MEGADETH's DAVID ELLEFSON: 'We've Still Got The Passion For The Music And The Lifestyle And Our Fans'
January 17, 2019
JZ of Little Falls, Minnesota radio station FM94's "The Dark" recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson about his ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE side project with ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what led to the formation of ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE:
David: "In 2010, I came back into MEGADETH, we were out doing the 20th anniversary of 'Rust In Peace'. Along that, was also the 'Big Four' shows with METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX. We were kind of competitors back in the day, then we joined forces to unite for the movement and the fans. We did these big stadium shows around the world. During that process, Frank Bello and I started doing some bass clinics with our amplifier company called Hartke, based out of New York. When we were doing a clinic, I leaned over to him one night in London and I said, 'You and I should write some backing tracks and songs to have something to play at these bass clinics.' It's pretty cool — two well-known thrash metal bassists doing something. That's what led us writing together. What was interesting was when we started throwing ideas at each other, they weren't thrash metal ideas. [Laughs] Frank crafted these songs like 'Late'; it's a song that Frank brought in. I write more on guitar, to be honest with you. My stuff is actually a little more kind of riffy, guitar, hard rock, heavy metal riffy kind of stuff that I write. That was where it started. That was, I guess, five years ago when we started that. We put out that first EP in 2014 and since then, we've been diligently getting together working on this thing in Los Angeles at our producer's studio. We just needed to find the right time to put it out. We kind of thought we might put it out in 2018, but then Frank got busy, ANTHRAX was out doing a lot of the SLAYER farewell tour. We had this sliver of time right now in January and February of 2019 to put this out before we get busy with MEGADETH and ANTHRAX again."
On who played bass on the band's forthcoming "Get It Out" full-length album:
David: "On the record, I actually played bass on all of it. It was funny. Our roles sort of naturally developed inside of bands. In this case, of course, maybe a little more undecided because we are two bass players. It was funny, when we brought the songs in, we brought them in as guitar players. Frank is a really great singer to his songs. His voice really lends itself well inside of his music. He's a great lyricist. He and I collaborated on a lot of the lyrics on the record as well. He's a great narrator through lyric and through music. I really enjoyed playing bass to the music and songs that Frank brought in because they kind of remind me of this sort of CHEAP TRICK, late '70s kind of early '80s, new wave, Joe Jackson, CHEAP TRICK, THE CARS, that kind of music that was around back in those days that Frank and I grew up on in addition to the heavy metal stuff we both like."
On the status of MEGADETH's next studio album:
David: "We're working on it now. The whole last year, we've been writing and getting everything pieced together. That's the stage that it's in now, just getting arrangements all put together and we've each been putting parts down and working on that. Yeah, it's definitely coming along. I don't know exactly when the release will be. My thought is mid-to-late 2019. Records do take a while. It could be early 2020, but we'll definitely have some new music and some stuff for people to hear, I'm sure at some point this year. It's cool that we can still create good music. That doesn't happen all the time in groups, and I think with the 'Big Four', it's cool because we've all put out, I think, pretty compelling records here in recent years. That's a pretty good testimony that the juices haven't dried up. We've still got the passion for the music and the lifestyle and our fans."
"Get It Out" will be released on January 18 via Megaforce. The follow-up to ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE's 2014 self-titled EP was once again produced by Jay Ruston (ANTHRAX, STEEL PANTHER, STONE SOUR),with Jeff Friedl (A PERFECT CIRCLE, ASHES DIVIDE) returning behind the kit.
MEGADETH's next LP will be the first to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK),who joined the band nearly three years ago.
MEGADETH will support OZZY OSBOURNE on the next North American leg of the BLACK SABBATH singer's "No More Tours 2" in May, June and July.
MEGADETH's first-ever Megacruise aboard the Norwegian Jewel will set sail on October 13 from Los Angeles, California and hit ports of San Diego, California and Ensenada, Mexico before returning on October 18.