Non-Stop Rock Talk with Tyson Briden

Episode 23 - David Ellefson - Bassist - Megadeth, Ellefson,

April 08, 2020 David Ellefson - Bassist - Megadeth, Ellefson Season 1 Episode 23
Non-Stop Rock Talk with Tyson Briden
Episode 23 - David Ellefson - Bassist - Megadeth, Ellefson,
Non-Stop Rock Talk with Tyson Briden
Episode 23 - David Ellefson - Bassist - Megadeth, Ellefson,
Apr 08, 2020 Season 1 Episode 23
David Ellefson - Bassist - Megadeth, Ellefson

Legendary Megadeth bassist David Ellefson joins Non-Stop Rock Talk to discuss a very cool music online program he has developed for young musicians. David also goes it depth about the Covid Pandemic and how it is effecting us all. If that isn't enough David speaks of his band Ellefson and of course Megadeth. Stay safe and enjoy!!!

Show Notes Transcript

Legendary Megadeth bassist David Ellefson joins Non-Stop Rock Talk to discuss a very cool music online program he has developed for young musicians. David also goes it depth about the Covid Pandemic and how it is effecting us all. If that isn't enough David speaks of his band Ellefson and of course Megadeth. Stay safe and enjoy!!!

spk_0:   0:53
no. All right, David. I wanna welcome to nonstop rock talk. It really, truly is a pleasure. How are you doing today?

spk_1:   1:18
I'm doing well, Thank you. Hunger down sayings I thins a

spk_0:   1:22
perfect All right, well, more less. Let's start off by discussing your like, it's kind of your ladies in Denver, which is the David Elson you've Music Foundation. The school's a initiative. Um, kind of Please tell me a bit about it. Um I mean, in this times, such a positive thing. And I think we really need to focus on letting my listeners knows much about it as we can.

spk_1:   1:45
Sure, Yeah, before the foundation back in 2018 and ironically, we returned the clothes entertaining to 2020. My partner, Tom, he's our tonight was also a board member. Way said that we wanted to really put a focus on growing the foundation this year. And little did we know, of course, that this cove in 18 pandemic would be upon us just a couple months later. And by mid march, schools were shutting down and closing down. Kids were, you know, sent home as we all were like us in some way. Three idea came to us. Two started initiative called School's out to bring free music lessons to students 18 and under who, uh, now no longer have access to in sort of politics, music programs or any type of music program access. So what I did is I course offered. My own service is, but I'm just one man. And so I tapped a bunch of my friends like Global Foot and Jimmy Dick Grasso, the Strauss skilled invited your death finds you a whole bunch of other pretty well known rocker musicians who are also at home right now. And I just rally the troops and said, Hey, would you be willing? Thio don't need a little of your time toe help out with a couple of lessons. Or maybe some vendors. She appear in there through an online form, and that's that's where the whole idea of this whole thing started.

spk_0:   3:13
That's amazing. Um, so it is more or less like, he said. It's an online thing, and I guess there's kind of more or less like a website that people would have to go to. And how do they go about, um, looking into doing it?

spk_1:   3:28
Yeah, our home base. Is this rebelling? Here is Ellison Youth Music Foundation dot Order. And in that website you will find the sign up form again if you're 18 or younger, shooting to sign up for the lessons there. Obviously. Look, we've got hundreds and hundreds of occasions under growing all the time, so we're doing the best that we can do. The one on one lessons and its active The degree that we started even put some upon our, um David Alston use Music Foundation, YouTube. We put some static lessons out there as well, so that we could at least have content at theirs. And the students could go, um, you know, in mass to, you know, give you those are some stuff out there for me, Johnny Grasso from Bumble Foot and others for it coming. So, um, and also on the Ellison you music foundation dot org's Web blank. There is also a donate button as we started a fundraiser a couple weeks ago. Um, so if you're so inclined, you are in a position to donate. I mean, you could be a little of the dollar is up to a CZ. Much is your heart desires we are five a one C three nonprofit. So it is a tax deductible donation for anyone who donates.

spk_0:   4:50
So do you get to, like, choose who is going to be your teacher? Is that like, kind of like it depends on what day they're available.

spk_1:   4:58
You can request, like raisins. If you're a bass player, maybe you would select me or Frank fellow from anthrax. Something like that. Um, Alice knows whose guitar player and a young group of female group that I actually managed through my NPR is management group, um, group all doll skin. And, um, you know, she's got a glass from a lot of young shredder, uh, you know, kind of work to our genre musician musicians, you know? So we tried our made things. They have people of a lot of different genres and foreign players, keyboard players, vocalists, percussionists. And you don't really have a wide variety of instructor so that it's not just on Lee, sort of kind of, um, you know, like a hard rock and metal thing. But that is a very wide scope. Furs were a lot of different soon's.

