In a recent interview with the "White Line Fever" podcast (hear audio below), MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson spoke about the status of ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE, his project with ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello which released its self-titled EP back in January 2014.
"Actually, Frank and I have been in the studio a lot these past six months working on finishing a full-length for the next release, which we have… I mean, we are literally finalizing, probably, in the next two weeks — getting the final vocals and final bits done on it," he said. "So I'm excited about it. There are some great tunes."
He continued: "It's just this thing that… Me and Frank have this whole other side of us and this other spirit soars when the two of us get together and get in a room and start writing songs together. It's, like, we write 'em right there in the studio; they just fall off our guitar necks. And it's a beautiful thing. And what's cool about it, we haven't left our bands; it's kind of a side, vanity thing that we do… a vanity project, if you will. And that's the beauty of it — because we get to… We do what we do in ANTHRAX and MEGADETH, and then when we get together, we have this whole other side of us that gets to be exposed. So it's very genuine, very pure, and I think that really comes through with the music. So hopefully we'll have the full-length out sometime… We're just getting busy finishing it, and then hopefully we can get busy working toward the release of that."
Asked for his opinion about the recent influx of "supergroups" — new bands consisting of members from two or more already accomplished bands — David said: "It's interesting. Me and Frank was not intended as a supergroup. That was literally born out of me and Frank doing some bass clinics together, and we were in London, and I looked over at him. I said, 'You know, dude. You and me should really write some of our own songs so we can do these clinics and have something different to play at 'em rather than just MEGADETH and ANTHRAX songs. So that's how ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE started — it was for us to create some of our own original content for clinics, and then it spun off into Frank and I going out and hiring a guitar player and a drummer and actually going out and doing our own shows together — as a legitimate act, not as a clinic."
He continued: "I've done… I have another all-star collective I do called METAL ALLEGIANCE that we've done some shows up here in the United States with, and some cruises and things like that. And the thing with that that is different is that formed as a collective of guys getting on stage and, basically, playing the songs out of our record collections when we were teenagers. We started another one many years ago — back in, like, 2007, I think — we started one called HAIL! And same thing — it was always born out of getting together and playing songs together live. And those are definitely all-star collectives."
Ellefson went on to say: "To put together an original group of famous guys… You know, me and Frank are lucky, because we really enjoy hanging out together, and we have a very common thing between us that we both like different music outside of thrash metal, and that is really the basis of the ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE material. Lots of times, when these supergroups get together, it's based on, 'How is this gonna sell? Wouldn't it be great if we could get that guy? And if we could get this guy? That would sell even more.' And sometimes it's done with, like… Rather than really making legitimate music you really like, you're really just kind of going, 'I wanna make some new songs in a new setting,' or, 'I hate my band. I wanna leave my band. Or, 'They kicked me out of my band, and I still enjoy being famous. How can I still stay famous?' To me, it's the cart before the horse."
He added: "When MEGADETH had disbanded back in 2002, a little group formed around me, quite honestly, called F5. And we never made, really, big money doing it. In fact, I told the guys… I said, 'Dude, we're having so much fun doing this, let's never lose just the joy we have making music together. Just getting together, writing tunes, making records, having fun doing that. And if we get to go tour, and if we get to go play… And we had shot some videos and stuff, and we had some fun with it. But then it came to a certain point where it was, like, it wasn't enjoyable and we had to stop and step back away from it. And since then, we have actually been writing some songs together and putting a few tunes up on the Internet and stuff, and we're back to the joy and the fun of it again."
Ellefson concluded: "To me, anytime the joy comes out of music, you'd better just stop, man, because it really kills… it kills the whole thing."
"Here Again" performance clip:
"Tell The World" performance clip:
"Tell The World" video: