In a new interview with the "TODDCast Podcast", MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson was asked how good his songwriting ideas have to be in order to be to be considered for inclusion on one of the band's albums. He responded: "I think certainly you can hear, and you see it in the writing credits, the collaborative eras, especially 'Countdown To Extinction', 'Youthanasia' and 'Cryptic Writings'. And that's because that lineup was together for a few records, and we started to figure out how to work together. And that's a big part of it — being able to work together as a group.
"Everybody has strengths, everybody has weaknesses, and I think if you sort of tap everybody's strengths, you hear the best of the best, and that's always what you wanna try to get in any team setting, and certainly in a band," he continued.
"Quite honestly, with MEGADETH, Dave [Mustaine, guitar/vocals] writes amazing riffs. We don't need three riff writers. Dave writes some of the best riffs in the world. I write good riffs too, but if they sound like Dave… Dave and I always had a saying: If we both agree on everything, then one of us is unnecessary. [Laughs] Sometimes you need the conflict because it presents a different way to look at something.
"I try to bring things into MEGADETH that the other guys wouldn't do, I guess is what I'm saying here, long story short," he added. "I'll bring in some kind of clean guitar, arpeggiated thing, I'll bring in maybe a vocal idea, I'll bring in a lyric. And so I try to bring things in that traditionally aren't things maybe Dave or Kiko [Loureiro, guitar] would come up with, or Dirk [Verbeuren, drums], in this case now. Because that's a piece that MEGADETH doesn't have without me. And I think when we stay in our lane — we always say that over here in Team Ellefson: stay in your lane, do what you do and be great at what you do in your lane — then you help the group sound better by you being there."
MEGADETH is currently working on the follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album, tentatively due in early 2021.
The early sessions for the LP took place last year with co-producer Chris Rakestraw, who previously worked on "Dystopia".
Mustaine recently told SiriusXM's Jose Mangin that the upcoming MEGADETH album will be "up there with 'Countdown [To Extinction]', 'Rust In Peace' and probably 'Peace Sells'" and "Dystopia".
MEGADETH's new effort will be the first to feature Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined the band four years ago.
As previously reported, MEGADETH's North American tour with LAMB OF GOD, TRIVIUM and IN FLAMES has been rescheduled for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.