Here is the second part of our awesome interview with David Ellefson (such a great guy to interview!) Megadeth will be headlining Gulf Bike Week on October 18th. To find out more, please check here www.gulfbikeweek.com.
Would you personally be interested in teaming up with other musicians to cover classic metal songs, for example recording with Glen Tipton to do Judas Priest?
Huh! That is an interesting idea, never been proposed that before! Hmmm, I mean am I open to it absolutely and especially when you are talking about people like that who are musically compatible. Megadeth has done cover songs on our records, but we have made them very Megadeth sort of way and I think that yeah, I am always open to new things. I am not so much into the super group idea, although I have been part of a few of those things in the past, a few of those groups and records and people just try and piggy-back on the success that we have built ourselves and the super group thing is not something that appeals to me.
Can you talk us through your other projects you are involved in?
Right now Megadeth is my soul focus just because the workload and the attention that it requires of me from my life and in fact when we are off the road I just unplug and spend time with my family, so I have a really simple life, I am either working in Megadeth or I am home with my family and I think that simplicity allows me to get some perspective and recharge my batteries and make sure that I am the best I can be when I am out playing Megadeth.
A lot of people think metal is about sex, drugs and hard partying, but you are a church-goer and a family man is it hard to maintain a family-orientated lifestyle as one of the biggest metal bands in metal history?
Since years ago the clean lifestyle has not been an issue for me once I turned that corner I have been blessed that that has been a pretty easy road, I think there is always this disparity of being on stage and being on tour and then of course you have a life which is a sense of stability when you come off the road. And yeah, there is definitely transitions coming in and out of both worlds for sure, but I think that having stability at home helps provide stability n the road and at the same time the excitement and the bright lights of the stage also make it fun to come home because I get to tell better stories than most of the other dads around the campus.
People say kids often shun what their parents like, do your kids listen to metal or do they think it is a bit ‘uncool’ because dad does it?
It is funny you say that, my son who is 16, he has started to really understand Megadeth probably more in the last couple of years and probably a lot of it is because his friends like it, but he likes a lot of different types of music. My daughter, who is 13, she has a natural artistic and musical talent, very natural, it just comes upon her when it comes upon her. She is into playing guitar and is a really good piano player and artist, so it is fun to watch her develop those talents as they work for her. She is not so much into metal, but it is fun to watch when your children discover their own gifts and let them flourish. I am more about helping them develop that then insisting that they follow my path.
Is there anything you simply have to have backstage before your show?
I like a nice strong stiff cup of Starbucks coffee.
Metality UAE Well we will try to make sure Starbucks has some lined up for you backstage!
I don’t need Starbucks to make it, I prefer to make it, I just want the coffee to be from Starbucks, other than that we are all good.
Do you listen to any up and coming metal bands and if so who are they?
There is a band called Kyng which has started to get some popularity here in the US. Lots of times when managers and record companies submit their bands to us to consider taking on tour, it is certainly a good way to hear about the new up and comers.
Another band is Red Fang. It is cool to hear new things and it does not have to be just metal like what we do. I keep a pretty broad open a mind and a lot of today’s artists are inspired by what we have done with Megadeth, but what I like is that they don’t wound like Megadeth, they have taken our influence and they have done something unique with it so they can make a unique and meaningful contribution back to the music community, there is already one Megadeth we don’t need another one.
Would you guys ever consider looking at Middle Eastern bands to take on tour with you?
Yeah, the answer is yes, we consider pretty much anybody, back in 1992 Pantera went to Europe with us and then they did the US with us, so we have been yoked together with some bands over the years and doing a lot of different shows Slayer-Megadeth of course, we have done stuff all over the world together.
As far as the newer younger bands it is mostly a matter of where they have an impact. A lot of the bands when we take them out with us, they are too small yet to really make a contribution to the actual ticket sales, so for us it is more about exposing our fans to a new group that may become successful and that have first of all good music and also letting that band have an opportunity to be in front of our audience and get their chops down so even after the Megadeth tour they can have some advantage to move on to bigger tours and opportunities for them as well.
That is the thing about coming over and doing these festivals, it is an opportunity for some of these new bands to be on the bill and get some exposure and hopefully it then allows them to go out and have some opportunities.
A lot of the bands we have taken out with us, we joke all the time, they because bigger then Megadeth!
Some of them like Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilot, Korn, Pantera for a few years were just really really a popular band and it is cool to know that at some point, usually very early on in their careers we gave them their first early start, much the same as Alice Cooper and Ronnie James Dio did with us and then Iron Maiden, these bands took us out when we were clearly the ones with the advantage and had everything to gain and not a lot to give and it was cool we were given those breaks and it is great to be able to give that back to the new guys coming up the ranks.
I am really looking forward to coming over, I have not been over to that region of the world and it is nice after all these years to know that there is still some uncharted territory.
I am really really looking forward to it; I think it is going to be one of my favourite months this year.
Check out part one of this interview here.
WATCH OUT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE METALITY UAE GULF BIKE WEEK CONCERTS TICKET GIVEAWAY COMPETITIONS ON THIS SITE EVERY EVENING FOR THE NEXT FOUR DAYS AT 6PM \M/