spk_0:   5:51
That's awesome. I mean, I went through the less today, and I have seen the names of people like with Field Crane from Ugly kid Joe Frank handed from Tesla. Charlie. But Dante all school. Nick. It was like when I was a kid. If that was available, it would have been all over. You know, I got I got a

spk_1:   6:10
younger gene Simmons Getty. Lee was available. Not kidding. I kind of an RV, you know, and everything. You know, our initial. You know, our initial reach to a lot of these, you know, artists was, Hey, if you could just at least donate even one or two, um, Washington, You know, it was that some of them are gonna go to do, But you know, the reason that we're doing this weekend now, this thing, this marathon fundraiser overly a telephone, if you will. The reason we're doing that is because I got to do that. The foundation has operational funds, but you know, we're a non profit, so it's it's not. It's not a cash around for anybody personally, but it basically have ah, slush fund that we can afford to employ some of our friends who are out of work right now. You know, a lot of these famous artists musicians, you know, they're they're tours and video canceled, rescheduled for months later in the year, or even 2021. And so, you know, wanna know after that feeling, I want your honest agent Must be a millionaire rock star like, how would you know my pain is not a job. I'm here to tell you a lot of a lot of our friends, our side man, musicians in a lot of these vast, you know? So as tour stops, so does their payroll. So if we can offer the lessons for free, that's the benefit for our suits, you know, is that they don't have to pay anything to this. But to be ableto have so many wonderfully talented people who never wanted charitable with their time. And there's a few of about that we want to actually have on a you know, a bit of it, Natalie people. But you know what kind of a pearlescent basis if they could be available? Thio, continue this because I mean, here's the thing. You know, this pandemic isn't going to just be over next week, and it's done and everything's back to normal. I mean, this is you know, there's going to be a new normal, and the new normal is going to include much more of some of this social distancing and having to access life online. And we see this this model of schools out being something that's going to be sustainable well into the future, just by speak of the need on DS and in the back of this crisis, you know, it's it's gonna still ramping up, and then it's gonna have a probably a fairly long winding down at the end of it. So, you know, we're hoping that by doing this now and get ahead of this with the foundation that this girl's out an issue, we can really have a platform that sustainable well into the future.

spk_0:   8:46
Yeah, I'm I mean, I'm open candid. I'm on your channel. So, um, we're just Our cases are kind of I think we were kind of behind a lot of countries and then all of a sudden, like in the last two weeks, um, it just started to really race here. And, um, I think yesterday was the first day that the numbers were actually lower than the day before. and hopefully we'll keep seeing a decline in Canada off the number of cases. But that's hard to say.

spk_1:   9:15
Yeah, we're We're kind of seeing the same thing here down in the United States and hopefully we you know, they say, flatten the curve. You know, we can only hope, You know, I think there's a lot of it is because everybody's staying at home, and I think that's what it's going to be needed to keep it flat. And that, of course, doesn't help. Um, you know, next Monday we're all back to work and everybody's in school and life carries on again. You know, there's going to be a new normal. Um, this is not just gonna reset itself by May 1st, and life's back to normal again. So, um, you know, I think that, you know, again our hope now with this initiative, what started out as kind of an immediate crisis need bring music to suits, is now very much looking like it could be something that could continue well into the summer. And quite honestly, you know, we're fighting out, you know, through a lot of these various platforms and we're using now that sister *** platform from a very generous grants from Cisco on our partnership with the Grammy Music Education Coalition who really, really been a big brother and sisters who are foundation, you know, to really get the word out for us and help us get into a lot more areas of mead from musical education. What we're finding here is that this platform is very user friendly, and it's one that I think kind of takes our, um you know, kind of regular communication, like we do with podcasts and, you know, sort of, uh, video conferencing in that kind of stuff. You know, I think we're gonna find that that this is going to be part of our life now, moving forward anyway. And oftentimes in crisis creates opportunity, you know, to be adaptable.

