Maggie Meadows of the Banana 101.5 radio station in Flint, Michigan, conducted an interview with MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson about the band's first-ever Grammy Award. On February 12, MEGADETH was honored with a Grammy in the "Best Metal Performance" category for its 2016 album, "Dystopia". You can listen to the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On MEGADETH winning their first Grammy Award after being nominated twelve times:
David: "It's a nice change. I've been Grammy-nominated for a lot of years, which is also awesome, but it's nice to be Grammy Award-winning, that's for sure. It's twelve times nicer to know we're now Grammy Award-winning."
On whether he expected MEGADETH to win:
David: "You always go knowing there's a chance. I think the fact you get invited, that's huge, because out of all the people who put out music, they narrow it down pretty selectively to four, five, six people/artists that even get invited. I think probably the biggest thing, there's this moment when you're sitting in your seat and they go, 'And the Grammy goes to…' That moment right there, which is very euphoric, and you go, 'Oh my God. They may actually call our name right now.' In past years, which I've gone four times now, and they say 'And the Grammy goes to… not you.' [Laughs] It's a moment that you go 'Wow! All of that build-up and coming here and the excitement, and the press releases and the travel, getting the suit, tux, and the limo… it's all gone in that moment.' This is one where it was nice where it just got better when they said 'And the Grammy goes to ''Dystopia': MEGADETH.' We are over the moon about this."
On what MEGADETH would normally do after a different winner than them was announced:
David: "It's funny, this year, yeah, we all stayed around. There was a lot of press, obviously, Universal, our record company had a party that they wanted us to come to, and walk the red carpet. The night went on forever, which was wonderful. It was like, 'Please don't let this night end.' It was awesome. It was like Cinderella at the ball. 'Just don't let this end.' In past years, I've always stayed, except for the very first year in 1993, we went. We'd been nominated a couple of times before, starting as far back as 1991, but we were on tour, so we couldn't go. Finally in 1993, 'Countdown To Extinction', our biggest record, all over MTV, people congratulating us on the way in, 'You got this. So proud of you guys. This is great.' We sit down, and it was pre-televised that year, the first year they did it pre-televised. They make the announcements, I'll never forget Mary Chapin Carpenter and Lyle Lovett opening the envelope and 'The Grammy goes to: NINE INCH NAILS.' We're like 'What?!' We love NINE INCH NAILS, they were a cool, hip new band out of Hollywood. We love Trent's [Reznor] work; he even remixed one of the tracks we may have been nominated for, 'Symphony Of Destruction'. He was certainly deserving, but it was that moment, and I remember [former MEGADETH lead guitarist] Marty Friedman, and it was me and my wife, and Marty and his girlfriend at the time, Marty was so upset and said, 'That's it. We're out of here.' We're like 'Really? You don't want to stay?' 'No, we're out of here.' The limo hadn't even parked and we're calling the guy, 'Hey, pick us up.' He goes 'What happened?' We left and went up the street and had dinner. That was a regret, to not go to the Grammys that year. Every year since then I've gone, three more times now, I made a point, 'I'm staying. This is the biggest music party in the world. We got invited. You can't go unless you are a nominee. We're still in the exclusive club, man. I'm going to take this in.' I've always loved the Grammys. They do it very well; it's awesome. You're part of the biggest club in the world. It's awesome to go."
On whether he heard the Grammy house band playing METALLICA's "Master Of Puppets" as they were walking to the stage to accept their award:
David: "We could. [Laughs] We're sitting there together, and it's funny, we're number 69, ironically in this list of 75 awards, and we get in there around 58, 59, and sat down, and a few more were ahead of us and it's moving pretty quick at this point. We're sitting there and it comes up 'Best Metal.' They read them off, and they just listed the names: BARONESS, KORN, MEGADETH, PERIPHERY, GOJIRA, and then when they said 'The Grammy goes to…' They initially, they didn't say just 'MEGADETH,' they said ''Dystopia': MEGADETH.' We looked at each other like, 'Did we not win? Who's this 'D-word' they just mentioned?' Not realizing they said 'Dystopia'. That split second, the thoughts that race through your mind at the moment are incredible, then they start playing a METALLICA song. I wondered, 'Did Dave [Mustaine] hear that?' But he didn't care, we didn't care, it was just the obligatory heavy metal backing track. We came down and it was so funny, I was talking to Brian 'Head' Welch from KORN a few days before. I said, 'Hey, are you going to go to the Grammys?' He said, 'Yeah, I'll be there.' He said, 'By the way, it's okay if you win.' I thought, 'What a wonderful soul he is.' He was the first one to jump up out of his seat and run up and hug us, and congratulate us. [KORN bassist] Fieldy came up right after him, and [KORN drummer] Ray Luzier was right after. Those guys are so kind. We took them out on their first big tour. It's great they were there to high-five us and celebrate. Even later that night, Dan Donegan and David Draiman from DISTURBED who are on tour over in Germany, said 'Congratulations. We put it up on our Facebook congratulating you guys.' [MÖTLEY CRÜE and SIXX:A.M. bassist] Nikki Sixx hit me and Dave up and said 'Congratulations. Thank you for making the Grammys rock again.' The accolades from all of our friends from so many genres all around the world was just incredible."
MEGADETH recently completed a month-long U.S. tour with AMON AMARTH, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, METAL CHURCH and BUTCHER BABIES.