Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson has gone through the band's upcoming studio album TH1RT3EN, track by track, for musicradar.com. He talks about the various styles represented on the melodic and diverse album, as well as relating personal stories about the writing and recording process.
For example, he says of "Public Enemy No. 1," the album's first single, “We started writing this song during a soundcheck in Croatia last year, and we finished it in Vienna, Austria a short while later. Funnily enough, earlier this year we wrote another song on the record called 'Never Dead' in the same venue in Austria. So that place has magic in it.
“Again, it’s another New Wave Of British Heavy Metal-type song, at least as far as what I do. I loved the early Def Leppard records, and I’m copping a bit of a Rick Savage bass approach on it.
“I really tried to write around the vocals. I love to hear as much of the band, especially the vocals, when I record a bass part. As a player, I want to be the mortar between the blocks that glue the building together. Once the vocal melody developed, Johnny [K, producer] and I worked with Dave [Mustaine], and that allowed me to put down a strong bass part.
“It was a fun way to record. I had a lot of note choices available to me, and there’s a cool moving bassline in the B section of the verse as well as the chorus. As a listener, none of that matters, but hopefully, you’ll feel the song jump.”
About "Never Dead," a song written for the video game of the same name and also included on TH1RT3EN, he says, "When Dave first played me this riff, I was floored. It was so violent and in your face, it reminded me of the Peace Sells album. In particular, it sounded a little like 'Good Mourning/Black Friday,' but in a great new way. I loved it.
“What’s funny is, Dave forgot about it for a while. We got together earlier this year to work on some stuff, and I reminded him about this one, and he couldn’t remember it. Fortunately, he had recorded it on his BlackBerry, so he was able to find it.
“As soon as we all started playing it for real, we were like four little kids jumping around a room. It’s such a strong riff. It's so huge, you can’t help but get crazy when you hear it.”
Read the whole thing at this link.
TH1RT3EN will be in stores November 1, but you can pre-order it on CD or limited edition double picture disc vinyl right now at this location.