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Dave Ellefson Explains Why Chris Adler Didn’t Stay in Megadeth

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Chris Adler’s tenure behind the drum kit in Megadeth was the type of dream-team alliance that makes metal fans salivate, with a member from one of the genre’s top newer bands joining one of the all-time greats. Unfortunately it was not meant to last, as Adler recorded Dystopia with the band and then returned to his day job in Lamb of God.

In a recent interview with Spazio Rock (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar), bassist Dave Ellefson spoke on why Adler wasn’t able to remain with Megadeth, and his explanation was consistent with Adler’s own past words on the matter: Adler was simply too busy with Lamb of God to commit to Megadeth full-time. Ellefson explains:

Chris Adler said ‘If you guys need help with the new record I’d be glad to help! I’m the biggest Megadeth fan.’ So he was always brought in to just cut the record. He was in Lamb of God, which is doing wonderful on its own.

“And Chris is wonderful, he’s been a good friend of mine and Megadeth for many years, and we had a lot of fun together. Then we did one show together in July 2015 up in Canada. Just a one-off show and it was a really big festival. We didn’t really know what the next transition was to have a drummer of Megadeth.

“There was a discussion that at one point Lamb of God was gonna be taking some time off. Maybe Chris would be able to continue to do a lot of the touring with us. But Lamb of God is a popular band and they had a lot of touring that ended up coming to their schedule in 2016. He always said ‘If I had a guy to replace me on a gig I would recommend Dirk [Verbeuren]. It was kind of Chris’ referral for Dirk.

“Last summer we had all these festivals going on and it was just a time to make a transition. Chris is still a dear friend of ours. We made ‘Dystopia’ with him. It’s an awesome moment of music we made together. It’s nice that in the heavy metal community we’re nice to each other and that we’re friends.”

It’s not as if anyone lost out in the transaction: Adler still his a thriving career with Lamb of God, and the equally talented Dirk Verbeuren (ex-Soilwork) ended up taking over drum duties in Megadeth.

Speaking of Dirk Verbeuren, make sure you check out this year’s Drumception series, which features Dirk paired up with Brendon Small (Dethklok, Galaktikon), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Will Putney (Fit For An Autopsy), Brandon Ellis (The Black Dahlia Murder) and Reba Meyers (Code Orange), each writing their own songs over Dirk’s drum tracks.

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