MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson spoke to Loudwire about the progress of the songwriting and recording sessions for the band's follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album. He said (see video below): "Dirk [Verbeuren, drums] and I put down drums and bass on the new MEGADETH record. And yeah, it's slamming stuff. It's great to have Dirk to play with; he's just an amazing drummer. There's moments where there's very progressive stuff. I can't say too much about it yet, because it's still a work in progress. But I definitely walked out of the studio feeling like a job well done.
"I think when you're making records, you're building something up — you're building the drums and bass, then you add the guitars; you layer things," he continued. "And so when you strip them down and you can listen back even in its most basic elements of the instrumentation, when that's still rocking your world and you're feeling stoked about it, and you go, 'Wow! Okay, we've got the makings of a great record.' That's how I felt walking out of [the studio].
"Yeah, I can't wait for people to hear it. Dirk was definitely a shining star. So, in a sort of unexpected, serendipitous kind of way, maybe having this year to be really just focusing on the record, it's not such a band thing. It's not like the year just went away and we have nothing to do. It's full, because we've go a lot to do, getting the record done.
"Every record is important," Ellefson added. "I mean, you're only as good as your last record. In jazz, they always say you're only as good as your last gig. And it's kind of the same thing. We took a couple of years to write it. It's fun in MEGADETH, 'cause we can play something and [go], 'Oh, God! Remember on 'Black Friday', we did a thing like this,' or, 'Remember back on 'So Far, So Good... So What!', we played something like that.' So we almost inspire ourselves, which is kind of a weird place to be. Because if all you listen to is you, you can also get stagnant. So it's not that. It's more like we kind of go back and we get inspired, like, 'Oh, God, that was a really cool moment we did back on 'Rust In Peace',' or something. At the same time, one of the things we're very, very deliberate about is not to repeat ourselves. And sixteen albums in, there's only so many notes, so many chords, so many words in the English language. So the fun challenge, I think, is to keep creating things with the same 12 notes, the same chords and the same instruments, to keep coming up with stuff. And I think that, to me, is the thing that's really inspiring — when you come up with stuff that's, like, 'God!' We've carved still another new path that we haven't been down, I don't think anyone else has been down. I think that is probably one of the most satisfying things to walk away from. It's kind of, like, 'Yeah, we've still got it.'"
MEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine recently told SiriusXM's Jose Mangin that the band's upcoming album will be "up there with 'Countdown [To Extinction]', 'Rust In Peace' and probably 'Peace Sells'" and "Dystopia".
MEGADETH's new LP will be the first to feature Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined the band four years ago.
Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro made his recording debut with MEGADETH on "Dystopia", whose title track was honored in the "Best Metal Performance" category at the 2017 Grammy Awards.