Dave Ellefson - F5
I ask you, is The Music Of Business really worth the risk? Why do so many poseurs make a good killing exploiting the art of others? Is everything in Metal really so far, so good, so wait...I think NOT! Former Megadeth bassist: Dave "Jr." Ellefson has just written a book dealing with these very issues. His insightful critic writings are quite enticing, as he deals with these realist concerns. His countdown to distinction elucidates over thirty years of experience in the Metal milieu. This publication will appeal to youth in Asia, Europe, America, and mettle brethren worldwide.
The Metal World needs a hero, so I interviewed the bass master - David Warren Ellefson - himself recently, but not to discuss his book, but rather to talk about his band F5 and their new album due in mid-August. For everyone there comes a reckoning day, and for Dave this is it, a chance to reconcile past hurts, and move on, promoting a quality album, and an awesome act of condition. I say, "Trust in Peace, even if peace $ells!".
MettleAngel: Hello Dave, how are you doing this fine day?
MettleAngel: Well, I was sick for a few days there, and I had no voice, whatsoever. I was concerned that I'd have to cancel this interview, but I persisted, really wanting to speak with you, so here I am. I admire all your accomplishments with Megadeth. It's a real honor to speak with "Jr." himself, the Mega bassist of 'Deth!
Hell yeah! I really did not want to pass up this opportunity. I know in
a matter of weeks you will be swamped with interviews. I recently received
a promo of the new F5 - "The Reckoning". I'm very impressed.
I'll hopefully review it as the release date gets closer. I have to admit
that it does not sound anything like Megadeth, and yet it's a solid album.
I hear hints of the early L.A. metal like Armored Saint, Heretic, Lizzy
Borden, & Savage Grace, or the assiduous acts of Arizona, like Cereberus
& Flotsam. There is also a subtle hint of modern commercialism in
the vein of Disturbed, Trapt, and The Offspring. Even though I've never
personally met you, I've always considered you to be the coolest dude
from Megadeth. You've always been the most approachable, and genuinely
friendly member, as I have heard. It is truly admirable that you play
in a band like F5, where you can explore your real artistic outlet, while
playing quality music.
MettleAngel: That is good, even still, you got the raw deal with Megadeth. Mustaine is a mystery, but he is a freak! Now, you can finally put all that B$ behind you.
MettleAngel: So, essentially, you have found your inner peace, and reconciled with Mustaine? I respect the fact that you have freely chosen to no longer carry all that unwanted baggage. I know how difficult it is to forgive those who have really wronged you!
MettleAngel: So you see it as a blessing in disguise, so to speak. You can compare it to the tragedy of Tim "Ripper" Owens, or even Jason Newstead.
MettleAngel: Oh I know, you have performed with Lance King's Avian, Max Cavalera's Soulfly, Temple Of Brutality, and even some Jazz recordings. You are so damn cool! I know you claim to be a Christian, and I respect that. The deal with Mustaine, is he is so ambivalent, his faith is a mere front. He has such an addictive personality, that Jesus is just his latest drug of choice, much to the bitter annoyance of his classic fan base!
MettleAngel: Yeah, so your faith is in your heart, despite what you believe. I respect that, like with Tom Araya. It's like Paul Stanley versus Gene Simmons. Paul is a stand-up guy, a real man; whereas, Gene is a prick who has made himself into god! As a true Christian, you exercise the ability to forgive which is noble, and which validates your faith. I honor your ability to share the love. Now let's get away from all this hubris, and focus on F5. Your new CD is called "The Reckoning" and it comes oout August 13th. Did you achieve the title based on your personal convictions?
MettleAngel: I see, but what about the name for the band? Is that F5, as in a deadly tornado?
MettleAngel: Is it fair to say, then, that F5 is your tornado of souls, who have reached their reckoning day?
MettleAngel: How did you get Jimmy De Grasso into the band?
MettleAngel: I definitely here that Suicidal Tendencies style on certain tracks. S.T. sure has farmed out their talent lately, as Rock George plays with Fishbone, Robert Trujillo plays with Metallica (a job you should have had), and now you have Jimmy working with you, but as usual I digress. My wife Wendy even hears some White Lion stylings on the F5, which is peculiar, as your replacement in Megadeth - James Lomenzo - also played in that pride, strange huh!
MettleAngel: I recall when S.T. opened for Megadeth on the Countdown Tour, I still have the shirt with both mascots. With the current thrash inundation, and too many new bands not having too much too offer, I'm pleased F5 went with the more commercial Metal Blade speed metal approach of the glorious 80's, with such forgotten heroes like Krank, Taramis, Pandemonium, and Obsession.
MettleAngel: I do respect certain new thrash bands, but they lack that 80's essence, and the 80's bands reuniting like Hallow's Eve or Lääz Rockit should not even bother! Hell, for me Megadeth were the epitome' of true speed metal. I respected the logical commercial progression all throughout the 90's, buying every CD. I never saw them as selling out, just evolving. I even purchased all the remasters, as I so love the 'Deth. Sadly, once you departed, the 'Deth should have rested in peace. No bass replacement will ever match your talent and ability in that band! Tell me a little about your job working for Peavey Electronics.
MettleAngel: You would probably enjoy Sam Dunn's new movie: Global Metal which deals with the international culture of metal, a follow-up to his Headbanager's Journey video. You also have your own signature bass - The Zodiac - how cool is that!
MettleAngel: Just think, Country & Western, Bluegrass, or Jazz afficianados plucking on the strings of 'Deth!
MettleAngel: You began by playing saxophone, right?
MettleAngel: Who else influenced your bass structure, Geddy Lee, John Entwistle, Steve Harris, Lemmy?
MettleAngel: No doubt, as Metallica, and Megadeth borrowed heavily from Diamonhead, Holocaust, Blitzkrieg, Tank, etc., almost to the point of misappropriation, early on. Yourself, Dan Lilker, D.D. Verni, Jason Newstead, and Cliff Burton set the precedent for the thrash bass riffage, following Cronos' & Lemmy's lead.
MettleAngel: I respect your motivation, sincerity, and alacrity. I encourage you to embrace the unknown, fearlessly. Like Iced Eath, Megadeth are a pale reflection of what they once were. Fans have to accept this. Like with Judas Priest, some albums may disappoint, but we need to look at their integrity, the overall perseverance, and level of conviction of these artists of mass inspiration.
MettleAngel: I never heard the debut, but I know it was maligned. I never got to hear Temple Of Brutality, either.
MettleAngel: I'm glad you chose August as a release month, as September in muddled with some 45 + metal releases, and many great titles will get lost in the shuffle, eclipsed by new Metallica, Iced Earth, Metal Church, Motörhead, and a truck load more! Any tour plans currently being booked?
MettleAngel: Dave, it has been a honor to converse with you for the past hour. I anticipate reading your book, which we never had a chance to discuss. I'm grateful that you are at peace with Megadeth, and I wish you all the best with F5, hoping to catch you on tour in the future.
See also: review of the album The Reckoning