Our website, Rock & Metal in My Blood, has recently had the great honor of interviewing a real legend, someone who shaped, and continues to shape , the history of Heavy Metal. DAVID ELLEFSON, historical bass player of mega-thrashers MEGADETH, talks to us not only about his time in the band, but also of his solo projects, of Megadeth's return to the stage after their period of hiatus and even about his favorite movies... Read on metalheads! Interview edited by Jader Lamberti

RAMIMB: Hi David! Thanks for your time and availability, it's an honor for our website, Rock and Metal in My Blood! Let's talk about your latest album "Sleeping Giants". First of all, why did you choose to collaborate mainly with Thom Hazaert? How did you guys come into contact?
David Ellefson: Thom has been my business partner for EMP Label Group/Combat Records and Ellefson Coffee Co. for about five years now. I invited him onstage to sing a few songs during my 2018 BASSTORY USA tour and from there we collaborated on the song "Vultures". We had fun doing it and produced two more really great tracks for the "Sleeping Giants" album in the following months. That seems to have set the stage for our further collaborations.

RAMIMB: It seems to us that with "Sleeping Giants" you tried to cover several musical facets. Who are the artists and which sounds inspired you in the creative process?
David Ellefson: Aside from "Vultures" being a brand new track, everything else was either completed songs, or ideas for songs that I had written over the past 30 years. So, you're hearing songs I wrote with inspirations from much of my life, especially lyrically.

RAMIMB: In the track "Hammer (Comes Down)" we witness the exceptional presence of Chris Poland. How did you feel to work and collaborate with Chris again? Did you find any differences between the past and now?
David Ellefson: Yes, it's great to have Chris guest on that track as he has such a unique style and presence with his performance. He has remained a dear friend since his departure from Megadeth in 1987, so it was great for us to work together as musicians again.

RAMIMB: With Thom you are involved in the relaunch of Combat Records, under your label EMP. What does this historical label mean to you?
David Ellefson: Thom was a real proponent of us doing that relaunch, as he framed the historical significance to me. It was like revisiting my school class reunion. I was on the label from 1984-86 but those years were not such happy memories, due mostly to the small budgets we had to work with in those days. But as a result of Megadeth's success and financial windfalls becoming to the original Combat owners, the label was then much more well funded to be a major player in the origins of Thrash and Punk rock artists in the 80s and early 90s.
Many of those original titles are now being re-issued by Sony's subsidiary (how own those titles) and Thom and I are in collaboration with the Combat logos for those re-issues. I think from those re-issues the significance of Combat is now even more greatly tied to it's past & future.

RAMIMB: As regards your label EMP, what kind of artists do you look for when it comes to adding new elements to your roster?
David Ellefson: EMP was always designed to be a more broad roster, not just metal titles like we do on Combat. So, anything is considered, as long as it can sell.

RAMIMB: Is there any news regarding Metal Allegiance? Are you working on the third album?
David Ellefson: We have discussed initial ideas and as schedules allow, we will work on the next record.

RAMIMB: Let's talk about Altitudes & Attitude, your project with Frank Bello and Jeff Friedl. How are things getting along? How did "Get It Out" go?
David Ellefson: I'm really happy we got the full length LP released in early 2019. Frank and I had been working on that for about three years and it was then a matter of determining the ideal window to launch it. I needed an outlet like A&A to find a home for my music that is not metal, but more mainstream rock songs. I think the same is true for Frank, as he also writes songs not becoming of Thrash Metal, and it can be frustrating to write songs that don't have an outlet. With A&A, we now have that outlet.

RAMIMB: How did you get in touch and start collaborating with the Italian axeman, Andrea Martongelli?
David Ellefson: I met Andrea through Kiko Louriero when we performed in Bologna in 2016. I referred him to my friend Kobra Paige, who was in need of a touring guitarist about that time, and we stayed in touch since then. Then, I called on Andy for the A&A tour of Europe last year and that led to our current collaborations on my solo Ellefson songs. He is essentially my musical director to help coordinate the recordings and live touring bands for me around the world.

RAMIMB: We're kind of curious about your album with seven tracks released in 2011 on Beamz, the interactive music company. How did it all come about? Did they contact you and propose a collaboration?
David Ellefson: My friend and drummer Randy Walker in Scottsdale introduced me to BEAMZ. He recorded and produced some tracks for inclusion on the Beamz products, including a signature LP with them and stand alone hardward.

RAMIMB: You are principally known as the historical bass player of the world famous Thrash band Megadeth. Can you tell us about the precise moment when you first met Dave Mustaine?
David Ellefson: We met about a week after I moved from Jackson, Minnesota to Hollywood, CA in June 1983. About a week after we met, I began to play bass with him as the new band (which would soon be titled MEGADETH) was coming together.

RAMIMB: During all the years you played with Dave and company, what live concert do you have fond memories of, a concert that stands out among them all? Where and when was it?
David Ellefson: Every day and each show has it's own unique moments. Last night at SSE Arena Wembley, was a special night because of the significance that venue holds as far back as the orginal Wembley Arena we performed at on Clash of the Titans 1990. One of Dave's favorite singers Sean Harris of Diamondhead performed with us that night and that memory still carries with us when we perform here in London, even last night!

RAMIMB: Megadeth are on a temporary hiatus at the moment due to Dave Mustaine's health issues. Nevertheless you and the other members are working on some new material. How do you feel about your upcoming European tour?
David Ellefson: The European tour is going great. Dave's voice is getting stronger each and every day. The band is really excited right now about the future of the next album and the tours which lie ahead.

RAMIMB: Megadeth have quite a big fan base here in Italy, and we sure miss you guys!! When and where are we going to see you play live in Italy in 2020?
David Ellefson: We will be in Milan with the current tour of Five Finger Death Punch/Megadeth/Bad Wolves in February.

RAMIMB: Let's leave the music behind now: since we are passionate about horror films, we're fascinated by your movie project, "Ellefson Films". Was it just a last-minute fantasy or a lifelong dream? What goal do you aim to reach with this new project?
David Ellefson: It came together to support our debut title "Dwellers", which will release in 2020. Like EMP Label Group, it now has the opportunity to help release other titles from our in house team and outside film directors.

RAMIMB: Tell us three horror movies you are absolutely addicted to.
David Ellefson: Friday the 13th, Alien, anything by Stephen King!

RAMIMB: Is there a particular book on your bedside table at the moment?
David Ellefson: I'm currently reading John Grisham.

RAMIMB: How about a short message to all the readers of Rock & Metal in My Blood?
David Ellefson: Thank you for your continued support to me and my endeavors?we will see you in a couple weeks in Milan!