DAVID ELLEFSON Interview
By Bob Nalbandian
SW: You're involved with a lot of the same people you worked with back in the Megadeth days... I see Byron Hontas is your co-manager... [Byron was head publicist for Megadeth at Capitol Records].
DE: Yeah, it's really cool. You know, you kind of hang with your own tribe. There's a lot of new players that come into the music business, and I work with a lot of them as well on the F5 project, but your paths cross with people that you've worked with in the past and it's always cool to reconnect with those people, especially if you've got the same synergy and they're feeling the love for the band.
SW: You've always been pretty involved in the business side of music, even during your Megadeth years...I recall you wrote a book about the music business back in I believe '97 and since your departure with Megadeth you've been involved in signing acts to development deals etc... Are there any other business ventures you've been involved in lately or plan to get involved in apart from F5 music-wise?
DE: I have my other group as well, Temple of Brutality. The band also features former WASP drummer Stet Howland and Peter Scheithauer of Killing Machine. About a year ago we made a record in Florida and it's just now getting released worldwide. We already did a couple shows with Disturbed and we plan to do more shows soon. Musically, I would call it thrash-core, it's like a musical marriage of thrash metal and hardcore. I did some production stuff as well the last few years...a band from Toronto called War Machine. They're great, they're really young guys playing this old-school style of metal, it's awesome. I also produced a record for a band called Avion, I assembled the studio band for them and brought in Lance King, the singer for Balance Of Power. It's like traditional power-metal, very old-school European metal. I also played on the last couple Soulfly records...it's always great working with Max. And we launched the F5 record in late 2005 so I've been involved with that lately...we've been on the road now for a few months.
SW: Musically the F5 record is much different from Megadeth. When you were writing that album [Drugs For All Seasons] did you collaborate with the other members or did you have most the songs already written before forming the band?
DE: Initially when the band started it was me, our guitar player Steve and drummer Dave. Dave and Steve had a lot of great ideas they had been working on and I was kind of the lynch pin that brought the songs together. And I had a lot of similar ideas musically and things just started clicking. It felt like I was 15 years old again with a new band. It just felt really good and it was a great way to start 2003 and to get my creative juices flowing again. When you've been in a band for such a long time and than all of the sudden you're on your own...it could be very difficult.
SW: Especially with a band like Megadeth...you guys were on the road constantly for like 20 plus years. To suddenly be on your own it must have been kind of like culture shock.
DE: It is! But now I'm used to it and to be honest with you it's been good for me. It's been a good growing process...you see your flaws and your shortcomings as well as your strengths when you walk out on your own. Sometimes when you're in a job or a relationship, or in my case, a band for a long period of time you kind of lean on others and sometimes they lean on you. But when you're out on your own it's a little cold and chilly at first but after a while you learn how to make it work and so looking back on it, it's been a really fun three or four years. It was fun and creative and very invigorating to be in the studio for the last few years making all these records but it is really cool now to be out on the stage playing again. To me, making records is just an excuse to get out on stage...
DAVID ELLEFSON Interview 3