Megadeth bassist David Ellefson and Sons of Apollo vocalist Jeff Scott Soto have been collaborating on some new material recently under the moniker ELLEFSON-SOTO. The Ellefson-Soto version of the Riot classic “Swords & Tequila” released via Ellefson’s Combat Records on www.ellefsonmusic.bandcamp.com and across all digital streaming outlets.The song was originally featured on the 1981 Riot LP Fire Down Under (Elektra). The play through video can be seen here.
The track was produced by David Ellefson & Andy Martongelli, mixed by Alessio Garavello in Wembley, England and mastered by Maor Appelbaum in Los Angeles, CA. The video is directed by Elia Turra for Fisheye Studio in Verona, Italy.
The ELLEFSON-SOTO recording lineup includes:
David Ellefson- Bass
Jeff Scott Soto- Lead Vocals
Andy Martongelli- Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Paolo Caridi- Drums
*Featuring Rick Hughes- Lead Vocals (Swords & Tequila)
Says Ellefson, “Jeff and I have been friends for so many years that it’s great to finally collaborate on some material together. He has such a distinctive voice and perfect style for some new ideas my guitarist Andy Martongelli (Ellefson) and I have been composing. We are excited about the progress of it all and thought this would be a perfect time to give a little sneak preview. “
Jeff adds, “As COVID-19 became a big negative around the globe, it actually offered many artists a chance to finally collaborate with one another that might have never happened otherwise…as I have known David for many years, I knew from our other efforts outside of our day jobs that we could come up with some badass jams…and here we are, letting you in on our cool little secret!”.
As for the choice of cover song Ellefson reminisced, “The first time I ever heard of Riot was on the Castle Donington Monters of Rock album from 1980. For me, they were the USA representatives during the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. And, “Swords & Tequila”, along with the entire Fire Down Under album for that matter, show the band delivering it’s rowdy and high energy rock n roll like no other band in the USA was doing at that time.
So, it is an honor to offer them much deserved reverence, as well as a reminiscent tribute to the mighty Guy Speranza, who fronted the band like a god during that period.
Soto adds, “What can I say? This was a classic metal track from Riot that we all knew growing up, when David brought up that we should cover it I was thrilled. But when we added Rick Hughes from the band Sword onto it, it truly came to life! 40 years after its release, we hope you dig this new version we built for you!”
Vocalist Rick Hughes is the founding front man of the iconic Quebec Power Metal group SWORD. The Canadian quartet formed in 1981 and have released a string of metal classics including their eponymous 1984 Aquarias Records debut Metalized which has been esteemed by fans and musicians alike including the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Motorhead and many more. Hughes explains, “To me, music has always been the best medicine and that is why in this time of not being able to perform with live musicians in front of a live audience, I was more than happy to participate in this camaraderie of seasoned musicians.” Sword’s latest album In Kommand is now available via Combat Records.
More new tracks from Ellefson-Soto are in the works with release details to be announced.
Riot formed in New York City in 1975 and has produced a long list of classic hard rock albums for Victor Entertainment, Capitol & Elektra Records as well as re-issues by Metal Blade Records. Guy Speranza was a founding member and vocalist for the group and sang on the early albums Rock City (1977), Narita (1979) and Fire Down Under (1981). He was then succeeded by Rhett Forrester in 1982. Speranza passed away in 2003 from pancreatic cancer at the age of 47. Riot has since undergone several member and lineup changes but still remains active under the new name of RIOT V.