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Ellefson hails ‘bold’ U2

Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson has credited U2 for influencing his work with side project Johnny Wore Black.

He’s teamed up with Jay, aka Johnny Wore Black, for Walking Underwater Pt.2 which launched last month. And the bassist says he drew on musical influences from outside the world of metal for the record – including U2.

He tells “When we were first getting going with Megadeth, The Cure was the big popular band but Sisters of Mercy were the cool underground band. New Order was getting popular and because I was living in LA, I heard a lot of that stuff on KROQ.

“You’d hear everything from the Violent Femmes to the Psychedelic Furs and all sorts of different things. It just piqued my interest but I never sought out playing that music.

“When Jay sent me All the Rage it took me back to the things I liked about U2’s The Unforgettable Fire and things I liked about that dark, haunting, melancholic music that was coming out of the UK 30 years ago. This project required a very Adam Clayton-approach to the bass.”

U2 caused controversy earlier this year when they gave their latest album Songs Of Innocence away for free to iTunes users. But Ellefson says he didn’t have a problem with the stunt and credits them and Metallica for making ‘bold’ moves in the digital music age.

He continues: “I think U2 are a fantastic band – just like any big group that goes out and takes chances. Years ago, everybody wanted to hate on Metallica and Lars Ulrich because he fought Napster. Well, he was right. It’s easy to hate the 800-pound gorilla because everybody sees them as entitled and privileged and they get to do what the rest of us can’t.

“But you know what? They work their asses off for it – they’re a phenomenally great band. Whether you like their recent songs or not, whether you like some of the publicity moves they make or their business acumen, I have nothing but tremendous respect for that band.”

Meanwhile, Ellefson and Dave Mustaine are still planning to launch a new Megadeth album despite the recent departures of Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover. It will be their first studio outing since 2013’s Super Collider.

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.