Monday, May 9, 2016

David Ellefson: "The piano has actually been a friend to Megadeth"


Megadeth bassist David Ellefson was recently interviewed by Marisa Williams, you can read some excerpts below.

About the different instrumentation Megadeth has incorporated into some of its albums over the years, Ellefson said: "In Megadeth, we've had everything from sitars to the Nashville Symphony Orchestra director, which is Dann Huff's father, come in on the 'Cryptic Writings' album. Even strings on the 'Dystopia' record, and Kiko Loureiro being able to play piano."

He continued: "I played piano years back. In fact, I wrote some stuff, actually some riffs that turned into guitar riffs on the 'Youthanasia' record. So the piano has actually been a friend to Megadeth. I mean, the piano is an interesting instrument, because, to me, it was very lightweight, almost like a sissy instrument that I never thought had a place in metal. But then I started to take some lessons. This was many years [ago], like, mid'-'90s, I bought a home in Arizona, and I thought, 'Well, I need to put in a pool table or a grand piano,' so I bought a grand piano, and I sat down and I learned how to play it and I took some lessons. And the kid who was giving me lessons, he was a child prodigy, and he taught me that the piano is really a percussion instrument. And you look at it from a percussion rather than a melodic point of view, and it really opened my eyes to that. And looking at everything in octaves versus on the fingerboard of an instrument, depending on how it's strung and the frets and everything. So all of a sudden I had a whole new view of it, and I was writing things that would become, basically, riffs for even Megadeth songs."