Tag Archives: megadeth

Megadeth Bassist On Risk: ‘We Weren’t Trying To Be Disturbed Or Godsmack”

In 1990, Megadeth would put out the massive behemoth of an album, Rust in Peace. The group’s subsequent offerings, beginning with Countdown to Extinction in 1992, may have proven the laws of diminishing returns was a true concept, but their catalog was still better than what most other thrash bands were doing at the time. Then, on August 31st, 1999, the band threw a curveball and released their most controversial and fan-derided record, Risk.

The aptly-titled Risk was a experimental album for Megadeth. Instead of a straightforward metal release, this album was a hodge-podge of sounds that permeated the hard rock landscape of the 1990’s that would not normally be found on a Megadeth album. “It was definitely a risk for sure,” David Ellefson tells Alternative Nation.

Fans accused Megadeth on cashing in on the rock music trends of the late 90’s. One example is the song “Crush Em”, which has industrial elements. This song featured as the theme song to the Van Damme film Universal Soldier: The Return. 

Then we have the track “Insomnia”, which is the band’s attempt at atmosphere, while “The Doctor is Calling” finds comparisons to Alice in Chains and “Breadline” screams late 90’s cheese in the same vein as bands like 3 Doors Down. “I’ll Be There” is a very soft ballad, probably the softest the band has ever done. Just about every song on this album is slow with no payoff, while Dave Mustaine seems bored.

Despite these comparisons to their contemporaries, Ellefson tells us in retrospect that the band tried to distance itself from such genres as post-grunge and nu metal. “I remember at the time, a lot of these nu-metal bands like Disturbed and Godsmack were coming out and we wanted to do something way different.”

Megadeth would bounce back in the mid 2000’s with albums like United Abominations and Endgame, only to put out an equally derided record in 2013 known as Supercollider. Sixteen years later, Ellefson looks back on the record rather fondly, even if the record wasn’t well received by the metal fanbase.

“Looking back at it, I feel if we had more time to work on it, it would have been a better record,” Ellefson tells us. “I remember spinning it a little while ago and thinking this isn’t so bad of a record. It might not be one of our best records, but I feel it has some good material on it.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkJEvpwDBXY]

Interview: Megadeth Bassist Says Pantera’s Phil Anselmo ‘Sounds Best He Has Since Vulgar Display Of Power’

Edited by Brett Buchanan

David Ellefson is Megadeth’s second most iconic member. He has played on almost every Megadeth release and as of now the only other original member left in the band besides Dave Mustaine. More recently, Dave has been playing in a massive supergroup called Metal Allegiance. This supergroup also features guitarist Alex Scholnick from Testament, ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, and Mark Menghi from the New York band Constricted. Their debut self titled album also features guests from metal greats such as Death Angel, Anthrax, Down, Mastodon as well as the one and only Bumblefoot. I was recently able to conduct a telephone interview with him. After being starstruck, I was able to interview him about this project, where he reveals that a recent collaboration with Pantera’s Phil Anselmo might be the best he’s sounded since Vulgar Display Of Power.

How did a huge gathering like this happen and what was the idea behind it?

It all happened when me and founder Mark were talking about jamming together as well as with a lot of other artists and how cool it would be. This was back right before Motorhead’s Motorboat fest in September. We then noticed a slot was open. The promoter then called me and I said that I think we could get this idea on there and call it Metal Allegiance. After the performance Alex hit me up and him and Mike Portnoy had the idea to make a record and not just keep this a live act. So December of last year we went over to Mike’s place and started writing songs for the record. When the songs were finished we showed it to Nuclear Blast and they signed us.

During that first performance did you guys have any original songs or just did covers?

At that time we did not have any original songs written. We just played covers by classics such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy.

Is this a one time only project or will they be more releases in the future?

I plan for this project to continue to develop. We hope to do future records and tours.We want this to be a really cool event that just keeps continuing.

I notice Geezer Butler and Wolfgang Van Halen were live guests. Any plans to record with them?

The thing is with Wolfgang was he was playing in Tremonti while we were on the boat. We told him we had plans of playing the entire self-titled Van Halen album front to back and asked if he wanted to jump in on some songs and he said sure. That’s the beauty of this project, we are not so locked into roles. We allow all these guests so we can have all these crazy and spontaneous moments.

For those that don’t know can you tell us about the upcoming live interview?

Only 100 people can get into it.It will be at AOL studios in New York City.It will be a very personal thing where audience can all ask the bands questions. It will be filmed and broadcast across AOL’s networks.

When listening to your album I noticed the track with Phil Anselmo, “Dying Song” sounded a lot like Down. Was this meant to be an homage?

Yes it is, and I found that to be really cool. This project is a collection of all styles of metal. When writing this album if we noticed a track sounded like something else we kept it and thought it was cool. If a song sounds too much like other stuff or to much like we have already done we try not to repeat that, but with this band we see it as tipping our hats to a style. If we heard something sounding thrash it’s awesome. We try not to limit anything, and as a result we now have a well rounded collection of all styles of metal. I thought “Dying Song” is one of the best performances Phil has done on record since early Down or even since Vulgar Display of Power. He really knocked it out of the park.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgFGODoXXbY&w=560&h=315]