Romania's Metalfan recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metalfan: What do you think is the difference between [the forthcoming MEGADETH album "TH1RT3EN"] and the last one you recorded with the band, "The World Needs a Hero" (2001)?
David Ellefson: "The World Needs a Hero" was really the beginning of trying to correct our course in the new millennium. With the three subsequent albums that course was established and our flag planted firmly back in our turf once again. "TH1RT3EN" in many ways encompasses styles from our more vintage days of the 1980s and early-'90s records.
Metalfan: How did you end up working with producer Johnny K? Was he the choice of the band or was he recommended by the label? How was working with him, did he push you to the limit or let you relax and do your thing in your own time?
David Ellefson: I knew Johnny a little bit from some phone conversations over the years and he even mixed a little project I had played on called IRON STEEL a few years back. After I heard the DISTURBED album "Believe", I became a big fan of his work and found that as a producer he seemed to really get inside of the bands he worked with and brought out their best, rather than just make every band sound like him and his style of producing. To me, that is HUGE for a producer/band relationship and outcome of an album together. There are some producers who make every band sound like them and to me that is putting the cart before the horse and would be catastrophic for MEGADETH. Johnny seemed to have a really good sense of what this new album needed to be. I was thrilled he was available and that Dave [Mustaine; MEGADETH frontman] got on really well with him in the studio. This is not an overly produced, slick-sounding record at all. It's very organic and I think that is perfect for MEGADETH in 2011. Very raw, live and real!
Metalfan: Dave Mustaine and you are known to be committed Christians. Furthermore, you are actually musically involved with a church in your hometown of Scottsdale. What exactly do you play there and to whom and what kind of an experience it is, compared to a heavy metal concert?
David Ellefson: Initially, I helped start and vision-cast the MEGA Life! ministries church in Scottsdale, Arizona. It's now grown to a point where we've purchased a brand new building, hired new staff and the mission carries on. I was initially the worship leader for a few years and that allowed me some great musical opportunities to write, play and develop some great friendships in that community. God gave me my musical talent so I found it fitting that for a few years I should give some of it back to Him for his use. Now that I'm back in MEGADETH full time, I've called in new people to take over my music position but I try to help out whenever I'm off the road. I get great joy in doing it and do it for free and for fun.
Metalfan: As you certainly know, most of the metalheads don't go to church very often. Chances are, very few of your fans do that. Does that bother you at all?
David Ellefson: No, it doesn't bother me and I totally understand. I grew up having to go to church every Sunday with my family and I hated it. I would sit and draw KISS logos and stage designs on my church bulletins, while daydreaming about playing music! But, now as an adult I put my boy-ish ways behind me and see the benefit of a solid faith life. I think the fallacy is that only perfect people go to church, but that couldn't be farther from the truth at least not the churches I go to!!! After all I'm there and I'm certainly not perfect! In reality, our world is not your friend so don't get too friendly with it. That is my motive for developing a faith walk and that seems to be pretty good, orderly, direction (G.O.D).
Read the entire interview from Metalfan.