Interview: Dave Ellefson, A Matter Of Life And Mega Deth


image002After more than 30 years as founder of one of the ‘Big 4’ of heavy metal bands, MEGADETH’S Co- founding member and bass guitarist DAVID ELLEFSON is heading to Australia for a Spoken Word Tour in ‘ My Life With Deth’ .

In a heavy metal smorgasbord of an evening, Ellefson will bare all in front of an up close and personal audience, and will also take questions in addition to giving a bass demonstration. He graciously gave Glam Adelaide an interview from his L.A home as he sipped on a cup of coffee, which he laughingly insists is the hardest substance he uses nowadays. Here’s what he had to say.

“Honestly, I’m really excited about it, in addition to playing the bass I can also talk about a lot of stuff for quite a while. Particularly when I’m talking about my favourite subjects which are Megadeth, music related things, music biz- I’m real excited as I have some things in particular I want to talk about and want to open up my life for the fans. Also, for musicians I hope to share what knowledge I have and let them ask music questions. It’s an open forum.”

But does he play is safe or does he ‘tell a few war stories’ about life on the road with Megadeth? “Well, my autobiography ‘ My Life With Deth’ opens up a few things to talk about, all kinds of personal and professional things, many negative. I delve into the business of music too, because many other musicians are fans and I want to share my experiences with them. To me I always try to look at things through the eyes of a fan. How would I do this, what would I like to know etc?”

Given that his book is quite explicit in its honestly, Ellefson declares he has nothing more to hide and has a desire to share things that are deeply personal out of a sense of duty to others, to try and stop them making the same mistakes. “I definitely plan on going way outside the comfort zone, I do a lot of speaking engagements nowadays and had the idea when speaking at Colleges, churches, jails etc, so for me I love the spoken word format. It ‘s a little freeform and allows things to be interactive.”

But as someone who has interviewed a number of celebrities, there are usually limits or ‘no go zones’ that one should be mindful of which are usually quite personal and off limits to interviewers. I push Ellefson a little harder as to how far he’s willing to go in his show. His response? “Game on, bring it on, there’s nothing I won’t discuss!”

So there you have it fans, straight from the horses mouth. You have to respect Dave Ellefson for being so brave and throwing himself open like that. Fans want to know things, even the personal stuff that many people in the limelight would prefer to avoid despite celebrities having a right to some element of privacy. No doubt there’ll be a decent field of questions from Aussie fans that’ve been a part of the Megadeth journey also.

“Dave Mustaine and I have been musical partners and brothers in arms for over 3 decades, so obviously there’s a lot to discuss there. It’s why, when I wrote my book, I tried to be really transparent and open about it all. But a book can only tell so much of a story because there are only so many pages, and the story has to read well for the reader. What I like about spoken word  is that you can really go way outside the boundaries. It’s first hand. And another thing, it’s great to know that if someone gets help from either my book or show, then it’s all completely worth it. Some things are for entertainment purposes, but you can help people as well.”

Ellefson has had a colourful past, and has truly lived through the sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle associated with the music industry. He’s admirably turned things around and has a genuine heart to help people through his own story and has become quite philosophical about life. He also has a message for those going through a tough time right now.

“Pain is the touchstone to all growth. It’s usually in our mistakes, our faults and our darkest hours that we grow the most. At certain points in life we’re embarrassed of afraid to share them- it’s our pride getting in the way. When you set your pride aside and go through those dark valleys you come out the other side completely evolved & changed as a person. That sets you up to be able to handle the next phase.” Wise words indeed.

We discuss his relationship with Mustaine, and how his (Mustaine’s) conversion to Christianity among other things has had any impact on the relationship.

“As far as faith goes, it brings people together. It has as far as Megadeth goes anyway, it’s given us a common menu to read from. The faith part of it has helped in a really cool way; it’s a commonality for us. I believe that there’s a fundamental idea of God inside each of us, however you choose to understand it. It’s made things so much better for us- our music, lives and everything else, actually.”

If you look at where Dave Ellefson has come from and what he’s gone through, it’s hard to argue with that statement. Quite clearly, the after show parties for Megadeth have toned down significantly. You can’t argue with that!

Dave Ellefson will be sharing his life in ”MY LIFE WITH DETH’, and will be at the following venues.

 Tour Dates March 2015

Tuesday 24th PERTH Civic Hotel

Thursday 26th SYDNEY Factory Theatre 

Friday 27th MELBOURNE Prince Bandroom

Saturday 28th BRISBANE The Hi Fi

Sunday 29th ADELAIDE The Gov




By Darren Hassan

Twitter: @DazzHassan


About Author

Glam Adelaide Music Editor....or 'Rock Journo' as I prefer to call it.

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