MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson recently appeared on Epic Footnote Productions' podcast "There Goes My Hero". During part one of the interview, which can be heard below, Ellefson explained why MEGADETH insists on recording their new album in person as opposed to remotely, what inspired him to record a cover of Post Malone's "Over Now" (as well as how the rapper responded to the cover), how his School's Out learning initiative is helping employ musicians out of work because of COVID-19, and how meeting CHEAP TRICK as a teenager greatly influenced the way he interacts with fans today.
Asked if there has ever been talk about the four members of MEGADETH recording an album in separate studios while still adhering to social distancing guidelines, Ellefson responded: "We talked about it, but we don't wanna make a MEGADETH record like that. This record, very much from the onset of it was… Once we got in a room together last summer, the Ozzy [Osbourne] tour, at that point, it was postponed, [and] now, of course, it's canceled. We right away just regrouped and went, 'Let's get to Nashville and start working on this record. And let's be in a room with four guys and our engineer,' with Chris Rakestraw, who's co-producing the record with Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH leader], 'Let's get in a room and just be dudes in a room jamming.' We had a lot of ideas. A few of them were together. There was a lot of things sitting out there, and we just knew that being in a room, another three, four, five songs came together out of that process.
"I think the records that have resonated the best with the fans, some of the earlier stuff, are things that we recorded them as a band, we wrote them in a band room together — the old-school way, when you go to a jam room and start jamming," he continued. "'Cause there's just a spirit about that… At the end of the day, it's just good to be in the room and feeling like a band.
"The thing I've found is that when we're jamming a riff and I'm looking over and Dave's got his snarl and I'm fucking headbanging and our feet are spread and our fucking guitars are in between, when you see that in the room, it's like a confirmation that this is fucking great, this is rad," he added. "And when we feel it in the room, that same feeling goes to the stage and goes out to ten [or] fifteen [or] hundred thousand people that we're performing for. There's just that thing."
MEGADETH's new effort will be the first to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined the band almost four years ago.
Late last year, Mustaine teased new MEGADETH songs that were "heavy as hell" with titles such as "Rattlehead Part Two" and "The Dogs Of Chernobyl".
Guitarist Kiko Loureiro made his recording debut with MEGADETH on 2016's "Dystopia" album, whose title track was honored in the "Best Metal Performance" category at the 2017 Grammy Awards.
As previously reported, the first leg of MEGADETH's previously announced North American tour with LAMB OF GOD, TRIVIUM and IN FLAMES will be rescheduled for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first leg of the 55-date trek tour was supposed to kick off June 12 at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia, and wrap August 1 at the Concord Pavilion in Concord, California. The second run was due to launch October 2 at iTHINK Financial Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, Florida, and conclude on November 13 at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada.