MEGADETH’s ELLEFSON Says He Doesn’t Have To Walk On Eggshells Around DAVE MUSTAINE

Joshua of recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. How much writing did you get to do for [the new MEGADETH album] “TH1RT3EN”?

Ellefson: As far as creation goes, “New World Order” was the main one. As a bass player, this is probably the most liberated I’ve ever been on a record. I think a large part of it was because the song ideas were laid down. Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH mainman] and Jonny K. [producer] laid them down. That allowed for each of us to come in and bring our best to the table. As opposed to when you write in a room together and then you make demos, then you finally go record the record. Sometimes the songs just get worked to death and it loses a lot of its spontaneity and its freshness. So I think that’s what you’re hearing on “TH1RT3EN”. You’re hearing a lot of the spontaneity and it’s a very fresh sound. Because these were all the first original ideas we came up with for the songs. Did going back over old riff tapes help erase some of the time gap between your tenures?

Ellefson: Yeah. And I think doing the “Rust In Peace” tour last year brought forward a lot of music from 20 years ago and made it fresh in everybody’s mind. So when we went back and visited, say “New World Order”, which was actually written on the [original] “Rust In Peace” tour. When we go back and revisit that and bring that forward it doesn’t sound out of character and it doesn’t sound like something from a different generation. It sounds very modern and timeless again. How about the rumored supergroup with Dave Mustaine, [METALLICA frontman] James Hetfield, [METALLICA drummer] Lars Ulrich and yourself?

Ellefson: Dave, I think, has this yearning to, at some point, play some music with James and Lars again. And especially now that things are much more friendly and just amicable with everybody in the “Big Four.” I think saying that was just kind of an open invitation. I’m certainly glad that he invited me along with it because if it ever did happen I think it would be cool. Now that we all go up and do the big jam together it’s kind of like we all played together anyway. Now that you’ve been back in MEGADETH for almost two years, how is your relationship with Dave Mustaine. Was there a period of walking on eggshells?

Ellefson: Interestingly enough, when I came back it was not walking on eggshells. It was actually very open arms, hugs, big smiles. Just, “Man, let’s go out and do this. Let’s blow everybody’s minds!” And it’s still that, which is great, because I get to bring a new perspective to Dave from the outside in. And Dave can also continue to bring a new perspective to me because of all the years that he has been running MEGADETH during my time away.

Read the entire interview at