The Metal Den recently conducted an interview with former MEGADETH/current F5 bassist David Ellefson. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
The Metal Den: What first drew you to playing music?
David: At first it was the usual thing to take up an instrument as a kid. Then, around age 10 I started hearing things on FM radio where I grew up in Minnesota that were rockin' my world, like SWEET, STYX, AEROSMITH, and of course, KISS changed my life when I saw and heard them. I just thought their whole world was so cool because it was total entertainment.
The Metal Den: Absolutely. When did you get into playing the bass guitar? And do you remember the first song you learned all the way through?
David: KISS and BACHMAN TURNER OVERDRIVE were the first bands that got me into bass. I loved the way it looked, sounded and to me the guys who played the instrument were just downright cool! My first song was probably "Not Fragile" by BTO and "Shout It Out Loud" by KISS.
The Metal Den: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
David: KISS, IRON MAIDEN, RUSH and early AC/DC are just a few. I was mostly influenced by bands and songs, rather than only bassists. I really like hearing great guitar players and drummers in rock bands, too, which is why the first VAN HALEN album hit me so hard, but then again so did MOTÖRHEAD.
The Metal Den: You certainly can't go wrong with those two names. Did you ever take any formal bass guitar lessons?
David: Yes, I did a few weeks after I got my first bass when I was age 11, and I have continued to study with various teachers along the way. I've done some jazz studies as well because jazz experts know the bass as well as the ins and outs of really understanding the theory and fundamentals of music. Also, some of my best teachers are the guys I've played in bands with as well as the record producers I've worked with over the years. Everyone's experiences can really help your playing.if you let them.
The Metal Den: I like to have fun with this next one. What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you while performing on stage?
David: I tripped and fell down backward while on stage at a small club in Canada , which was very embarrassing and not very rock god-like at all! Fortunately, there weren't many people there to see it!! Another time at a show a fan threw a plastic cup that hit my hand really hard, smashing it against my fingerboard which was very painful. That one actually really pissed me off because it hurt to play for the rest of the set after that.
The Metal Den: Your current band F5 is starting to record the follow-up to 2005's debut "A Drug for All Seasons". Who is producing it and what can we expect?
David: Ryan Greene is producing, who also did the "Drugs" debut album. I called in my friend Jimmy DeGrasso to play drums on it as our previous drummer Dave Small wanted to move onto some other music projects. So far the new songs have taken a cool new direction, a bit more progressive musically, which is something the band is very excited about. I think the guitar players John and Steve wanted to take this second album up a few more notches and give themselves more room to open up and really sear some kick ass guitar playing. All of us are really going the distance on this album to make a statement that F5 is many layers deep in its musical fabric.
Read the entire interview at The Metal Den.