MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson was interviewed on the on "SixX Strings" radio show. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On METALLICA's "Master Of Puppets" being played by the Grammy Awards house band as MEGADETH walked to the stage to accept its first-ever Grammy:
Ellefson: "We were sitting there earlier, and they give this award to David Bowie, and they start playing a WHO song. And you're going, 'All right. So…' And it's funny, 'cause I actually recently ironically got asked by a friend of mine at a big megachurch in Scottsdale to sit in and be the celebrity bass player at at event where they were honoring… it was mostly guys from the Arizona Cardinals, the Arizona Diamondbacks… it was a big celebrity sports event, and I was a celebrity musician. So they pulled these seven or eight tunes that I had to learn. And I realized they're just pulling songs — these are just kind of cool songs for the introduction of certain people — but they're maybe not totally relevant to exactly that person. So it's funny that I had that experience two weeks earlier. And to play to that, we were on 'Late Night With Seth Meyers' back in December, and our friend Dave Lombardo from SLAYER was sitting in, playing drums. And you kind of learn, talking with the house band and with Dave and everything, there's kind of this little list of tunes that they're playing, and they're transitional pieces. And, I guess, they played METALLICA for the Grammys during the 'Metal' category… I mean, the band does have 'metal' in their name, so they probably just went, 'All right, we'll have a METALLICA song.' [Laughs]"
On MEGADETH returning to a thrashier, more complex musical direction on last year's "Dystopia" album:
Ellefson: "Over the years, especially in the late '90s when we started to have big commercial success, we had a lot of outside pressure from the record label, even from management, to try to get us to go in this more kind of rock, mainstream vein, and it did not work for us. And it took us a lot of years to turn our ship around and try to get it back on course to really just being… And not just for us, to be a great metal band, but to win back the confidence of our fans, that they don't go, 'Oh, boy. Here's another MEGADETH record. Is it gonna be a good one, or is it just gonna be more like that last one was.' And that's not a good feeling as an artist, because a brand is everything. When it says 'MEGADETH' on it… Just me, as a fan, growing up a KISS fan, a CHEAP TRICK fan, a JUDAS PRIEST fan, it's, like, when I put that either CD, cassette, vinyl, whatever, on, I want that thing to just blow my freaking head off. So we get it — as fans as well as artists. And I think this year, certainly at the Grammys for us, 'Dystopia' is definitely a hands-down slamming metal record, and we went into it with that intention. Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH mainman] even said to me, when we were writing it, he just said, he goes, 'Look, if this doesn't work, I'm out of ideas.' And it's kind of funny that we were just really going for it with some mindblowing, complex riffs and arrangements, and it turns out, at the end of the day, that's really what our fans wanna hear from us. And, again, it started with the writing and the recording of the record. I mean, we did not go into it going, 'Here's our radio song, here's our ballad.' We just went in just going, 'We're just gonna rip and shred and let the chips fall where they may."
MEGADETH recently completed a month-long U.S. tour with AMON AMARTH, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, METAL CHURCH and BUTCHER BABIES.