MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson spoke to Sydney Taylor of the "Metal From The Inside" podcast about the progress of the songwriting and recording sessions for the band's follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album. He said (hear audio below): "It's been long [laughs] — it's been a long process. It's interesting that in hindsight, it's all part of the story. And an album is just that — it's a snapshot that tells the story. Every song is a snapshot of a moment — they're little vignettes and little stories — and a dozen of 'em together make up an album.
"Obviously, there was a lot that happened during [the songwriting process for] MEGADETH album 16 — we had a big tour with Ozzy Osbourne last year, and that got postponed," he continued. "And now we've learned more about Ozzy's health here in recent months. He's given everything in his life to the cause of rock and roll. And in MEGADETH, Dave Mustaine had throat cancer last year, so that cleared our calendar and shut everything down. But through that, we continued to write, whether it was all of us being together in Nashville last year or individually doing things and collectively kind of tweaking and perfecting the songs.
"MEGADETH songs aren't the kind of things that just write themselves in an afternoon and we can throw 'em down real quick in a group jam session. That's not who we are.
"The biggest records that we've had, we've taken a lot of time [to make] — 'Countdown To Extinction', 'Youthanasia', 'Peace Sells', 'Rust In Peace'," he explained. "Those records that have really kind of stood out in the catalog — 'Cryptic Writings' even — they're the ones that we really took the time. And even on this one, I remember when we were first starting it back in 2018, Dave had said that to me. He said, 'I feel like lately, we've just sort of gone in the studio, we've made the record, and we're right on tour.' He goes, 'I really wanna take the time to just listen — sit back and listen and really absorb it, and take the time to make the changes that we need to make, and write or rewrite and embellish the songs to get them to their fullest potential. And I really feel like this album is for sure that album. 'Dystopia' was like that too, I guess, quite honestly. And you can tell — it won us a Grammy, it took us around the world for a good solid three years, three and a half years, almost four years, really. And you can tell when you take the time with this stuff.
"Album 16 for MEGADETH has a layer of very intriguing stories in it. And I'm glad it's underway, I'm glad it's moving forward now. We still have a while — a year probably — before it comes out. So there's a lot more of the story to still tell you."
Mustaine recently told SiriusXM's Jose Mangin that the upcoming MEGADETH album will be "up there with 'Countdown [To Extinction]', 'Rust In Peace' and probably 'Peace Sells'" and "Dystopia".
MEGADETH's new LP will be the first to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined the band almost four years ago.
Guitarist Kiko Loureiro made his recording debut with MEGADETH on "Dystopia", 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 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.