spk_0:   11:07
Yeah. I mean, I have been super busy. It's be honest with you because so many people, so many artists are at home, and it's it's been really good asses, Captain keeping busy at home, doing my podcast. And I mean, I'm It seems like I'm interviewing someone every day or every other day and and I've got at it and whatnot. So it's

spk_1:   11:28
I agree Tyson. I mean, that was a part of this, too. Is that you know, initially, there's always this kind of freak out and panic and Oh, my God, this guy is following the world ending. And, you know, if humans were resilience and we find our adaptability and ends and we and we cope and we move forward, you know? And I think one of the things that my Tom and I we were putting together really right out of the sky was falling, if you will, I mean literally, you know, the world was crashing around us. And I gotta tell you, you know, by hunkering down and 20 more efforts into this foundation kept us very positive that kept his creative. We're reaching out to a lot of our musician friends who also again, this guy was falling for many of them. As tours were canceling and their lives, they were scrambling to sort of hunker down themselves. A lot of people based on the coast, out of the New York area. Um, so, you know, by being able to keep people in door and keep them creative and keep everybody you know, in this in this creative room. I think, you know, it's kind of like it's sort of like, you know, they always call the Super Bowl babies. You know, the babies that were born in October, November late 19 instead of the Super Bowl. I think there's gonna be a lot of there's gonna be a lot of Corona virus album's coming out at the end of the year, you know, because there's a lot of there's a lot of creativity going on, right, Alan and I think people are just now starting to tap into it. I think they're starting to kind of go. Okay, we'll get through this. It's okay. I can now pick up my guitar again and start writing songs and playing and just Bay are nature of not wanting to be isolated. And when the fellowship with each other, um, you know, I know my new you know what will become my Ellison solo album Number two. I mean, we've already written the thing, and now we're recording it as much as we wanted to be unwanted recording. The reality of it is, is we're so excited about the material that were actually recording the new album. Now, as we speak, and it is Captain's very engaged as cactus. You know, my band is based over in Italy, which is why we push out one single that we already had done. They're already talking about Christina. There's not any way this track called Simple Truth and we its I really just love the song and hit me. One day I called Thomas and, you know, let's take that song and just donate all the proceeds from those push it out of the single. And this is donate all the proceeds to the Italian Coben 18. We're getting into the Red Cross to call the 19 relief fund eyes just as a way of small way to just give back to our Italian friends and all the fans who have been so supportive over there, especially in their time of need right now,

spk_0:   14:20
Yeah, I was actually gonna mention a suitable for our simple truth, and I was gonna ask you about it. I mean, can you elaborate a bit more on that song on the basis of the song itself? And is it is there I'm assuming Tom probably wrote the letter or so

spk_1:   14:36
easy, you know, dinner. So we wrote that song in the rehearsal room on this. But when we rehearsed our band again, we're all in Italian drummer and to start wears and Indian Tom, as we were setting out to do on Ellison solo tour across Italy and Switzerland back in early November of 2018. And as we're heading for the studio to rehearse for the tour, Tom said, he goes, Hey, let's try to write a song tonight, sir, here today, this afternoon to write a song. We're rehearsal and it's interesting. Tom did that once before, a year earlier, literally your earlier when we were in Tampa, Florida, touring with my American, uh, version of the Alice and Solo band. We're coming into Tampa. We had access to the studio after after show we did in Tampa Thompson. Amen. After we get down to the show, let's run into Ambassador Sound on this goal. Let's go write a song tonight and everything when when that intention is because then you go in, not her, not in rehearsal. Mon. You go in and create a motives were how just the comment will reset. Everybody's mind set, you know, and you know, and that's what we wrote this on vultures, which was the lead single off of our first solo albums. The all sensitive Giants are put out back in July, and in that case, I just picked up a guitar quotidian in ages 1000 tone riffs and Risk just fell off the fingerboard Bang. I mean, we literally wrote a song in a couple hours. Thing was done within a weekend, you know? And if anything happened with simple truth, we went into rehearse and, um and I just started playing that that baseline, which was commend my mind is very Get Kennedy's punk rock on it out, right? Israel thrash, you know, on band Jump in And we said, I mean literally with with our we had the whole framework of that song lined out and and, uh, Tom Rosa lyric to it and and you know, it's interesting that, you know, it is. It is. It is about just sort of, ah, a simple, honest assessment of relationship where our friendship, you know, I'm just really just kind of calling it what it is, you know. And, um and you know, not sure caretaking and people pleasing, but just being honest in a relationship. So it's kind of thing, the irony of the lyric and the theme of it, Um, as we get to this moment when you realized man in the sky is falling, really? You know, really is about just the honesty and integrity and just sort of the simple truth of all of our relationships with family, friends and everybody. A kind of strips away, all that all would be asked to What? What really is important in life.

spk_0:   17:27
You know what I mean? When I when I heard it, what I loved about it was was the fact that it was so, like, fast and heavy. And I'm thinking, you know what? That still sounds like you still love playing music. And, you know, like, you could have written that when you're 20. Or you could have written that 30 years later, and it's still makes sense. You know what I mean? Like musically. And you're doing what you love doing.

