crusher" was the first single from American heavy metal band Megadeth's twelfth studio album, titled Endgame , which was released on September 15, 2009. The single was released on July 7, 2009. According to Roadrunner Records official website, a download of "Head Crusher" was available for 24 hours on July 7 (the availability of download ended the morning of July 8). [1] The track was previously available for listening by calling Dave Mustaine's number, through the TheLiveLine.com, a service he launched that enables musicians to connect to their audience over the phone. [2] The song was played live for the first time at the "Canadian Carnage Tour" on June 24, 2009. On December 3, 2009, it was announced on the official Megadeth homepage that "Head Crusher" had been nominated for "Best Metal Performance" for the 52nd annual Grammy Awards, the band's first nomination in 13 years, since "Trust". [3]

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Megadeth American heavy metal band

Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson formed the band in 1983 shortly after Mustaine's dismissal from Metallica. Along with Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer, Megadeth is one of the "Big Four" of American thrash metal, responsible for its development and popularization. Their music features complex arrangements and fast rhythm sections, and lyrical themes of death, war, politics, and religion.

<i>Endgame</i> (Megadeth album) 2009 studio album by Megadeth

Endgame is the twelfth studio album by American thrash metal band Megadeth. It was produced by Dave Mustaine and Andy Sneap and released through Roadrunner Records on September 15, 2009. Endgame was the first album to feature guitarist Chris Broderick, following Glen Drover's departure in 2008, and was the band's last studio album with bassist James LoMenzo; original bassist David Ellefson rejoined the band several months after the album's release.


Song meaning

This song is about the medieval torture device of the same name. Its lyrics portray a person who is taken underground where he is interrogated using a head crusher device to torture the answers out of him. It explains the effects it would have on one's body. [4]

A head crusher is a putative torture device conceived in the early modern period.

Music video

Two different versions of the music video were released in September, 2009: Extreme and Censored. Both were directed by Patrick Kendall. [5] [6]

To create the video, director Patrick Kendall created a scenario that blended elements of the 1987 film 'The Running Man' with 2000's 'Gladiator' to concoct a violent scenario to match the energy of the high-impact song. The synopsis is simple but effective: Mustaine is playing emcee (like Richard Dawson in 'The Running Man') on a show where hooded criminals in jumpsuits are brought into a ring, unhooded and exposed to a mixed martial arts battle to the death while the band plays on a raised platform.

"I was listening to the song, and I heard the line about 'prisoners,' and I thought about 'The Running Man,'" Kendall told Noisecreep. "So I went back and watched that and 'Gladiator' again, and then I wrote the treatment, which added in some MMA fighting."

The 'Head Crusher' video featured MMA Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter Jorg Oliveira, as well as other lesser-known grapplers. "All of these guys were either real fighters or they were people who trained and did this for a hobby," Kendall said. "The stunt coordinator wanted to make sure everybody had some skill in fighting to make it look as real as possible."

The video also starred actor Chad Bannon, who played Killer Karl in Rob Zombie's 2003 flick 'House of 1,000 Corpses,' and appeared in 2001's 'Planet of the Apes.' "I think he wanted to get out of acting and concentrate on fighting," Kendall said. "He's had a couple of mixed martial arts events and in one of his bouts he knocked a guy out in 20 seconds."

In the video, Bannon fought with a convict who is later unhooded and turns out to be female fighter Michelle Waterson. She then defeated Bannon and earned her release.

Michelle Waterson is an American mixed martial artist who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). She is the former Invicta FC Atomweight Champion.

"She's one of the few female true mixed martial arts fighters that's also beautiful," Kendall said. "She actually does bikini modeling, and the idea was to have a really hot girl who really knew how to fight. Before we got her to come onboard, we were looking at all kinds of girls in L.A., but they were no Michelle Waterson. We flew her up the day before the shoot. She's actually a pretty good fighter and a lot of her fights end up in either TKOs or submissions. It's funny because Michelle actually clocked Chad a couple times during the shoot. Those were real kicks and he came out of there bruised."

The cast and band shot the video with Kendall on July 28 at a studio in Northern Los Angeles. While the shoot was exciting and filled with laughs, at times it was also grueling. Aside from all the rigorous fighting, the platform that Megadeth performed on ascended 20 feet in the air while the band played, and the musicians were tied down so they wouldn't fall off during scenes that were shot repeatedly throughout the day.

"They were up in the rafters where all the heat was, so they were all sweating," Kendall said. "It was probably a very unusual situation to perform in and be on camera, but Dave Mustaine was just great. Every time I'd ask him to do another take he was like, 'Sure, definitely.'"

In addition to being a team player, Mustaine was also a creative force for the video. He offered suggestions to Kendall, including having the state-appointed character look at Waterson with double vision as he's getting his head crushed. And, because of his background in Taekwondo, he corrected the director when there were technical problems with a fight scene.

"He actually called me out at one point," Kendall says. "Waterson did a 360 kick, and I cut to a close-up and it was a sidekick, not a 360. And Dave pointed that out and made me change the shot. He actually knew the kicks and everything, which was really helpful."


Dave Mustaine American musician

David Scott Mustaine is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, actor and author. He is best known as the co-founder, lead vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter of the American heavy metal band Megadeth, as well as the original lead guitarist of the American band Metallica.

Singing act of producing musical sounds with the voice

Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, rhythm, and a variety of vocal techniques. A person who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music that can be sung with or without accompaniment by musical instruments. Singing is often done in an ensemble of musicians, such as a choir of singers or a band of instrumentalists. Singers may perform as soloists or accompanied by anything from a single instrument up to a symphony orchestra or big band. Different singing styles include art music such as opera and Chinese opera, Indian music and religious music styles such as gospel, traditional music styles, world music, jazz, blues, gazal and popular music styles such as pop, rock, electronic dance music and filmi.

Electric guitar electrified guitar; fretted stringed instrument with a neck and body that uses a pickup to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals

An electric guitar is a guitar that uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals. The vibration occurs when a guitar player strums, plucks, fingerpicks, slaps or taps the strings. The pickup generally uses electromagnetic induction to create this signal, which being relatively weak is fed into a guitar amplifier before being sent to the speaker(s), which converts it into audible sound.

Record producer individual who oversees and manages the recording of an artists music

A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has many, varying roles during the recording process. They may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements.

Andy Sneap British record producer and musician

Andy Sneap is a British musician, songwriter, guitar player and record producer. He is best known as a Grammy winning producer with over 100 albums produced at his Backstage Recording studios in rural Derbyshire. As a performer, he was first known as the guitar player of thrash metal band Sabbat, and he is currently a guitarist in the second incarnation of the heavy metal band Hell. In 2018, he joined Judas Priest as a touring guitarist following Glenn Tipton's announcement that he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and that he would no longer be able to tour.

Audio mixing (recorded music) audio mixing to yield recorded sound

In sound recording and reproduction, audio mixing is the process of combining multitrack recordings into a final mono, stereo or surround sound product. In the process of combining the separate tracks, their relative levels are adjusted and balanced and various processes such as equalization and compression are commonly applied to individual tracks, groups of tracks, and the overall mix. In stereo and surround sound mixing, the placement of the tracks within the stereo field are adjusted and balanced. Audio mixing techniques and approaches vary widely and have a significant influence on the final product.

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