In a brand new interview with RockSverige, MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album.
"We're working on it," he said. "We literally had no leftover material for 'Dystopia'. I mean, nothing. We cleaned out the vaults. In fact, I heard a lot of stuff from the three records I didn't play on, especially 'Endgame'  and I was, like, 'Whoa!' There's a lot of cool stuff that I remember writing at soundchecks with Nick [Menza] and Marty [Friedman] and different things, and I was happy to hear those turning into songs, but by the time we got done with 'Dystopia', the vault was empty.
"For me, I realized that METALLICA didn't put out an album for eight years and DEF LEPPARD hasn't put out an album for six years, and I'm kind of going, 'When are we going to get to that point?' I realized with 'Dystopia' that I think we're there now, and I realized it too, because fans, what they're asking for is, like, 'Man, play 'Killing Is My Business'' or 'More songs off of side two of 'Peace Sells'.' And I'm going, 'Wow, these are young teenage fans.' And that's what I discovered when I do [the] 'Bassstory' [solo shows] — these are young fans that are digging 'Peace Sells' or 'Rust In Peace' and I discovered that MEGADETH's best path forward is the past, because there's this new generation coming in. It's nice that we can still write new and compelling music that has real depth and it still means something. But we don't have to hurry back to the laboratory to try and whip up a new widget to get back out on tour. It's nice to know that we're through that and there's a lot of other stuff in our catalog that we can celebrate now."
Asked if that means that it will be another three years before we see a new MEGADETH album, Ellefson laughed and said: "I think there was some kind of pressure towards the end of last year, you know, a couple of months ago, like, 'Oh my god. We've got to get going.' And the truth of it is… now [me] owning a label, [I see that] vinyl sells and a lot of the artists we've signed to EMP are legacy artists, so people want to buy physical products. But the buying habits have just changed of how people consume music. I've talked to millennials and they're, like, 'Albums? We don't buy albums. We listen to a song and we probably don't even buy it.' So the idea to shut down your whole operation and to go into the studio and make an album — the time, the expense, it just doesn't even seem like it makes sense anymore. So, I mean, we're making one… We're going to do it again. Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH mainman] and I have been talking about it a lot lately, and I think management is very much behind it. They're younger guys, so they're very on the pulse of stuff and trends. I remember when RUSH put out three [standalone] songs and they went out and did the fucking 'Moving Pictures' anniversary. It's like the three songs were kind of the 'Hey, we've got something new and now we're going to go play an old album.' I thought it was cool, and I loved it. I even saw the tour and it was great. That's one of my favorite albums, so as a fan of bands that do it, and now being in a band that I think is at a point where we can do that [is cool]."
MEGADETH's next album will mark the band's first release with drummer Dirk Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined MEGADETH three years ago.
MEGADETH will support OZZY OSBOURNE on the next North American leg of the BLACK SABBATH singer's "No More Tours 2" in May, June and July.
"Dystopia" was MEGADETH's first release with guitarist Kiko Loureiro, who was previously best known for his work with the Brazilian melodic metal band ANGRA.