Megadeth David Ellefson Talks Killing is My Business & Peace Sells Days in New Book

June 12, 2019

Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice recently spoke to MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson and  his Business partner Thom Hazaert  about the new Dave Ellefson  Autobiography that they both co-wrote  "More Life With Deth" (out July 16 via Jawbone Press) and companion Album "Sleeping Giants" ( July 19 on Combat Records). Ellefson also spoke about his early days in Megadeth during the Combat Records era and his drug addiction and recovery.



 When asked about the difference between this new Autobiography compared to the first one 
“The first book was a little more focused on David's spirituality and sobriety and it talked about Megadeth from a little bit of a generic backstory, it didn't really get too deep into a lot of Megadeth's topics. This time we set out to make just a Rock and Roll book. I would say this book is like a superhero movie origin story.  I  acquired the  Combat Records name and that gave us the opportunity to go back to the beginning again and really tell that origin story of Megadeth during the Combat era. But this time we have some other guest voices in the book too giving their perspective. We really did a good job of chronicling the early Megadeth history but with some other people that were there too, to  give a different perspective and validate everything what was said and what went on.” Thom Hazaert 

When asked about Acquiring the rights to the legendary Combat Records name
"Combat Records had a whole generation of punk and thrash fans. When Thom approached me with the idea I started thinking about Combat and all a sudden it took me all the way back to 1983 and 84 especially 84 with Megadeth.  That was when we started having conversations with record labels to sign Megadeth and Combat Records was the one that won out and that's what Killing is my Business came out on.  So in the book, it largely took me back to telling the earliest years of the Megadeth story and you know it that is a period of time  when there's not a lot of information. “ David Ellefson

 When asked why Megadeth broke up in 2002  and why the band reformed in 2004 without Ellefson
"Dave Mustiane quit the band, he folded the band and I mean he basically quit. So again if  quit and  we didn't have a quarterback, so there is  no one to throw the ball so essentially the band was done. However in 2004  Mustaine reformed the group but suddenly all the business dealings were changed and everything was different and I was not on board with it, so I didn't I agree to it and they basically moved forward without me being part of the band .Part of me was kind of relieved because it was a lot, I mean Dave and I have been going almost 20 years at that point. It's just a lot you know you're creative people, I mean Megadeth is a real rock and roll band man  it's dangerous, its dynamic, its charismatic, it's all the great things that make great rock and roll  but the Train was always ready to fall off the tracks. So I just kind of moved on, I just got busy with my life and moved on. I wasn't gonna sit around and cry about it I was a young man with a young family I was in my 30's and we've made money, we've done some things but I was young I wasn't ready to retire.  I wasn't done with my life's purpose. Young families are expensive and  there's a lot of life ahead, so I had to get up and get to work and I think that largely is the story of the next the next phase of my life  in this new book. “ David Ellefson
When asked about being broke and stranded on tour during  the Killing is my Business tour
"1985 June- July where we're opening for labelmates Exciter and the tour  dates were just canceling left and right because the agents was just horrible.  We called the label and said we are broke and they said you guys just need to go home and get jobs and we were like we are on tour supporting your album? David Ellefson

When asked about the Motley Crue Biopic  Dirt and how David Ellefson was there when Nikki Sixx temporary died
“I was there, Steven Adler and I were friends  and I didn't really know the other guys too much.  I was at the Franklin Plaza Hotel and I was up there and Fred Coury  from Cinderella. I'd never met Nikki before and we're just partying and Nikki come busting into the room and  I wanted to see if I could get some drugs off of him but they didn't have any so I guess they were looking for some too. At the wee hours of the night  they left and went in the room next door and I mean literally I don't know 15 minutes later a girl comes running oh my god, I think he's dead. You could hear the sirens.  Fred looked at me and goes, you got a car, get me the hell out of here. It was pretty hardcore stuff man  thank God I really wasn't around it, I mean I had no part of it.” David Ellefson
When asked about the songs on new Album Sleeping Giants
“It was during the Basstory tour last year I was getting up on stage every night and doing a couple of songs with David. We have a studio in Tampa called Mastersound and we're like let's go into the studio and just write a song for fun.  So we went in the studio and jammed for 20 minutes and Dave had the riff for the new song Vultures and we wrote the song literally in a half an hour. Dave went in and tracked his rhythm guitar and his bass and I tracked the vocals that same day and it was done. And at the time we said  let's just take use that song and use it as a free download with the new book. That’s how it all evolved. So then we wrote another two new songs  and I kind of said Dave don't you have some F5 demos or some other stuff . So he dug up all these extras he had, all these killer F5 demos that were never released and then Dave say’s  I do have this song with John Bush on vocals, I'm like are you fucking kidding me? So this new Sleeping Giants album has new songs and  has cool rarities from David Ellefson’s career that all tie into the book.” Thom Hazaert 


