March 23, 2021

MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson and SONS OF APOLLO vocalist Jeff Scott Soto have been collaborating on some new material recently under the moniker ELLEFSON-SOTO. The ELLEFSON-SOTO version of the RIOT classic "Swords & Tequila" has just been released across all digital streaming outlets via Ellefson's Combat Records.The song was originally featured on the 1981 RIOT LP "Fire Down Under" (Elektra). The playthrough video can be seen below.

ELLEFSON-SOTO's version of "Swords & Tequila" was produced by David Ellefson and Andy Martongelli, mixed by Alessio Garavello in Wembley, England and mastered by Maor Appelbaum in Los Angeles, California. The video is directed by Elia Turra for Fisheye Studio in Verona, Italy.

The ELLEFSON-SOTO recording lineup:

David Ellefson - Bass
Jeff Scott Soto - Lead Vocals
Andy Martongelli - Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Paolo Caridi - Drums
Rick Hughes - Lead Vocals (on "Swords & Tequila")

Says Ellefson: "Jeff and I have been friends for so many years that it's great to finally collaborate on some material together. He has such a distinctive voice and perfect style for some new ideas my guitarist Andy Martongelli and I have been composing. We are excited about the progress of it all and thought this would be a perfect time to give a little sneak preview."

Jeff adds: "As COVID-19 became a big negative around the globe, it actually offered many artists a chance to finally collaborate with one another that might have never happened otherwise… As I have known David for many years, I knew from our other efforts outside of our day jobs that we could come up with some badass jams…and here we are, letting you in on our cool little secret."

As for the choice of cover song, Ellefson reminisced: "The first time I ever heard of RIOT was on the Castle Donington 'Monsters Of Rock' album from 1980. For me, they were the USA representatives during the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. And 'Swords & Tequila', along with the entire 'Fire Down Under' album for that matter, show the band delivering its rowdy and high-energy rock and roll like no other band in the USA was doing at that time. So, it is an honor to offer them much-deserved reverence, as well as a reminiscent tribute to the mighty Guy Speranza, who fronted the band like a god during that period."

Soto adds: "What can I say? This was a classic metal track from RIOT that we all knew growing up, when David brought up that we should cover it I was thrilled. But when we added Rick Hughes from the band SWORD onto it, it truly came to life! 40 years after its release, we hope you dig this new version we built for you!"

Vocalist Rick Hughes is the founding frontman of the iconic Quebec power metal group SWORD. The Canadian quartet formed in 1981 and has released a string of metal classics, including its eponymous 1984 Aquarias Records debut "Metalized" which has been esteemed by fans and musicians alike, including the likes of METALLICA, MEGADETH, MOTÖRHEAD and many more.

Hughes explains: "To me, music has always been the best medicine and that is why in this time of not being able to perform with live musicians in front of a live audience, I was more than happy to participate in this camaraderie of seasoned musicians."

More new tracks from ELLEFSON-SOTO are in the works with release details to be announced.

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