MEGADETH Bassist: ‘At Its Best, Metal Is A Wild Animal And Shouldn’t Be Controlled’

Chris A. of Hardrock Haven conducted an interview with MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson before the band’s November 20 concert in Columbus, Ohio. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Hardrock Haven: On this tour, you’ve been playing the entire “Countdown To Extinction” record. Previously, you’ve played all of “Rust In Peace”. How has the fan reaction been to these full-album performances?

David Ellefson: These are fun years for MEGADETH because we have so many opportunities to do exciting things for our fans. In many ways, those records have really come of age now. There are about two to three new generations of fans coming to know MEGADETH since those albums released so it is a tremendous juncture that we get to revisit past records and still write and release new albums, too.

Hardrock Haven: What are your thoughts on digital downloads and online media replacing the more traditional physical product like a disc?

David Ellefson: Online distribution is the new norm of record shopping and downloads are here to stay. Personally, as a guy who grew up in record stores as a kid, I’m all about adjusting to change and would rather just go with it than fight it. Plus, I love the computer age and I actually prefer buying my music online so I can take it with me wherever I go. It’s easier and simpler in the end so I’m all good with it.

Hardrock Haven: I think you’re a thoughtful, articulate spokesman for metal and I’d like your opinion on the overall “state of metal.” How’s metal as a genre going? Are we on the right path?

David Ellefson: At its best, metal is a wild animal and shouldn’t be controlled… it’s ferocious and unpredictable and that is what we love about it because it is a lifestyle for those of us who breathe it every day. At its worst, it can become calculated and predictable and that is so not metal! Personally, I like when bands and musicians push the envelope and create new things even if it takes the listener a while to appreciate them. As artists, if we don’t innovate, the genre will become extinct so metal’s future is really a combination of innovation and tradition and as fans, we should always support it because it carries the torch for our lives as metalheads.

Read the entire interview from Hardrock Haven.