MEGADETH Bassist: I've Always Investigated Other Genres Of Music For Inspiration

Jason McNamara of recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. It's been well documented that many bands really had the door of success opened to them by visiting Japan back in the '70s and '80s. MEGADETH has been a mainstayer in the music industry for almost 30 years now. What role if any did Japan play in MEGADETH's rise to the top, especially in those early years?

David Ellefson: Fortunately, MEGADETH got in during a fantastic period of Japan's international music interest. More than that, the Japanese fans and music industry have taken such an amazing interest not in our music but our lives as musicians. We enjoyed many years there with our fans, who were instrumental in our success both internationally and throughout the Pacific Rim, too. From Japan's enthusiasm we have been able to branch out to many of the neighboring Asian countries over the years. Have you ever had time to actually see anything here aside from airports, hotel rooms and the shows?

David Ellefson: Yes, I have. In particular, I went to Japan for a special pre-tour promotion back in 1992 and got to experience some of the nightlife that I wouldn't have otherwise been able to participate in if I was just passing through on a normal tour schedule. Then, we spent almost a month touring Japan back in 1995 on the "Youthanasia" record. That tour saw us go from cities like Sendai all the way down to the Southwestern regions, with stops in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and the beautiful city of Kobe along the way. These days any person who has metal on their iPod would most likely have pop, jazz, a few movie soundtracks, hip hop etc. What do you listen to when it's not metal?

David Ellefson: Well, I'm the same way because I listen to all styles of music in my down time, too. I've always gone out of genre as a musician and songwriter to investigate other genres for inspiration. As a lifelong musician, it's sometimes difficult to just sit back and listen to music without analyzing it. I think its just part of how I'm wired. With that said, my kids listen to pop in the car on the way to school (Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Pink, etc.) while I still trend toward metal and music I grew up on from the 1970s… everything from KISS, MONTROSE and AEROSMITH to more mainstream pop stuff like THE EAGLES. Have you ever been approached to do music outside of the metal world and if so, why did or didn't you get involved?

David Ellefson: Yes, all the time. I've participated playing and writing on records that covered everything from singer/songwriter coffeehouse-type music all the way to Christian and inspirational music. I guess that is one cool thing about being a bassist is that I can be an artist and create songs or I can simply show up and just play bass lines to other people's music. It's nice to have the options.

Read the entire interview from


Posted in: News


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).