spk_1:   17:54
Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, I like Thio fire. Before you called, I was just riffing for my iTunes thing. My cat thing and break the ice is radio. Hello? Uh, the Beetle thing came up and I don't really think of your car insurance. Germans and course you do that for the rest of this included. To be have a Beatles on You know, it's like a chord structure of melody and some really simple words, and it just connection people, you know, and lots of times in discretion and thrash metal. You know, things get complexes. One knows there's a lot of rest in it. It's there's complexity to it, you know? That's kind of the other side of a Beatles song, if you will. You know, Is

spk_0:   18:34

spk_1:   18:35
sort of No. Yeah, it is really intricate stuff. And yeah, you heard me, you know, playing pretty thrashing music. Since killing is my business. When I was only a guess hold, Think of 20 years of human thinking about, um, you know So, um, you know it. I mean, I am who I am, you know, it's nice that I can work both inside of ah, Megadeth setting an obvious. You can hear me inside of that. And it is also fun that I couldn't go over thio. You know a new group of musicians like with this, like with my solo endeavors and you know, you can still hear. You know, I guess me maybe is the center of that, you know, addiction, vocalist and guitar players. But you can still hear the center of it and, you know, and that's Ah, I'm very blessed to have that, You know, that sort of have a real signature sound and a signature voice to my music.

spk_0:   19:32
Yeah, and it's Yeah, but that's what What? You just answer their what when I listen to that's what it that's more or less what I said to me. And I was just like, Wow, that's that's just cool, because I'm 45 I grew up listening to make it up and thrash and and all the and all the hard rock stuff and I still listen to it today. I mean, I'm not I'm not changing either, You know, a lot of people do, but I just I still like to rock it, so

spk_1:   19:58
yeah, I think you can expand. You can broaden your remember my my jazz band teacher. Oh said that you could do those with my orchestra band teacher, so I never complacent tenor saxophone or fisherman Beijing Jazz Band and you needed of course were rock, which is what my role heart soul was. But, you know, I had acted down and learn some things. And I had about a minute Coffers own and, you know, and be educated and be teachable. Which is what you know, music did for me is, you know, in high school, you know, hence my foundation wanting to continue to bolster music programs because you know, those early music programs that I was part of it in in elementary, middle and high school. I mean, that's why you and me around the phone right now. You know, that shaved my early years as a musician, but it's interesting when you step out of your comfort zone. And I don't like that church gigs they played on my extinguisher songwriter records. I've done all kinds of different stuff, you know, sometimes they want me to come in be David Olson and other times you're like it's just about any David playing the bass, you know, and being adaptable to, you know, Look, they don't want my signature sound. You just want me to go from being as it as an experienced professional and put down a really great baseline. Um and And that professionalism hopefully is. Why bring? Because I made him a rockers and I've been doing this a long time. And then there's other times like, simple truth, which is like, Okay, this is this is me full on, you know? I mean, let's let's turn up in rock this thing. So I think one of the unique things I think the bass player is a is a ghetto have that, you know, signature cornerstone sound when it's needed. And I'm able to sort of turn down and sort of, you know, round the edges a little bit when someone just needs a base where

spk_0:   21:51
that's fantastic, I wanted to ask you, I want to mention your label, which is the MP. Um, I love the fact that you're an artist who's releasing music by so many bands, like not just like thrash bands. I mean, I love the Mark Slaughter album a few years ago, and you did the reissue, the dangers Police pistol, which was I had both of both of those picture desks, and I thought those were just They just looked so awesome. Um, and then I loved marks of ons. Ah, album. Last year's Well, that was really, really good when you started the label. What kind of was your main objective in terms?

spk_1:   22:29
Well, honestly, my main objective was I needed to put out a doll skin record I hit for taking these young, these young ladies in the studio a little of the ever teenagers at the time. And, you know, I saw him play their very first gig in my son's high school and they played Isil Can Show and the drummer. We also was at school Iraq and anyway, so they played for the show, and I was just like, You know, there's like, a real magic in chemistry there in, and I know how hard it is to find that in the group. You know, it's one thing for there to be a star musician in a band, but find a group of people that play together like it grew a little bit group. They sound like a group that is, you know, we know you need are we come across music all the time, you when you see it, you just know it there, you know, And that was one of those moments and and I told the growth is listening. If you couldn't step up and really strike at this right now, you might have a shot at something. You know, I think if you wait 34 years, you go to college and you know you love Mrs. The moment will have been going, you know? So I took him in the studio. I produce the world, E P. We initially put it out on mega force records, and then we wanted to expand it to a fooling LP. And, you know, I saw that they had probably a couple of records in the right way to needed to get done pretty quickly, you know? And so, as the sort of mentor, overseer, producer, the factory manager, if you will, from now on, um you know, Tom, Tom told me because I had a label that works well able to run the labels. We can put something together. I goes, I promise you, by this afternoon, I'll have a distribution deal for us. And sure enough, he called me back waiting that night that I got you know you want it is going to be a distributor, and and with them came STD for Europe. So I mean, literally, you know, Rome was built in today. I mean, literally. And, um And so we had and I put it is theat afternoon for my Elofsson music's reductions. And I wanted it to be labeled Group because I thought under the under that monitor, there could be other subsidiary labels like, you know, you see the Warner Music Group Universal Music Group. I saw it when we were on Capitol Records. You know, there's a M. I was kind of the mother ship from from England's AM I Thorne. And then they had blue Note, which is their jazz label. And, you know, I like that you could sort of brand subsidiaries for different genres and music. And then one day the combat records trademark and assets were up for grabs, and Tom called used to demand this grab that we did and, you know, course assorted for that. Is that Maggie desk? Very restrictive labels. It was kind of like buying my oma mater, if you will. And so we're able to bring the combat records thing in under the MP and I began Course abs are, you know, sort of thrashing punk label, and we've been able to just expand it. And, um, you know, the label is, you know, it's been a great sounding board and launchpad for a few new artists, but in particular a really good sort of re launch pad for a lot of legacy. Ours, like you said, Marsh, water on kill, help Starr Ravens even, you know, were originally underground records and combat years back. And it just sort of be able to be a friend to my friends, you know, give them a platform, too. Put out new music so that they can continue to tour and keep their business.

spk_0:   26:08
Yeah, and I mean with I mean with the vinyl thing kind of coming, I mean, this kind of his back and seeing it through just don't even know how I got. I got about a dangerous toys picture does. God just seemed come up somewhere one day, and I was like, the artwork itself just sold it because I love the album. But the artwork to seeing that in an album on a picture disc was cool, so

spk_1:   26:30
Well, yeah, I think the final thing And I was not a big final collector. I divine ally. By now, I'd buy like 6 99 like, literally the old original vinyl record shops and gamble. By important he'll go do they just found his old Judas priest. You know, he'll buy it for me,

spk_0:   26:47

spk_1:   26:47
know, and I'll have it. And it was literally, like one for the ages. You know, that little stick around 6 95 or something. You know, that's this up. But I didn't have it is because it kind of takes me down. Them lay together on Yeah, the final thing is huge. And, um, it's not cheap to manufacture. I mean, it's expensive and there's kind of a long lead time on it, but But, you know, you know people, they like it. It is something that you like. And, of course, most of it is moved into the digital domain. Now, with streaming service is and down those and stuff like that. So it's, um but it's, you know, again, it's just the way and a lot of people you know, young artists like Duncan, for instance, you know, they know even me. When I go while doing my solo shows and based order show, they'll take my sleeping Giants crackers and I'll go outfront stands, emerged Booth and beat people and take pictures and signing copies of my own solo albums and stuff is I'm just playing smaller clubs and things and and my fans really appreciate because, you know, generally in the mega, that don't mean I'm pretty untouchable. But to be a little more approachable, I think I'm always approachable, is just being touchable. But to be a little more available, if you will on that setting is, is really I think they really appreciated. So having my own CDs and things to sign, who knows? People even take a moment ever listened to him, But at least it's a place to put an autograph warm.

spk_0:   28:18
That's let's get away and putting it so in. I mean, before I let you go, Um, in terms of a Megadeth, is it on hold right now?

spk_1:   28:29
Well, way were scheduled to start recording, uh, elbow number 16 a new album right now. And of course, we've had a lot of things down and push that back just in the interest of everybody's health. But as soon as we can, we will be together a sap along just are tracking bass and drums and and get the record cut. Um, of course, none of us saw this one coming with this pandemic. So, you know, I think yes, certainly. It pushes the timelines back, Um, at least a few weeks and not a few months for the release of the next record. But we already have a touring in place for June and July and in October, November. And while we're obviously keeping an eye on it, pretty much week to week, Justin. Kind of see where things are at. Um, you know, we're that those tours are scheduled to go off his plans. Andi again? If you know, if there's any interruptions or changes to that, of course. You know, over. Make it at dot com will put us in the Nelsons about that. As of now, everything you know is as scheduled.

spk_0:   29:37
Let's get to know that's good. Okay. Well, David, I want to thank you for joining me on the show today. Uh, it was it was awesome to speak with you. And I wish that about luck with everything.

spk_1:   29:48
Thank you much. Yeah. Thanks for the chat. Today they

spk_0:   29:51
take these