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Jan 14, 2015
Interview with Megadeth - Megadeth co-founder and bassist David Ellefson is heading toward Australia with his spoken word tour.

Metal-Roos: You are about to embark on your first spoken word tour. How do you think it's going to be?
I'm really excited. We are going to debut the shows in Australia and I'm really stoked to do that. It's funny because the idea for this started last year, born out of the idea of my life story entitled "My life with Deth" where I go through so much great stuff in the history with Megadeth... so many great stories and stuff to talk about... as well as my own personal journey as a person, a bass player - the ups and downs. The thing I am most excited about is connecting with the fans. Having a Q and A with them. For me that's a huge part of it. Coming down to hear one guy talk is one thing but to be able to get involved. It's about relating and connecting with the fans of Australia

Metal-Roos: When you were writing the book were there any stories that you reconnected with?
I think that's where's gonna be a bunch of stuff I can elaborate on and I am hoping thisis the stuff that the fans can pick up on... like, hey on page 86 such and such happened, can you tell me a little more about it? I can then go into more detail about it. When you're writing a book you have a beginning, middle and end and you have to make the story flow and sometime you have to be selective about something and can't go into as much detail as you might want because of the confines of print. That's the cool thing when talking about something - and I am a pretty good talker. For me to be able to stand up in front of people, hang with them and develop ideas is where I am at my best.

Metal-Roos: What is harder? Writing a book or writing an album?
They both have their challenges - with the book, I didn't have an axe to grind where I finally get to voice my side of the story. I didn't have any of that, so that's why it was good to have a co-writer in Joel McIver. He looked at it as much a reader & fan as much as he did as a co-author. He was able to interview me and ask me questions which he thought a metal fan, Megadeth fan, and a reader would be intrigued to read about. At one point we had to make a decision: is this book going to be a spiritual religious book or a rock' n'roll book. I always thought that my life is a rock'n'roll story. It was important for me to reflect on some of these things like the drug addiction; better than the addiction is the recovery from it and that is really helpful for a lot of fans. No doubt the sex, drugs and rock'n'roll get exemplified. It can be a lot of fun for some people but others, their addiction took them down some dark roads. If my story can help one person recover from that, well it has been worth the whole exercise writing the book.

Metal-Roos: Do you have any advice for those still struggling with addictions?
The thing about addiction is it likes to get people alone. Alone is when it can kill you which is so ironic because again the sex, drugs and rock'n'roll thing is so social - it's a big party with a lot of people. Little by little what happened to me is that it took me to a small group of people and then to one or two people and finally to me being alone. When light enters a room it takes the darkness away, so when you confess as an addict it starts to get better. There's a saying 'we are only as sick as our secrets' and that's what addiction is, it likes to be sneaky and secretive. When I wrote this book, it was about 20 years of being sober for me and you can trace that back through our success: in 1990 I got clean and we went onto record Rust in Peace then Countdown to Extinction. We had these years of really huge success. That was clearly a result of my sobriety in the group because 2 years before we were cancelling shows because I was strung out on heroin.

Metal-Roos: Megadeth recently lost two of its members, Shawn Drover and Chris Broderick, but on Facebook there are rumours that Marty and Nick maybe interested in rejoining the band - any truth to that?
I think they both have expressed interest. And, yeah, there are rumours but I think at this time, we have to see what's best for Megadeth. Is it Dave and Dave and two guys? Is it time to do some celebration of the catalogues, celebration of the time of the fans' most favourite era of the band from the 90s with Marty and Nick? Hell, at some degree we could do an all star tour with all surviving members of Megadeth... an evening with... you know! There's a lot of options what we could do. Of course there are a lot of other people who would like the chance to play with Megadeth too. So we're looking at all the opportunities. One of the first and most pressing matters in our schedule is to have a new album out this year. Writing that record and getting it all together is on top of the list even ahead of putting a line up together. We went into the studio with Rust in Peace - me, Dave, Nick and Marty. It fell into place 2 months before we went into the studio. We made "So Far, So Good...So What" with me, Dave, Chuck Behler and we thought it could be Jay Reynolds on guitar but ended up being Jeff Young. So I think the next priority is getting this next album done - with the best line up for the next Megadeth record.

Metal-Roos: If you didn't knock on Dave Mustaine's door with a carton of Heineken beer, what do you think you would be doing now?
If I hadn't met Dave, I would have continued to go to the Musicians Institute in Hollywood and would have followed that path wherever that would have taken me. I didn't grow up in Hollywood but moved there intentionally to join a band with a plan B to go to the bass institute and I'm glad that plan A worked out. So I did have a backup plan... probably the only time in my life that I had a backup plan... but I think I would have been a bass player with someone, somewhere, somehow. I also believe, and I wrote that in my book, that whatever was the random chance I got this hunch to leave the farm to move to LA. Not even a week later, I meet Dave - who had just got let go from Metallica 6 week before - because I was living directly below him. We hooked up and formed Megadeth. That, to me at least, is the hand of fate if not the hand of some Supreme Being saying that you two guys need to get together and form a band. I always look back at Megadeth with the thought that this was always going to happen. Also I knew that it wasn't going to happen overnight and it wasn't going to fall in our lap. I think that Dave and I are right where we are meant to be and that's with Megadeth.

Metal-Roos: I would have loved to speak to Dave longer but I only had 15 minutes to talk. It was a really great chat with a down to earth metal superstar and all round nice guy. For those who want to know more, head to one of his spoken word gigs or get his book "A life with Deth" (or both).

Interviewed by Adrian 'Dren' Barham