Mustaine wasn’t going to waste any time, and he started writing on the bus ride back home.
While on the ride back, Mustaine talked about wanting to get back at for his former bandmates saying,
“I hated them, I was so angry. I thought I needed to regroup and start over again because now I’m gonna get revenge.”
On the floor of the bus, Mustaine found something that planted the seeds for his next band saying,
“On the ride back, I needed to come up with a name that’s more metal than someone who has metal in their name. While I was on the bus and there was a piece of paper there from Senator Alan Cranston ‘the arsenal of megadeath cannot be rid.’ I thought that was a great name for a song.”
While the working title of the song was ‘Megadeth,’ it eventually morphed into “Set the World Afire” off of So Far So Good So What.
Aside from a Deth classic, Mustaine thought it was much better than his other band names saying,
“I originally wanted to do something that was in a foreign language. Something like a combination of the words ‘fire’ and ‘bomb,’ but I don’t think that would ever work if you were in a public environment saying the words ‘fire’ and ‘bomb’ to a crowd.”
Even years after the band got big, the controversy behind the name followed Mustaine around saying, (21:22)
“We had done a cover of ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy’ and the song finishes on the radio and the DJ goes ‘And that was an old Alice Cooper cover.’ And I was like ‘Where’s Megadeth?.’ That’s when I realized people didn’t really want to say Megadeth on the radio.”
Check out the lyrics to “Set the World Afire” below: