That Metal Gear: Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson

by (@BHSmithNYC)


What’s your favorite song to play live and why?

My favorite song is the song the audience likes the best. I say that because to stand up there and just play fancy licks is just self-serving and while I may be impressed the rest of the audience may not be. For me, when we bust into a tune that gets 50,000 people pogoing and losing their minds, that’s the song I want to be playing. Songs like “Symphony of Destruction,” “Peace Sells..,” “Holy Wars,” “Hangar 18,” “Trust,” we have about a 10 song greatest hits that just works in any situation. If we’re playing on the hardest metal festival we can go a little heavier. If we’re playing on a mainstream rock festival we can go a little cleaner. We’re one of these unique bands that can really play to our audience because we haven’t just rewritten the same one song over and over and over for the last 3 decades.

Is there one bass or piece of equipment that you wished you owned?

Well you know what’s funny? I wish I would have kept that original Gibson EB-0. It didn’t sound very good, which is why I got rid of it, but I now know there’s so many great records have been recorded with those basses. Like the first two Ozzy records, Bob Daisley played a Gibson EB-0 on those records. Tom Scholz played an EB-0 on the first two Boston albums. I wish I had it just because it’s become one of those classic pieces of gear and to know that it was actually in my hands at one point and I let it go is one of those kick me moments. I don’t even know what I did with it. I’ve become a fan of the Gibson basses just because they have been played on so many a great records. Like the Gibson Ripper and Grabber, of course Gene Simmons used on a lot of the earlier KISS records. Krist Novoselic played them on the Nirvana records. I always hear bass whether I like the song or not, whether I’m a fan of the artist or not. If I turn the radio and a bassline is really popping out at me I want to investigate who played it, where did they recorded it, what kind of instrument, what kind of amp were they using, what was the process. I’m still just a kid in the candy store finding out about it. I’m still just a bass fan at heart.

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