Dave Martin for Metal Planet Music caught up with the legend that is Mr David Ellefson, bassist with the absolute legends of thrash metal, MEGADETH for a chat.
Can I ask you first about the other David Mr Mustaine of course how is he doing at the moment?
DE: “Yeah, he’s doing well he’s just finished his treatments a couple of weeks ago so he’s just recuperating, and resting right now, and thank you for everyone’s thoughts and prayers. As you see we have just put on sale the Megadeth, Five Finger Death Punch tour due for January/ February, we’re optimistic but until we’re out of the woods we really appreciate your thoughts and prayers on the situation.”
Well myself and I’m sure all the fans out there, wish him a great recovery and we hope to see him back on the stage doing what he does best, please pass our good wishes on to him.
“Absolutely thank you”.
You have a brand-new book out titled ‘More Life With Deth’ the follow up to your memoirs ‘My Life With Deth’ which you wrote in 2013, that told your career up to 2011. Will this now take us up to the present day or is there still more to be written?
“Yeah, well I think these memoirs are never ending until you die you know! The story keeps going, which is why I decided to write this one, the first was My Life with Deth and this is More Life with Deth and it IS a lot more.
You know a lot of books take about three years by the time you write them, get them in the shops, they get published but this one, man we got this done from the time of conception to street date was about a year! A lot of it is I know how to do it now (both laugh} the first one helped me know the path!
This book wrote itself in a way. I wrote the manuscript in about a week and carrying the story on from there, I’ve always liked philosophy’s and this one is just say ‘Yes’.
I’m fifty-four now, I watch people get serious health issues and many no longer with us now, I think its just the reaction of if not now when?”
I read that you love the writing now and really have the bug, do think that you would ever turn your head to writing fiction novels maybe around the rock scene in the future?
“I would actually like to write a fictional book, I read fiction, Dean Koontz and Robert Heinlein, I mean sometimes, when you write a song, that’s sometimes a piece of fiction, even if it is derivative of your own life. You’re right though, it is one thing I’d like to do before I leave the planet.”
I have also read you are really into genealogy and family trees and this is what kick started the ideas for the books.
“You are a hundred percent right! My Dad had my great uncle write. The Ellefson family history, which dates all the way back to the 1600s on the Ellefson side, its Norwegian/ German and a little bit of English in there. On my Moms side very much English with a little bit of I believe, Swedish. We did an early VIP book thing where the people who bought into it actually received the Ellefson family tree as part of that. At some point I might just publish it cos I think it’s a cool story.”
That must have been cool going right back and tracing so much of your family history and thinking hey man I can do this, I can write a story too.
“Totally, absolutely, I completely agree! My mothers’ side, they’ve done a very extensive timeline back a couple of centuries’. It’s very important especially for us here in America because no one here is American unless you’re a native American you know what I mean? So, all of us here are transplants, we’re all immigrants, and that is why there’s an even greater fascination because were all over here, but most of our origins at least my generation, are Europeans so there’s this fascination to find from whence we came.
The strange part of the story of the book for me was when we started talking about combat records because that suddenly took me back to the very early days of Megadeth, which is largely the story that is yet to be told. Most of the 90’s stuff has been told, there was a lot of media and MTV but those early days man have largely been untold so, it was great to go back and tell that story.”
In the book you speak very strongly about how Judas Priest played a massive part in your influence of metal and music.
“Yeah, hence my reason to be with my friend KK Downing at his venue. I rang my agent to talk about a show in London and then thought KKS right up the road a couple of hours kind of. He’s in the book and he is such a huge part of my musical upbringing I thought he’s got a book, could we do a signing together too. Maybe we should jam a couple of songs, to what the hell lets reform part of Judas Priest (laughs) and go do it!”
That sounds like it’s going to be a blast man.
“Oh yeah its huge! That is a real ‘pinch me’ moment for sure.”
Is it going to be specifically a Judas Priest greatest hits thing or will we hear some Sleeping Giants stuff as well?
“I’m going to do a bit with my Sleeping Giants band. Blaze Bailey will kick it off and then I’ll do a portion with my group and then KK and the guys are going to come up. They’ll kick off that part of the set which is going to be pretty cool man! Right now, it’s a one off, we have fun, who knows maybe we do more of them.
I think the Judas Priest story is something not many people know and for KK to write that book which also opened up the story of his personal life is incredible. I love the book, we’ve hooked up again and were kind of brothers from another mother.”
Well we can’t leave without mentioning a new Megadeth album on the way.
“It’s been a work in progress. Obviously everything was shut down and side-lined with Dave’s throat cancer, but the treatments are done he’s in his recovery phase now. We’re hoping for a full recovery and hopefully we’ll be back on track and rockin’. The thoughts and prayers from everybody are much appreciated. Appreciate you asking.”
It had been an absolute pleasure to talk to Dave, an absolute legend and lovely guy. I appreciate the time taken to talk to MPM.
See David Ellefson at the following shows: