MEGADETH's DAVID ELLEFSON: 'I Was Never In METALLICA, So I Like Them'

MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson was recently interviewed for the Sonisphere festival web site. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Q: Scott Ian [ANTHRAX guitarist] sang on stage with you in Switzerland. How did that come about?

Ellefson: It surprised the crap out of me. All of a sudden I heard someone bellowing really loud and I thought, "Man, Chris Broderick is singing really loud today," and I turn around and Scott's on my mic singing. That was unplanned unless Dave mentioned it to him, but with "Peace Sells" that's sort of our come-one, come-all singalong sort of song, so anybody who might be out there watching in the wings, we're like, "come on, get on out here." Scott happened to be that guy in Switzerland.

Q: How's the relationship with METALLICA now?

Ellefson: Very good. I've always got along well with them. I was never in METALLICA, so I like them. I think they're great. I've always liked them as guys, I thought they were cool, their band rocks, their records are great. They're just a ferocious live band. As far as the obvious with our whole band and all the bands, honestly, it's great. METALLICA have risen to such huge success, it's very cool of them that they would move themselves off of their perch of iconic celebrity to just come back down to this scene of metal, which we've all created together. Because they've been able to move far away from this scene many years ago through the records they made and the songs that they wrote, which I always admired because most bands can't. MEGADETH was able to for a while. SLAYER never did. ANTHRAX did some things that were creative and cool. Now all four of us have a very different sound even though we all came out of the same gene pool musically and to some degree we all kind of end up as a branch off the METALLICA family tree. I mean, Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH mainman] was in METALLICA, I played with Dave, Kerry King [SLAYER guitarist] played with MEGADETH. We're all part of the METALLICA fist in some shape or form. It's cool. It's sort of like a family reunion, which is very healthy and a lot of fun.

Q: "Endgame" only came out last year. Is it too early to start talking about a new album?

Ellefson: A little bit. It's funny because people are happy that I'm back and the first thing is, "How about the Big Four?" and then it's, "Hey, when are you going to do a new album?" It's because people are excited. People say they can't wait to hear new material with me and Dave playing together. We have one track called "Sudden Death", which is on "Guitar Hero VI", which is coming out and as soon as I played on it, right away it sounded like MEGADETH. That's the chemistry that Dave and I have playing together and it was really, really cool for that to happen. That'll be the first thing and then next year before we get to look seriously at the new record. Trying to do it when you're out here jumping from city to city, show to show, setlist to setlist, you're not focused. You're out here as a performer and when you go into that creative mode to write a record, you can't be thinking about "Are my clothes ironed?" and "Does my hair look okay?" and "Is my bass in tune?" It would probably take most of next year to make it, quite honestly. It could be next year, but my thought is that it's probably most likely a 2012 release, which supposedly is the year the world is going to end anyway, so it'll be perfect.

Q: You're a Christian. How does playing on the same bill as bands like SLAYER and BEHEMOTH square with that?

Ellefson: I grew up as a Christian. There was nothing fanatical. As far as playing with SLAYER, I think SLAYER lyrics are pretty funny, actually. I enjoy their approach and their topics. I've know Kerry now for a lot of years and I get his very dry sense of humor and so when I read his lyrics, I'm like, that looks like a Kerry lyric. I kind of get a kick out of it. I don't think it's as demonic and evil and satanic as everyone thinks it is.

Read the entire interview from the Sonisphere festival web site.

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