MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson has just returned from Nashville, Tennessee, where he took part in the initial recording sessions for the band's 16th studio album.
Ellefson discussed MEGADETH's plans for the follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" in a brand new interview with The Metal Circus. He said (see video below): "Recording happens in various stages. First, the basic tracks, which, for us, is bass and drums. And then the rhythm guitars, and then starting to put some vocals down and solos and all the embellishments of extra guitars and whatever layers of melody and stuff. The main thing, the first thing we wanted to get done was drums and bass, so me and Dirk [Verbeuren, drums] were working on that this last week."
He continued: "So, look, it's underway. I think that's the good news now — the album is officially underway. We've been writing it since late 2017 — our last show was in Buenos Aires, Argentina back in November of 2017. And then the intention from there was just to get started composing. But it's on its way — the ship is sailing, which is great."
Speaking about whether fans can expect to hear the traditional MEGADETH sound on the upcoming LP or if there will be some surprises, Ellefson said: "There's a saying, you have your whole life to write your first record, and then you have about a year to write your second one. And once you put the first one out, the die is cast — now there is sort of a sound that people expect when they hear the next record. And if album two is too much of a departure, people go, 'Eh, this is kind of weird. I like the first one better.' And I think with MEGADETH, this is album sixteen, so we have a lot of experience doing this. We've been able to expand and try a lot of different things."
Ellefson added: "Look, there's been some missteps — of course — but you have to also, in our opinion, be bold and be adventurous and try some new things. If you just do what you always did, it's, like, why put out another album? Everybody can just go buy the previous one. You're dealing with the creative. Yeah, there's business and there's marketing and all this stuff. But [it's called the] music business. We're dealing with music; the business always comes after the music. So I think for us, what we find is that when we're in a room and we're playing something, and if we're all going, 'Yeah, that's freaking awesome,' if we like it, chances are you're all gonna like it."
The early sessions for MEGADETH's new LP took place last year with co-producer Chris Rakestraw, who previously worked on "Dystopia".
MEGADETH's new effort will be the first to feature Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined the band almost four years ago.
Late last year, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine teased songs that were "heavy as hell" with titles such as "Rattlehead Part Two" and "The Dogs Of Chernobyl".
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.
As previously reported, the first leg of MEGADETH's North American tour with LAMB OF GOD, TRIVIUM and IN FLAMES will be rescheduled for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first leg of the 55-date trek tour was supposed to kick off June 12 at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia, and wrap August 1 at the Concord Pavilion in Concord, California. The second run was due to launch October 2 at iTHINK Financial Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, Florida, and conclude on November 13 at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada.