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Megadeth owe everything to Metallica, says David Ellefson

David Ellefson
(Image credit: Synne Nilsson/Gonzales Photo/ Avalon/ Universal Images Group - Getty)

Megadeth bassist David Ellefson has paid tribute to Metallica for their pioneering work in kicking down doors for every metal band that has followed in their footsteps.

In a new interview with Detroit radio station WRIF, as reported by Blabbermouth, Ellefson admits, “we owe everything to Metallica.”

“Those guys broke down the doors for every one of us – Anthrax, Slayer - bands today — Lamb Of GodPantera — none of this would have happened without Metallica being up there as the 800-pound gorilla just carving the path through the jungle that would have never let heavy metal in. The stuff that they were able to do and the size and the scope of which they were able to break those doors down, it changed all of our lives — as musicians, as fans, as everything.”

Ellefson goes on to describe Metallica’s invitation to Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax to tour together under the Big Four banner in 2010/2011 as “such a great olive branch.”

“As [Anthrax guitarist] Scott Ian said, it's like we're all brothers of the same family, it's just that one of our brothers went off and became Microsoft, and that was Metallica,” he says. “It's, like, how the hell did you do that? That's amazing. You changed the world. But the fact that they came back and, again, offered that olive branch to us and just said, ‘Hey, we were all in this together. Let's celebrate what we did together so many years ago.’ And I think that speaks volumes to just how cool Metallica is."

Ellefson recently gave fans an update on the sound of the next Megadeth album, describing it as “insanely progressive”.

“It is a very technically challenging record. Dave Mustaine and I agree that there are riffs on this record that are way harder to play than any of the stuff on Rust In Peace. I remember when I was a kid and heard Geddy Lee and Neil Peart of Rush play something inhumanly impossible. I had that same feeling now on our record with [drummer] Dirk Verbeuren. It lit me up! That’s the emotion, fucking fire, and spirit that I have around this new record. If you liked Dystopia, this CD will not let you down.”