When asked about considering Annihilator’s Jeff Waters as  Megadeth's guitarist in the early days
 "Jeff was and  is a kick-ass rock star lead guitar player and a you know he's the founder of his band. He's the writer, he's the whole musical muscle of that group and you know for him to leave that would mean to leave all of his work behind to come and be the guitar player and Megadeth.
Annihilator  were doing very well back in the day so, right guy, wrong time.  Jeff is  friends with me and Dave Mustaine, we're good buddies today  but sometimes things just aren't meant to happen  at that particular time. " David Ellefson
When asked about overcoming his drug addictions
 "I was on the drug and alcohol train for ten years. At the beginning it was a lot of fun. I mean it was kind of the social lubricant you know everyone around doing it. When I moved to LA in 1983  cocaine was on the cover of Time magazine that year.  It was just the era you know that was the 80's.  it was sex, drugs and Rock and Roll. I hit a wall when I was 23 during So Far, So good So What album cycle and I talk about in the book.  I had to get clean, it wasn’t going  go away. I came out the other side of it. Today being in Megadeth and doing Basstory tour we travel the world and I'm able to talk either publicly or privately with people about adiction and it's a cool platform to be able to help people if people reach out and need help." David Ellefson


 "Sleeping Giants" will be a retrospective featuring several new tracks, plus a collection of demos and unreleased material from F5 and David's other projects "Sleeping Giants" will also include a second bonus disc, featuring a compilation of EMP and Combat Records artists, including LAST CRACK, DEAD BY WEDNESDAY, DOYLE, Mark Slaughter, RON KEEL BAND, HATCHET, WRATH, Marc Rizzo, and more.  
Album was Produced by Ellefson and  Thom Hazaert (who also provides vocals for the new tracks), with a multitude of guests, including legendary MC Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, who shares vocals with Hazaert on the title track, Mark Tremonti, Eric "A.K" Knutson (FLOTSAM AND JETSAM), Ken Mary (ALICE COOPER, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM), Steve Conley (FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, F5), Ethan Brosh, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (GUNS N' ROSES), Dave Sharpe and Opus Lawrence of DEAD BY WEDNESDAY, Illias Papadakis (MEMORAIN), Dave McClain (MACHINE HEAD, SACRED REICH), Andy Martongelli (ALTITUDES AND ATTITUDE) and more, plus a remix by "Game Of Thones" star Kristian Nairn (HODOR), and unreleased songwriting demos featuring vocals by John Bush (ARMORED SAINT, ex-ANTHRAX), and David Glen Eisley (HOUSE OF LORDS, GIUFFRIA).

Disk 1
01. Vultures 
02. Sleeping Giants (ft. DMC) 
03. Hammer (Comes Down) (ft. Mark Tremonti, Chris Poland, and Eric AK) 
04. Vultures (Kristian Nairn Remix) 

05. If You Were God (ft. John Bush) *
F5 Demos

06. Deadman Rise 
07. I Fall 
08. Bleeding 
09. Why Can't We Die 
10. Dying On The Vine 
11. Faded 
12. Undeniable 
13. Feel Your Pain 
14. Out In The Rain (ft. David Glen Eisley) * 
15. Voices (ft. David Glen Eisley) *

* Previously unreleased demo

Disc 2: EMP/Combat Artist Sampler

01. LAST CRACK - "Golden Age" 
02. CO-OP (ft. Joe Perry) - "Howl" 
03. GREEN DEATH (ft. David Ellefson) - "Pure Torture" 
04. SEMBLANT - "Scarlet Heritage - Legacy of Blood Pt. III" 
05. HATCHET - "Back Into Dust" 
06. MARC RIZZO - "Downside Up" 
07. MARK SLAUGHTER - "Conspiracy" 
08. DOYLE (ft. Alissa White-Gluz) - "Kiss Me As We Die" 
09. DEAD BY WEDNESDAY - "You & Die" 
10. EVIL UNITED (ft. Jason McMaster) - "Operation Overlord" 
11. SUNFLOWER DEAD - "Turn Away" (Radio Edit) 
12. ARISE IN CHAOS - "The Divine" 
13. DOLL SKIN - "Daughter" 
14. PSYKOTRIBE (ft. David Ellefson) - "End It" 
15. ARCHER NATION - "Severed" 
16. RON KEEL BAND - "Fight Like A Band" 
17. WRATH - "Draw Blood


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