DAVID ELLEFSON On Upcoming MEGADETH Album: 'It Doesn't Make Sense To Drop A Brand New Record In The Middle Of A Pandemic'
February 5, 2021
In a new interview with U.K.'s TotalRock Radio, MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson spoke about the band's plans for the coming months. He said (see video below): "We're working on album number sixteen, and just finishing it up now. We've got a big year of touring lined up — festivals in Europe; the big 'The Metal Tour Of The Year' [with LAMB OF GOD] is rescheduled for July and August this year; Rock In Rio in Brazil in September. And it's all confirmed, but it depends on what — COVID has a say in this matter, unfortunately. So there's this undecided third factor spinning over there with the pandemic that we're just all doing the best we can to play around that. And the same with the MEGADETH release schedule, being able to put things out. We're gonna wanna be able to get on the road and promote it. It doesn't make sense to drop a brand new record in the middle of a pandemic and not be able to support that. And so if that means we have to push things back a little bit so that it can be the most effective to tour it and support it, then I'm sure those are decisions that are being made… Quite honestly, those are decisions that get updated pretty much weekly inside the MEGADETH camp."
Last month, Ellefson told the "Rock 'N' Roll Icons With Bode James" podcast the recently announced working title for MEGADETH's upcoming album, "The Sick, The Dying And The Dead", will likely end up getting changed before the LP is released. "Like Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH leader] said when he announced it, he goes, 'We usually end up changing the title four or five times before it [is released],'" he said. "We had a saying back in the old days: 'Nothing's final until it's on vinyl.' So everything can change. Probably short of the name of the band, everything can change. It's all just a work in progress, and I think that's the beauty of the creative world. People wanna know answers, like, 'What does it sound like? Does it sound like this album? Does it sound like that album?' And it's, like, 'Hey, man, I can't really tell you.' It's a work in progress until it's done. And then once it's done, you'll hear it, and then we'll all have a little talk about it."
Ellefson also addressed Mustaine's claim that the upcoming MEGADETH album will be "up there with 'Countdown [To Extinction]', 'Rust In Peace' and probably 'Peace Sells' and 'Dystopia'." "I would very much agree," Ellefson said. "Look, MEGADETH has done a lot of stuff over the years. Some fans go, 'Oh, dude, make it thrash, thrash.' And we do — 'Dystopia' proved that. But you can't just be a one-trick pony. We've never been a one-trick pony. Even on the earlier records — 'Killing Is My Business' started with a piano. 'Peace Sells' had a song on it called 'Good Mourning', which went into 'Black Friday'; it was basically kind of an acoustic guitar bit. We've done a lot of different stuff over the years. So with MEGADETH, you get a lot of diversity. And the musicians that are in the group, I think we challenge each other; we raise the bar for each other. And it inspires us to keep creating next-level stuff. So I think that's kind of the beauty of what you get with MEGADETH — is you get a lot. You get a pretty big bang for your buck, I think."
The early sessions for the LP took place in 2019 with co-producer Chris Rakestraw, who previously worked on "Dystopia".
"Dystopia", whose title track was honored in the "Best Metal Performance" category at the 2017 Grammy Awards, marked Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro's recording debut with MEGADETH.
MEGADETH's current lineup is rounded out by 46-year-old Belgian-born-and-now-Los-Angeles-based drummer Dirk Verbeuren, who had played with SOILWORK for more than a decade before joining MEGADETH.