Loudwire recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the departures of MEGADETH drummer Shawn Drover and guitarist Chris Broderick in November 2014:
“It was kind of shocking when [Chris] and Shawn left, ‘cause [their departures] both happened at the same time. I knew that they were writing some material and that they wanted to go work on some kind of a record. MEGADETH kind of unexpectedly and pretty suddenly was sort of shut down last year. We finished the tour over in Japan at [the] Summer Sonic [festival]. And we were in the middle of a management change, which is very disruptive to organizations. Any corporation, anybody that works in corporate America and goes through a management change, they get affected. The same is true in a rock and roll band, especially something big like that where there’s a lot of moving parts to it. I mean, Shawn brought Chris into the group, and so I know that they had a real connectivity. So, look, they made their decision to move on and go do other things, and I… I try to remain friends with everybody, ‘cause it’s a very small business, it’s a very small industry. And more than for professional purposes, when you live in the yellow submarine of a tour bus and an airplane and hotel rooms for years on end, which we did, you become tight like family, and in a lot of ways your road family is another family. You kind of leave the road and come home to your family at home; it’s this kind of strange changing of the atmospeheres that you go through. Look, Chris a fanstastic guitar player, and their new record is great — the ACT OF DEFIANCE record — and I certainly wish them well, just like all the former members. I somehow stay in touch with everybody; I’ve kind of been dubbed the diplomat of the band.”
On the addition nof Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro (ANGRA) to MEGADETH:
“Kiko is just a fantastic musician. I mean, his ear… I remember one time Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH mainman] and I were working on recording a bass track and we were moving some notes around. And Kiko just walks in out of nowhere, like at eleven o’clock in the morning, and says, ‘Oh, it’s supposed to be a C sharp.’ [And we were like], ‘Where did you come from?’ And he goes, ‘That note right there, that’s supposed to be a C charp.’ He hears things, he’s got a great harmonic ability, he’s a great piano player, his nylon-string stuff is phenomenal. In fact, when Dave called me about [Kiko] coming into the band, that was one of the things that he really liked about him. I hate to say ’the other guitar player,’ but the second guitar player in MEGADETH has always been this guitar player that’s very diverse and really brings something different. Chris Poland, from the beginning, had that sort of fusion thing going on, same with Jeff Young, Marty Friedman… all the guys over the years. And that band needs that dynamic. So Kiko really takes that to a whole another level. I mean, he’s an extremely gifted musician. And I had one experience to play with him in South America, ironically right before the change happened of the lineup, so to be able to call him — ‘cause I knew him; I played on a gig with him — and to just know firsthand just what a great player he is and he’s a cool guy… ‘Cause great players who aren’t cool is not cool. Cool guys who can’t play, obviously that doesn’t work. So the selection was pretty thin. I mean, really, there was about two or three names on the list. So Kiko, he really brings a whole another level of musicality into the band.”
On LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler’s contribution to MEGADETH’s forthcoming album, “Dystopia”:
“Chris Adler, he doesn’t need me to sing his praises. I mean, listen to any LAMB OF GOD record, man, and he’s a beast, man. He’s just a cool guy, a total metalhead, totally gets the history and the legacy of MEGADETH, very respectful to us as a band, and, as a result, wanted to contribute toward the betterhood of MEGADETH. And that’s a cool thing to bring that in and to be aware of it and to be conscious of it. Look, you’ll hear it when the record comes out and when the tracks start getting pushed out. I will need to say no more. It’s everything you would think it would be of Chris coming in. Now, we did do one show — back in July, we did a one-off festival up in Quebec City — so that’s out there on the web. So if anybody wants to see it, it’s out there. But the show felt great. I mean, it felt like there was four… it felt like a band of four rock stars on stage. It was a great feeling. And you could tell the audience was just digging it, man — they were eating it up. It was really cool.”
“Dystopia” will be released on January 22, 2016. The follow-up to 2013’s “Super Collider” was recorded earlier in the year in Nashville, Tennessee and was mixed by Josh Wilbur, who has previously worked with LAMB OF GOD, ALL THAT REMAINS and GOJIRA.