DAVID ELLEFSON (Megadeth) on Rock Overdose: “It’s really been a blessing to have a second chance as friends and bandmates with Mustaine”

We are very honored to present you the interview that  David Ellefson (MEGADETH, METAL ALLEGIANCE) gave to Rock Overdose and to Konstantinos Sotirelis. David talked about his relation with Dave Mustaine,  his EMP Label Group, his Christian belief and finally, about Megadeth's and Metal Allegiance's upcoming albums! Enjoy!


Rock Overdose: Hello David, welcome to Rock Overdose. What are you doing these days?


David Ellefson: Hello! Taking some time off from tour but never resting on my laurels! The Ellefson Coffee Co has been a real passion as has been some down time to write new music.


Rock Overdose:  In 2015 you launched your record label and production company, EMP Label Group. How did you decide to start this label? Is it easy to manage a label that you also work as a producer?

David Ellefson: Many producers get their start by shopping bands to labels. In the same way, I produced DOLL SKIN and was looking for a label home for them.  That led to me just starting my own label to produce, develop and release records.


Rock Overdose: You are a very busy musician. You participate in a lot of projects. How do you manage to do all this work? Don't you feel tired from all the tours and the work with Megadeth?


David Ellefson: Oh yes, I had to take a few weeks after the recent Megadeth world tour to just go home to relax and spend time with my family. After such a long and successful tour, I don’t get freaked out if new musical inspiration doesn’t hit right away. I’ve been in performing mode for a year, so creative juices take some time to start flowing again.

But, the one that was inspiring for me to get going on was ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE with Frank Bello. We both ended our 2016 tours about the same time so getting back in the studio with Frank was a great way to start writing and getting new ideas flowing again.



Rock Overdose: Your latest album with Megadeth, "Dystopia", was released about a year ago. Do you have any plans for a new one?

David Ellefson: “Dystopia” was so well received that we have still another several months of touring behind it in 2017. I’m quite sure that during this new year, we will begin looking ahead for future recording plans.


Rock Overdose: You visited Greece the previous summer. Do you remember the show? What's your opinion about the Greek fans?


David Ellefson: Yes, I always remember our Greek shows…they are fantastic!  This last trip we came up from Israel to play in Athens, which is such terrific world history and culture for us Americans. I actually did some sightseeing in Jerusalem and around Athens so it was like visiting Old Testament and New Testament in the same week!


Rock Overdose: How is your relationship with Dave Mustaine nowadays and how did you manage to get through all previous differences?

David Ellefson: We’ve really had a brotherhood all throughout Megadeth and especially in the recent years since I’ve been back in the group. We had this motto that if we both agree on everything, then one of us is unnecessary! So, now more than ever we just let our individual personalities, and roles within the band, really shine.  It takes four of us to make a band, to make a group.

Sometimes Dave and I sit on the tour bus and just recount stories of the years gone by and you just can tell it freaks people out to hear the journey he and I have had together, because you really have to have the nerves to go through what we have gone through with Megadeth. We have a storied career and the things we went through together just can’t be replicated or discounted.  It’s really been a blessing to have a second chance as friends and bandmates.


Rock Overdose: On 2010 you received a text from Shawn Drover, saying "if ever there was a time for you and Dave to talk, now is it". How did you feel? Were you reluctant in the beginning?


David Ellefson: I was actually very excited. It was like the good Lord was helping us heal some old wounds , and the band was allowing it to all happen naturally and organically. Even more so that it happened so suddenly, unexpectedly and publicly. It’s a nice testimony to share in front of the world.
Rock Overdose: As you have stated, you brought up in a Christian family and you are still Christian. Is it easy to combine metal with Christianity? Do you decline to listen to some bands because of their lyrics, when they are against God or something like that?


David Ellefson: Because I was brought up in a Lutheran faith, it was never fanatical or crazy. Yet, I knew right from wrong. For that reason, some music just feels right and others don’t. To me it’s not about the genre as much as it’s about a great song just impacting your life. That’s what my childhood heroes like KISS, BTO, did for me and I can appreciate that our music is doing the same for so many around the world now, too. I get it because I was a fan who became a musician, who became a professional musician. I think it’s important to not lose sight of the path.


Rock Overdose: What about the Metal Allegiance project? Will we see new music in the future and maybe a show in Greece?


David Ellefson: That is a really fun meeting of the minds around all things metal. More than anything, it is like a metal summit with good friends. We all dig the same music and have so much fun just going out and playing it for the fans.

There is a second record in the works….



Rock Overdose: How do you feel about being a very important part of Megadeth's history and one of the best bassist in metal?


David Ellefson: Well, thank you for saying that. There are so many great bassists out there and I think for me I just try to be the best player I can be in the one little corner of metal that I’ve grown up in. I’ve learned to appreciate, and even be a fan, of other bassists. I don’t have to play like them to admire them, because they have their own voice, style and sound that I like.

As for the history, Megadeth is a band that I always felt was going to be big, but it was not going to be an easy hand out, nor an overnight sensation. For me, just sticking with it over the last three decades is my truest measure of our success.


Rock Overdose: Are there any other projects that you are going to participate in the near future?


David Ellefson: Things always come up and if I’m available and interested, I try to say “yes” and participate. More than anything, I want to be inspired with them, by them and for them.


Rock Overdose: What should we expect from Megadeth in the future?


David Ellefson: Check www.megadeth.com for all the upcoming news…2017 looks to be another big year!


Rock Overdose:Thank you very much for this interview, it was a great honor. The last words are yours.


David Ellefson: Thanks for the interview. See you soon.



For Rock Overdose,

Konstantinos Sotirelis