Jimmy Kay and Alan Dixon from The Metal Voice recently spoke to Megadeth's Bassist David Ellefson live on Youtube. Ellefson spoke about his SCHOOL's OUT Initiative, playing with K.K. Downing, an Update on Megadeth's new album and a timeline on his new solo album.
Watch the whole interview here
Some excerpts from the chat
Tell us about your School's out initiative?
"Students and musicians are locked down because of Covid19 and from this, the idea came to me and my partner, foundation co-chair Thom Hazaert( DAVID ELLEFSON YOUTH MUSIC FOUNDATION ). So Thom rang me and said why don't you do some bass lessons over Skype and I said I'm just one guy and there is no way I can give that many lessons. So I got on the phone and called my friends, Jimmy Degrasso (Ex-Megadeth, Alice Cooper), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Sons of Apollo, Ex-Guns N’ Roses), Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper), Dirk Verbeuren (Megadeth), Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth) and asked would you be able to donate one or two lessons to students 18 and under.They said yes. So since the lessons are free we are doing a charity marathon fundraiser this weekend, Saturday April 11 2020 4pm Eastern, to raise funds for DAVID ELLEFSON YOUTH MUSIC FOUNDATION for the operating expenses. "
Can you give us an update on the new Megadeth Album
"We have been working on it, it's written and ready to be recorded. We were going to start recording it toward the end of March but of course Covid19 happened. We were going to go to Nashville and start cutting tracks for the album but with everything shutting down we obviously had to postpone. Once the lock down lifts and it is safe we will be ready to rock ASAP."
What would be the musical direction of the new Megadeth album
"I think it's a great record, it's very heavy with a lot of fast thrashing stuff. There is a vibe that feels very cohesive between the 4 members as we all worked on the album together. We spent a lot of time as a band. Last summer before Dave's throat cancer treatments we were all working on the album and that added a whole different angle to the flavour of the record, that's how we used to make all our early albums, writing, pre production and rehearsing together. There is a feeling on this record that we want this to be a band effort. "
Which Megadeth New album would the new album sound like
"I think its a combination of all the Megadeth records cause you can't help by not being influenced a little bit by your own past. We have everything from that thrashy stuff from Killing is my business and Peace Sells, to the more refined moments of Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings. So I think the albums going to have a little bit of everything, so that is good news for Megadeth fan."
The DAVID ELLEFSON YOUTH MUSIC FOUNDATION, the nonprofit started in 2018 by Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, has announced their “SCHOOL’S OUT” initiative, providing free music lessons and one on one mentoring sessions, via videoconference, with major artists to students stuck at home due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The video sessions will be held by top Rock and Metal artists including David Ellefson (Megadeth), Dirk Verbeuren (Megadeth), Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth), Frank Bello (Anthrax), Jimmy Degrasso (Ex-Megadeth, Alice Cooper), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Sons of Apollo, Ex-Guns N’ Roses), Chris Kael (Five Finger Death Punch), Chad Szeliga (Black Star Riders, Walking with Lions), Phil Demmel (Ex-Machine Head), Dave McClain (Sacred Reich, Ex-Machine Head), Clint Lowery (Sevendust), Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper), Brandan Schieppatti (Bleeding Through), Thom Hazaert (Ellefson), Alex Snowden (Doll Skin), Sydney Dolezal (Doll Skin), Ra Diaz (Suicidal Tendencies), Shani Kimelman (Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque Du Soleil), Marc Rizzo (Soulfly), Jeff Duncan (Armored Saint), Rusty Cooley, and more to be announced.
In addition, the DEYMF will build a database of instructional videos, including playthroughs, lessons, and more, from participating artists, that will be made available for free from the website. The Foundation has partnered with videoconferencing/technology giant CISCO, to implement their WEBEX platform for the lessons, as well as audio giant DOLBY, who will provide additional audio/video capture and streaming support via their DOLBY NOW app. Additional instructional content will be provided by leading online instructor ROCK HOUSE METHOD. Additional sponsors include Jackson Guitars, Hartke Amps, and Samson Electronics.
The DEYMF has also partnered with the GRAMMY MUSIC EDUCATION COALITION to offer special “SCHOOL’S OUT” sessions to partner school districts within the GMEC network, including Philadeliphia and Nashville, with the GMEC providing additional promotional and logistical support.
Says Foundation co-chair Thom Hazaert, also Ellefson’s partner, and vocalist in his eponymous solo band, “David and I were brainstorming on ways to give back during the COVID epidemic, and put some positivity out in a time of some pretty unparalleled crisis and uncertainty. The mission of our foundation is to try and help keep music in schools, but what happens when kids can’t go to school? As I’m sitting home with my 2 restless kids, in basically forced exile, it kinda hit me.” He adds, “We started talking about David doing a few online lessons with kids, via the foundation, and then got around to the idea of recruiting some of our other friends as well. Then we talked to our friends at the GRAMMY MUSIC EDUCATION COALITION, and it really took on a whole new life, and became a massive initiative.”
Adds Ellefson, “"When one person suffers, we all suffer, and this is an unprecedented moment in history when all of us around the world are united for a common cause. Music and the arts have always been some of our greatest healers in a way none other can. As we reach into each other's souls with resounding hope, I'm forever thankful to our friends in the creative community who have kindly offered their expertise to put a smile on the faces of so many people in need right now. Let this be a time when we can all unite under the banner of Music and let our creativity lead the way. "
Anyone of High School age or below can apply.
More information, and the application, can be found at ellefsonyouthmusicfoundation.org
Donate here: https://fundrazr.com/d1dpq7?ref=ab_b8tF38
The David Ellefson Youth Music Foundation, a 502 (c) (3) organization, was formed in 2018, and quickly partnered with the Grammy Music Education Coalition, with the goal of giving grants and instruments to both individual students, and school music programs in need, focusing on rural areas, like Ellefson’s hometown of Jackson, MN. The foundation was officially kicked off on “David Ellefson Day”, in Ellefson’s hometown, when he returned to a hero’s welcome, performing at his alma mater, Jackson High School, and making a donation to their music program. In addition to the event in Jackson, the DEYMF has participated in multiple events around the country, including several with the GMEC.
Metal Church Interview Kurdt Vanderhoof-From The Vault-Live Album Update
Saxon Biff Byford Interview-School of Hard Knocks- New Saxon Album Update
Cloven Hoof Interview Lee Payne- New Album 'Age of Steel' Rob Halford, Robert Plant Early Days Help