MEGADETH's DAVID ELLEFSON: 'Even As A Bass Player, EDDIE VAN HALEN Was An Influence On Me'
March 1, 2021
In a new chat with Ray Shasho of BBS Radio's "Interviewing The Legends", MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson was asked which artist — dead or alive — he would like to perform or collaborate with if he got the chance. He responded (hear audio below): "Probably Eddie Van Halen. And I don't say that just because [he recently] passed. [VAN HALEN is] a band that MEGADETH never played with. And they were such an influential band for me. And even as a bass player, Eddie was an influence on me. And I don't play guitar like him at all. When I play guitar, I probably play more like Rudy Schenker [SCORPIONS] or Malcolm Young [AC/DC] or something. I'm not a lead guitar player — I admit that. I just love his approach to things — just kind of shoot from the hip, play from the heart.
"I really admire how [VAN HALEN bassist] Michael Anthony played bass to Eddie's guitar playing," he continued. "There was a simplicity that anchored it. Eddie used to really sing Michael's praises back in the day about just being such a great solid bass player. And while that doesn't get a lot of spotlight, it doesn't get headlines… While Eddie was getting the headlines, I always admired that he spoke highly about Michael and his ability to just sort of anchor the band down.
"That would be a fun experience, to have played with [Eddie], even just for an afternoon."
MEGADETH is continuing to record its 16th studio album for a tentative late 2021 or early 2022 release.
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 founding guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine and 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.
Ellefson's solo band released its covers album, "No Cover", last November via earMUSIC (Europe) and Ward Records (Japan)