MEGADETH's DAVID ELLEFSON: 'We Do It 'Cause We're Onstage And It's Fun'
March 8, 2018
MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson was interviewed by Richard Hunter for a recent episode of "Phone Booth Fighting". You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how MEGADETH would hypothetically end its career — by announcing its "farewell" tour, like SLAYER just did, or if by just calling it quits one day, as RUSH has done:
Ellefson: "Look, MEGADETH disbanded at one point, so I have a little experience with that. And it was pretty sudden and kind of out of nowhere, and when it happened, boy, once you make that announcement, that's now gospel. And then Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH leader, reformed the band and] moved forward with a few records that I didn't participate on and then I came back in 2010 and I think we've had a very victorious run since then. Which has been good. I think everybody's kind of gotten their own space and gotten to do some things on their own, and yet when we're coming together and we're MEGADETH, we're MEGADETH. So, for us, it's worked out.
"I think if you're healthy, if you enjoy it, then by all means go do it. But if health becomes an issue, or if you just really don't enjoy doing it, it can be kind of a shitty job. You're gone from home all the time. It doesn't really matter how much money's there, 'cause at some point, it isn't about the money anymore. It's just like, 'Man, I'm doing something I don't like.'
"I don't know what SLAYER's reasons are for it. Look, they're friends of ours, they've been doing it for a long time, and with Jeff Hanneman not being there… So whatever their reasons are, obviously, we have to support that and live by that with them."
On which metal bands have the potential to keep playing well into their 70s:
"JUDAS PRIEST making a new record, and they had that first single that was available for download, which I downloaded. I just listened to it yesterday, and it's great — it's really, really good. And they, to some degree, PRIEST… Everybody makes THE ROLLING STONES comparison. And it's, like, look, THE STONES, man, they sound great, and they're out doing it, and their shows are huge and people still line up and pay the money to go see 'em, so why wouldn't they keep doing it? They look like they're having fun, they look like they're having a good time, and I think that's the kind of thing with bands — you go through those things and you find your own space and you find your own peace with it all and with each other.
"Look, we do it 'cause we're onstage and it's fun. And I have to tell you, when you have a little time away from it, you really do appreciate it and you realize that what we have and what we get to do walking on these stages and playing for all these people and playing these songs is… You know what? It's a real gift, man. And it's, like, don't look the gift horse in the mouth and really treat it with respect, treat it with candor and be appreciative that the fans are appreciative."
Tentatively due next year, MEGADETH's upcoming follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album will mark the group's first release to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren, who officially joined the band just under two years ago.
In 2018, MEGADETH is celebrating its 35th anniversary all year long, with special releases, exclusive merchandise items, and one-of-a-kind events and opportunities for fans worldwide.
"Dystopia" was MEGADETH's first album with Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, who was previously best known for his work with ANGRA.
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