In a May 21 interview with "Let's Discuss With Lance Hall", MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson was asked about his interpretation of the acronym F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real) and how it pertains to his life.
"The thing about fear, growing up in a faith-based community and being sober and being around that community, little kernels of wisdom come in abundance, believe me," Ellefson said (hear audio below). "It's kind of just witty acronyms and analogies of things. The other one I heard, too, is EGO. E-G-O — edging God out. As soon as I edge out any source of a greater deity or a creator who created me, suddenly that's when the trouble begins. 'I'm the boss' — that can be a scary place.
"There's my belief that there's a divine order to things. When I wake up in the morning, my job is to get in touch with the creator and check in with him, because he is the boss, check in with him and just ask him, 'Where to today, boss? What do you want me to do today?'
"We're all blessed with unique skills and abilities and talents," he continued. "And the one thing I will say is that when I fell in love with playing bass at age 11, I just followed that path, and that's all I did. I remember one time I was with my family, and there was some country band playing at the local armory in Jackson, Minnesota. And there was a dance, and people were drinking. And I was young — I wasn't drinking. And I remember the one neighbor guy said, 'You know, you could be down there making 50 bucks right now playing the bass.' And I hated country music, and I'm, like, 'I'd rather play rock and roll for free than get paid 50 bucks to play music I don't like.' And that was really what my heart told me: you've gotta stay true to who you are and what you and listen to that voice.
"It's ironic — 37 years ago this week, I graduated high school in 1983, and literally five days later, everything was packed in my van and me and three buddies, we headed from Minnesota out to Hollywood," Ellefson added. "By June 1 or something, we'd [gotten] an apartment there on Sycamore Avenue in Hollywood, and a couple of days later I met Dave Mustaine and we started MEGADETH. And it's amazing that it's been going this long. And Dave is the same way — it's just sort of a relentless pursuit. Never give up — just keep going."
Ellefson, who grew up attending Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Jackson, Minnesota, re-embraced his faith at the age of 25, after going through a 12-step recovery program. When Ellefson later settled down in Arizona, he started a contemporary worship service at a church in Scottsdale. He called it MEGA Life, partially a play on MEGADETH. In 2012, Ellefson began studying for the ministry through an extension program of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.
Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, when the group briefly broke up because Mustaine suffered severe nerve damage that left him unable to play. After Mustaine reformed MEGADETH with an all-new lineup in 2004, Ellefson sued his former bandmate for $18.5 million, alleging that Mustaine still owed him substantial merchandise and publishing royalties. In January 2005, the case was dismissed in court, and five years later, Ellefson rejoined MEGADETH.