MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson will release "Simple Truth", the new single from his solo band ELLEFSON, in April, with all proceeds going to Italian COVID-19 relief. The track, co-written by Ellefson and vocalist Thom Hazaert, with Italian guitarist and drummer Andy Martongelli and Paolo Caridi, will appear on the upcoming full-length follow-up to the 2019 release "Sleeping Giants", a compilation featuring several new songs and reworkings of previous Ellefson instrumental solo material co-written and produced by Ellefson and Hazaert. "Sleeping Giants" was released as a companion album "soundtrack" to Ellefson's 2019 biography "More Life With Deth", also co-written with Hazaert. The group worked on the album remotely, recording tracks in Italy, London, Phoenix, and Wisconsin during quarantine.
"Simple Truth" will be released on all digital outlets on April 17, with a direct Bandcamp release on April 10, via Ellefson's Combat Records. All profits from downloads and streams will be donated to the Croce Rossa Italiana, the Italian Red Cross, which is at the frontlines of the war on COVID-19, coordinating the nation's pandemic response with Italy's Ministry of Health.
Says Ellefson: "We actually wrote the song in Milan during a tour rehearsal, and a lot of it was recorded there. We've gone back and forth with Andy in Italy, from the Platinum Underground in Phoenix, and with our mixer and co-engineer Alessio Garavello in London. While we're all staying positive and just keeping busy, it's heartbreaking to see what's going on over there with the death toll climbing every day."
He adds: "We played several shows in Italy on our European 'More Live With Deth' tour last year, and I was just there with MEGADETH back in February. It's absolutely devastating to see what the country is going through right now. The people, and its culture, have been so welcoming to me over the years, that i'm honored to do anything I can to give something back to them during this time of need."
Adds Hazaert: "While David has been there a million times over the years with MEGADETH, our tour last year was really my first experience with the amazing people and culture of Italy. Now half of our band, who have become dear friends, live there, which makes it hit even closer to home. Working on this record with these guys, who are just going after it 100%, while basically at ground zero for this whole crazy pseudo-apocalyptic scenario we're all living in right now, really gives you a different perspective.
"Lyrically, the song is really about not giving up and not taking any shit. Tuning out the noise and going after your dreams no matter what, and not letting anyone tell you can't do something. And, I guess, living out the bizarre 'Rock Star'-like scenario of being in a band with David, the guy from MEGADETH, who really was one of my idols, I guess it's fairly autobiographical. But we're all extremely proud of it, and really this whole record we're making, it's just a straight up, ass-kicking heavy hard rock record. There's an amazing musical chemistry, and I know, personally, I can't wait for people to hear it. And to be able to use it as an opportunity to give back to our friends in Italy makes it that much more special."
Ellefson has also given during the COVID-19 crisis to kids in need via his David Ellefson Youth Music Foundation, and the School's Out initiative, gifting displaced students with free instruments and equipment, and pairing them with lessons from rock star music instructors, including Ellefson and his MEGADETH bandmates Dirk Verbeuren and Kiko Loureiro, Nita Strauss (ALICE COOPER), Chris Kael (FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH), Clint Lowery (SEVENDUST), Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (ASIA, SONS OF APOLLO, ex-GUNS N' ROSES), Chad Szeliga (BLACK STAR RIDERS), Chris Poland (OHM:, ex-MEGADETH), Jimmy DeGrasso (ex-ALICE COOPER, MEGADETH), Marc Rizzo (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY), and more.
Photo: Melody Myers