MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson is featured in a new interview with No Treble. An excerpt is available below:
Q: What do you think makes a great bass player?
Ellefson: “You know, there’s two types of bass players. There’s artists and there’s sidemen. I tend to kind of be a little bit of both. Early on in my formative years, I was a big fan of rock and roll and hard rock and eventually heavy metal when I got turned on to it. Everything from AEROSMITH, KISS, TED NUGENT, kind of ’70s American rock and roll I grew up with.
And then of course I got into IRON MAIDEN and RUSH, with very progressive bass players. It’s interesting because Gene Simmons, Steve Harris and Geddy Lee are all artist bass players. You know, they’re songwriters as well as bass players. Another great artist bass player is Bob Daisley, who played on the first two Ozzy (Osbourne) records and on RAINBOW, Long Live Rock and Roll… Again, just a great songwriter bass player.
Same with Geezer Butler, another great songwriter, artist bass player. What’s funny is all those guys are also really good lyricists, and I think what that does is when you’re not only thinking from the bass point of view, you’re thinking from sort of the bottom of the tune as you build it from the bottom up, but you’re also thinking melodically on the top of it. You’re thinking about singers and how a vocalist is going to sing and how to phrase words into melodies. Lyric writing is a whole other part of our craft as well. I really like that side of it, which is why I’ve put several of my own bands together, like F5, because I wanted to continue to have a creative outlet.
On this other side of that is sort of the sideman bass player, which requires a whole other skill level, most predominately being versatility. That bass player needs to be really quick on his toes. He needs to be musically very astute, be able to read and understand chord charts, and be able to read manuscript and notations. These players also have to have a very good ear. In fact, that’s what I’m going through as I learn the songs for this clinic this week, because I’m having to learn a lot of other people’s songs, which is something I haven’t really had to do for about a year. It’s actually kind of stretching my brain to get back into that mindset again, because I can’t go up there and play like an artist. I have to emulate how another bass player played. I don’t hold with those who think cover musicians are subpar musicians. I think cover musicians are some of the most astute musicians on the planet because of their ability to emulate what other people may have played or, in the case of a session bass player, be able to come in and create something on the spot. The recording bass player is kind of a whole other side to the sideman bass player. In any case, a bass player has to have great tone and great timing.”
Go to this location for the complete interview.
Megadeth will be playing a very special one-off show at London, England’s Electric Ballroom, on Tuesday, June 12th.
The show will follow the band’s return to the main stage on Sunday, June 10 at this year’s Download festival and there will be a special pre-sale for Download ticket holders and Megadeth Cyber Army members at 9 AM, before tickets go on sale to the public at 9 AM on Friday, April 20th.
Speaking of this special one-off show, Dave Mustaine had the following to say: “It will be great to play for some of our oldest and dearest Londoner friends, but more importantly, I would like to dedicate this show to the memory of my dear friend, Dr. Jim Marshall OBE.”
Megadeth are confirmed to headline shows at Estadio Cubierto Malvinas in Buenos Airies, Argentina on Friday, September 14th, and at Orfeo in Cordoba, Argentina on Sunday, September 16th. Tickets go on sale Monday, April 23rd at 10 AM.
As previously reported, the band will perform the album Countdown To Extinction in its entirety, at Teatro Caupolican in Santiago, Chile on September 7th. Tickets are now on sale at puntoticket.com.
A poster for the show can be seen below:
Megadeth’s South American tour schedule is currently as follows:
7 – Teatro Caupolican – Santiago, Chile
14 – Estadio Cubierto Malvinas – Buenos Airies, Argentina
16 – Orfeo – Cordoba, Argentina
Go to this location for ticket information and updates.
Megadeth and ROB ZOMBIE will embark on a co-headlining US tour next month. Confirmed dates are as follows:
11 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
12 – Scranton, PA – Toyota Pavilion
13 – Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion
16 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
18 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Deltaplex
19 – St. Louis, MO – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
20 – Columbus, OH – Rock On The Range
22 – La Crosse, WI – La Crosse Center
24 – Sioux City, IA – Tyson Center
25 – Wichita, KS – Hartman Arena
26 – Pryor, OK – Rocklahoma