In a brand new interview with Australia's Glam Adelaide, MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson spoke about his relationship with the band's mainman, Dave Mustaine, and how it was affected by Mustaine's conversion to Christianity.
"As far as faith goes, it brings people together," Ellefson responded. "It has as far as MEGADETH goes anyway; it's given us a common menu to read from. The faith part of it has helped in a really cool way; it's a commonality for us."
He continued: "I believe that there's a fundamental idea of God inside each of us, however you choose to understand it. It's made things so much better for us — our music, lives and everything else, actually."
Ellefson, who has lived through the sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle associated with the music industry, also offered a message for those going through a tough time right now.
"Pain is the touchstone to all growth," he said. "It's usually in our mistakes, our faults and our darkest hours that we grow the most. At certain points in life, we're embarrassed of afraid to share them; it's our pride getting in the way. When you set your pride aside and go through those dark valleys, you come out the other side completely evolved and changed as a person. That sets you up to be able to handle the next phase."
In a 2012 interview with Great Falls Tribute, Ellefson talked more about on how he and Mustaine renewed their interest in Christianity in recent years: "It's pretty funny, isn't it? When you fight [God], you have struggles and it's an uphill battle. When you surrender to it and you embrace it, that becomes like a jet engine that rockets you forward with not just great success but ease. All of a sudden, you're not operating from a place of always being so competitive and fear-based. You start to go downstream instead of always paddling upstream."
He continued: "When you start running your business from a place of fear, you essentially work against yourself."
Asked if MEGADETH will incorporate their Christianity into their songwriting, Ellefson said: "You can be a person who has faith and be principled and have an obedience to your creator and not have everything you say or do be a praise and worship song.
He continued: "God did put a lot in this planet.
"There's a lot in this world to write songs about and that's what we do."
Ellefson added: "That's the misconception that if you're a metal guy, you only sing about the devil and if you're a church guy you only sing about the Lord. What a lame stereotype that is.
"The only reason we talk about (our faith) is because people ask us about it. The MEGADETH tour isn't some crusade. We're not on some mission."
In addition to studying to become a Lutheran pastor, Ellefson presides over MEGA Life! Ministries, a foundation that reaches hundreds of churchgoers every week.
Ellefson in 2011 became one of 100 students in the distance education program at the Concordia Seminary in Clayton, Missouri. Classes include "Lutheran Distinctions," "Preaching I & II," "Introduction to Worship" and "Scripture and Faith."