MEGADETH's DAVID ELLEFSON: Most Successful Bands Usually Aren't Democracies

August 9, 2016

Rocket Sports & Entertainment Network recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below.

Asked if some of the perceived tension between the bands taking part in the 1991 "Clash Of The Titans" tour — ANTHRAX, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ALICE IN CHAINS — was real or if it was just manufactured for the sake of the MTV "Headbangers Ball" cameras, Ellefson said: "It was real, for sure.

"You know, Dave Mustaine [MEGADETH mainman] is a very committed leader, and it's one of the things I've enjoyed working with him over all the years… I mean, I knew it the day I met him. I mean, he is very convicted in his vision, and he casts a big vision, and it's one of the things I loved about working with him. I got it. I'm, like, 'I love what he's talking about. That, to me, is what being in a band is about.'"

He continued: "I think lots of times, people have this perception that bands are democracies, and most of the most successful ones usually aren't. I mean, you have to have a leader, just like in sports. I mean, there has to be a coach, there has to be management. You have your star pitcher, star quarterback, etc. Someone has to take orders and send the orders down to the rest of the team, and it's no different in rock and roll, really.

"In MEGADETH, we've been a very deliberate, very intentional vision-focused band, and I think that's why we're still here after all these years. We've survived a lot of genres and a lot of musical changes over the years that have come and gone. MEGADETH is still standing tall.

"Lots of times when you put together a tour like 'Clash Of The Titans', even though we're from the same genre — ANTHRAX, MEGADETH [and] SLAYER [are] three very different bands, and different kind of cultures within our own bands."

Ellefson added: "It's funny. I think back on it and to bring those three groups together and for it to survive on the road together, it was a pretty heavy, daunting task, because we were all young, we still had our best years ahead of us. And when everybody's got that sweet taste of success dangling right in front of them, man, it does some strange things to the human character."

MEGADETH is currently touring South America in support of its latest album, "Dystopia", which came out in January.

In addition to Mustaine and Ellefson, MEGADETH's current lineup includes Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, best known for his work with ANGRA, and former SOILWORK drummer Dirk Verbeuren.

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