David Ellefson says that Metal Allegiance helps his “musical pedigree” when playing in Megadeth.
The supergroup, which has a rotating all-star line-up including Alex Skolnick of Testament, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, Charlie Benante from Anthrax and Slayer’s Gary Holt, released its self-titled debut album in September.
The bassist admits that he had to learn to “say yes” to other projects after Megadeth broke up in 2002 – but that juggling multiple bands and interests is an increasingly common practice in the music industry.
He says: “People called and said, ‘Hey, you wanna write some songs? Hey, you wanna play a tour? Do you wanna play on a record?’ And I had to learn to start saying yes to things.
“I’m in Megadeth – make no mistake, Megadeth is my band. But when I do go off and play some shows or cut a record or something with some other people, in today’s world, and even in today’s record business, that’s much more understood, accepted and just kind of part of the culture we live in now.
“A lot of people are doing a lot more other things outside of just their band, and, to some degree, fans like it. They don’t look at it as, ‘Oh, there’s problems at home. Why is he out playing on something else?’”
He adds: “I think Metal Allegiance is definitely one of these that runs really concurrent with the Megadeth fan base and the audience. Me and Frank Bello do something on the side as well – Altitudes & Attitude. Again, musically, it’s very different from what either Megadeth or Anthrax is, and our fans understand. Look, we’re in our bands – we haven’t left our bands to go pursue a solo career or anything like that.
“I never grew up wanting to be a solo artist; I always grew up wanting to be part of a band. So to be in Megadeth is very much where my heart feels where I should be. And I think that makes Metal Allegiance and all these other things work really well. I get to come back to Megadeth with some new musical experiences, which I’d like to think actually helps my musical pedigree within Megadeth.”
Megadeth release their 15th studio album Dystopia on January 22.