MEGADETH's DAVID ELLEFSON On Music Business: 'Finding Ways To Adapt Is Critical To Survival'

August 15, 2016

In a brand new interview with Roppongi Rocks, MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson spoke about the importance of having a strong live show in order for heavy metal bands to survive and thrive.

"For years, I've sat on airplanes flying across the planet, contemplating why we drag piles of gear and people around the world to play concerts," he said. "In many ways, it seems so antiquated. But, so far, no technology can replace the live human experience of music and people together in a room all rocking out, digging the same music and having fun together. So, we make records for people to enjoy in their cars, living rooms, gyms, on whatever device or means they hear it, so we can take the show on the road to have our little metal summits in each town, bringing us to together as a tribe. And I think that is what it is really all about. Humans have a 'tribe mentality' as a species, and that's how music connects us; we find like-minded people who rally around a genre, and that becomes our common bond. It's a beautiful thing to see."

Asked if he has analyzed the ups and downs of his career in order to create case studies for his books, lectures and the artists he now works with through his record label EMP (Ellefson Music Productions),David said: "It's a constant analysis, and as in any business, you have to always check your compass to make sure you're staying on course. Navigating the waters of any business is following, and sometimes pushing back against, the winds of change. Finding ways to adapt is critical to survival."

He continued: "The music and entertainment arts are almost always driven by creative vision from the younger generations. So, it's important to be able to keep an open mind to them and their new ideas, too.

"Entertainment is not about conservative thinking, it's about freedom and expression. Being able to roll with the changes, while still staying true to your ideals, is important to not become outdated and obsolete."

Ellefson is the author of several books, including "My Life With Deth" and "Making Music Your Business...A Guide For Young Musicians".

Academically, Ellefson holds a bachelor's degree in business marketing and continues to lecture on a variety of music- and business-related topics.

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

The fall 2016 North American leg of MEGADETH's "Dystopia" world tour kicks off in Casper, Wyoming on September 20 and will take them across the U.S., visiting 16 states with special guests AMON AMARTH, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES and METAL CHURCH.

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