MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson will release "More Life With Deth", the follow-up to his memoir "My Life With Deth", on July 16 via Jawbone Press. Co-written with Ellefson's business partner Thom Hazaert, "More Life With Deth" delves deeper into the later stages of Ellefson's career and is a thorough exploration of the earliest days of MEGADETH and beyond.
Asked by IndiePower TV how the idea for the second book came about, Ellefson said (see video below): "We were doing a coffee tour back in the Midwest… And I stopped at the house, the farm where I grew up, and my nephew lives there now. And he had a copy of our Ellefson family history, from the 1600s to 1979 — which I've now updated, 'cause I'm kind of into that, keeping it updated. So that's what prompted the whole idea of the book — everything as far back as the origin of the Ellefsons, from Norway, moving to Minnesota, and kind of this return back to my roots of now the coffee company and the record label.
"It was an interesting thing. As you start writing these books, it's kind of like writing a song — you just start putting stuff out there," he continued. "Then you kind of start to find the flavor. And you find the story, and then you kind of find your voice — is sort of the process of it. And the story that developed was, of course, the new things — the EMP Label Group, the Ellefson Coffee, METAL ALLEGIANCE; things since I've been back in MEGADETH, since 2010. 'Cause that was kind of where the last book ended. I think I had to stop writing that by about 2011 to get it out on the market. So this one picks up certainly from then until now.
"But what I thought was interesting, the Combat Records chapter — that discussion in the book — suddenly took me back to the earliest days of MEGADETH… So what happened is this book encapsulates with really great detail, and a lot of other people who came in and told stories around it, of the earliest days of MEGADETH, which is largely undocumented. And it's kind of fitting that it would come out now, with 'Murder In The Front Row' movie coming out, and with everything that's happening now around the Bay Area thrash scene, that my book would really focus in on those early years of MEGADETH — the founding, signing to Combat Records and the things that transitioned pretty much up through 'So Far, So Good… So What!'. And that's kind of where I stop, as far as the MEGADETH portion.
"The one KISS book I liked was Nothing' To Lose: The Making Of KISS (1972-1975)', which focused on the founding of KISS pretty much up through 'Kiss Alive!' — kind of through the first three albums. And so I took that concept and applied that with 'More Life With Deth' — to go back into those first three records of MEGADETH. So I kind of borrowed that idea and got people who were there — my friend Greg Handevidt; Jay Reynolds, who was in MEGADETH for a season, just a brief moment, while we were doing 'So Far, So Good… So What!', but he never recorded with us, but he was a friend; Brian Slagel… Then I also got some other people, like K.K. Downing; Dan Donegan from DISTURBED, who happened to see us on the 'So Far, So Good… So What!' tour at the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago as he was coming up the ranks. It's just fun to hear these stories from these guys that were in the audience. They're now big rock stars themselves. Mark Tremonti tells some funny stories and just cool stuff. I've realized that period in there — 'Peace Sells' into 'So Far, So Good… So What!' — was a real formative era for a lot of today's younger rock-star guitar players and musicians. That was the era of MEGADETH that inspired them."
As previously reported, Ellefson will release "Sleeping Giants" on July 5 via Combat Records. With cover art by Melody Myers (ALTITUDES AND ATTITUDE, MARC RIZZO, ESCAPE THE FATE), it will be a retrospective featuring several new tracks recorded by Ellefson and Hazaert, plus a collection of demos, and unreleased material, from F5 and David's other projects, including the unreleased demo "If You Were God", featuring John Bush (ANTHRAX, ARMORED SAINT), plus several unreleased demos featuring HOUSE OF LORDS and GIUFFRIA vocalist David Glen Eisley. The CD version will also include a second bonus disc, featuring a compilation of EMP and Combat Records artists.
Produced by Ellefson and Hazaert, with additional production from ICON guitarist John Aquilino at the Platinum Underground in Phoenix, "Sleeping Giants" is tentatively set to include a multitude of guests including: legendary MC Daryl "DMC" McDaniels, who shares vocals with Hazaert on the title track, Ken Mary (ALICE COOPER, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM), Steve Conley (FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, F5), Ethan Brosh, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (GUNS N' ROSES), Dave Sharpe and Opus Lawrence of DEAD BY WEDNESDAY, Mark Tremonti, Juan Garcia (ABBATOIR, BODY COUNT), Illias Papadakis (MEMORAIN), Dave McClain (MACHINE HEAD, SACRED REICH), a remix by "Game Of Thrones" star Kristian Nairn, and more.
"My Life With Deth" chronicled the story of Ellefson's fall into addiction during MEGADETH's early years, followed by his subsequent recovery and the return to faith which championed the band's rise to fame over the past several decades. The book was written with Joel McIver, the bestselling author of more than two dozen books on rock music, and featured a foreword by Cooper.
Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, when the group briefly broke up because guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine suffered severe nerve damage that left him unable to play. After Mustaine reformed MEGADETH with an all-new lineup in 2004, Ellefson sued his former bandmate for $18.5 million, alleging that Mustaine still owed him substantial merchandise and publishing royalties. In January 2005, the case was dismissed in court, and five years later, Ellefson rejoined MEGADETH.