Megadeth's David Ellefson on metal's 'tribe mentality'

David Ellefson
David Ellefson (Image credit: Getty)

Megadeth’s David Ellefson says the metal community has a “tribe mentality” which helps keep the touring business alive.

The bassist says technology could never replace the buzz of going to a concert and connecting with other like-minded fans over a love of music – and says “it’s a beautiful thing.”

He tells Roppongi Rocks: “For years, I’ve sat on airplanes flying across the planet, contemplating why we drag piles of gear and people around the world to play concerts. In many ways, it seems so antiquated.

“But, so far, no technology can replace the live human experience of music and people together in a room all rocking out, digging the same music and having fun together. So, we make records for people to enjoy in their cars, living rooms, gyms, on whatever device or means they hear it, so we can take the show on the road to have our little metal summits in each town, bringing us to together as a tribe.

“I think that is what it is really all about. Humans have a ‘tribe mentality’ as a species, and that’s how music connects us – we find like-minded people who rally around a genre, and that becomes our common bond. It’s a beautiful thing to see.”

Last week, Megadeth visited a fan in hospital after he was stabbed and robbed at their Argentina show. They plan to fly him out to their Buenos Aires concert next week.

Frontman Dave Mustaine also recently said he’d like to make “at least” two more Megadeth albums before he retires.

Megadeth remaining tour dates 2016

Aug 20: Ascuncion Independiente, Paraguay
Aug 22: Buenos Aires Luna Park, Argentina
Aug 23: Buenos Aires Luna Park, Argentina
Aug 26: San Salvador Estadio Jorge El Magico Gonzalez, San Salvador
Aug 29: Mexico CIty Pepsi Center, Mexico
Sep 01: Plaza De Toros Santiago De Queretaro, Mexico
Sep 03: Monterrey Mexico Metal Fest, Mexico
Sep 20: Casper Events Center, WY
Sep 22: Las Vegas Joint, NV
Sep 24: Devore San Manuel Amphitheater (Ozzfest), CA
Sep 27: Seattle WaMu Theater, WA
Sep 28: Eugene Matthew Knight Arena, OR
Sep 29: San Jose City National Civic, CA
Oct 01: Bloomfield 1st Bank Center, CO
Oct 03: Council Bluffs Mid American Complex, IA
Oct 04: St Pail Roy Wilkins Auditorium, MN
Oct 05: Chicago Sears Centre, IL
Oct 07: Moline iWireless Centre, IL
Oct 08: Milwaukee UWM Panther Arena, WI
Oct 09: Detroit Loe Louis Arena, MI
Oct 11: Bethlehem Sandes Event Center, PA
Oct 12: Worcester DCU Center, MA
Oct 13: Uncasville Mohegan Sun Arena, CT
Oct 14: Newark Prudential Center, NJ
Oct 16: Camden BB&T Pavilion, NJ

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Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.