MEGADETH is continuing work on material for the band's next album, tentatively due in 2015. MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson posted a couple of photos from the studio last Friday (June 13) and wrote in an accompanying message (see below): "Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH mainman] and I are in the studio this week in California working up some of the new riffs. We're having fun, just throwing it down and keeping it chill. These are essentially writing demos at this point, so just grinding out the tunes like a metal band should."
MEGADETH will perform at the Amnesia Rockfest in Montebello, Canada on Friday, June 20 after recently canceling several dates following the death of Ellefson's brother, who passed away in May after battling cancer.
MEGADETH drummer Shawn Drover last month spent a week in the studio with Mustaine "tracking demo 'ideas'" for the band's next studio record. He said at the time: "[There are] some really heavy riffs going on here, and if I say it, you know it's true."
Speaking to National Rock Review this past March, Drover was asked if MEGADETH will venture into new musical territories on its next studio album. "I don't think so," Drover replied. "We definitely branch out to a couple of different areas, stylistically speaking."
He continued: "For me, I'm always an advocate for the heavy stuff, so that's usually what I present to the band — something a little more violent, a little more heavy and oftentimes fast stuff. Because that's how I write. Of course, MEGADETH has done so many different kinds of metal over the years, but for me, I'll always try to represent the more furious side of it, because that's just part of who I am, it's part of my creative DNA to try to write heavy riffs. Whether it gets accepted not, it obviously just depends on how it's going [with the writing process for] the record. We all have so many ideas, not everything is gonna make it. Case in point, on the 'Endgame' record, I had a song called 'Head Crusher', which was a pretty fast, heavy song. It was the first single, the first video and it was nominated for a Grammy Award. So you always try, but you just never know what you're gonna end up with. It just depends on how the recording process goes. But I'll always have ideas to submit, certainly."
In a December 2013 interview with MetalTitans.com, Ellefson commented on the criticism that was levelled against the band's last studio effort, 2013's "Super Collider". "We're aware of the comments, for sure, because they're on our own web site or our MEGADETH Facebook page!" he laughed. He then added: "My personal thought is that the next record will be much different.
"We go through these phases. Dave made three records when I wasn't in the band, and a couple of them quite good, I might add. They were good records because they were really good 'metal' records. That's what fans want to hear; because MEGADETH has this 30-year career, we have more than just one style in our cache.
"Fans have discovered us at various times throughout our journey; there are fans became fans when they heard 'Risk', that's when they go into rock 'n' roll and they bought their record, and to them, that is their debut MEGADETH record.
"I have learned not to criticize our own work, simply because there are naysayers out there and the fact that every record has significance to different people. Having said that, the first thing that people heard from the record was track 'Super Collider', which is a very mainstream, commercial song. I think had they heard 'Kingmaker' first, for instance, the reaction would have been much different.
"The first impression is more often than not the most lasting impression. When you hear a song that sounds like MEGADETH right out the gate, you say, 'Awesome, man!' When you hear a song that you have to listen to several times, analyze it and get your mind around it, the first impression may not make you want to dig right into out of the gate. I get that.
"I'm a fan. I used to buy KISS records as a kid and CHEAP TRICK records. I remember some records, I got it right out the gate, and there were records where I'd say, 'What the heck is this?' It wasn't what I was expecting. Some records take one listen, other take three or four listens other more. I think, for me, 'Super Collider' is one of those records."
"Super Collider" sold 29,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart.