Enlarge MONTCLAIR, NJ - NOVEMBER 29: David Ellefson of Megadeth performs at The Wellmont Theatre on November 29, 2013 in Montclair, New Jersey. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

David Ellefson Says the Hardest Megadeth Album to Record “Was Such a Step Up on Every Level”


Former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson‘s got a lot on his plate right now. Between Kings of Thrash, Dieth, and a number of other projects, the dude is pretty busy writing, recording, and promoting his work. Yet it seems like all anyone wants to talk to him about is his past in one of the most influential thrash bands of all time. It’s really gotta be frustrating.

During a recent chat with the Sobre La Dosis YouTube channel for their “My 3 Questions to” series (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar), Ellefson was asked what he felt was the moist “demanding” to work on during his time in Megadeth. And while it’d make sense if you guessed that he said something like Rust In Peace or Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?, you’d be wrong.

“Hands down Countdown to Extinction, for sure. Because it was such a step up on every level. And especially the digital recording that we did was very demanding.

“Also, one of my favorite dalbums we ever did. [Laughs] So that’s cool.”

With songs like “Sweating Bullets,” “Symphony of Destruction,” and “Foreclosure of a Dream” on that album, there certainly are some bangers on that record. But listening to it in 2023, it’s hard to imagine that it was particularly hard to put together as a bassist.

Then again, I don’t play bass so what the hell do I know?

He also explained how he reconnected with Jeff Young, another ex-Megadeth member who only played on So Far, So Good… So What? The two of them are now band mates in Kings of Thrash.

“I did a jam for Ronnie Montrose Remembered at NAMM 10 years ago maybe. And Jeff was on that as well. I was playing with Jimmy DeGrasso and Gilby Clarke and Brad Gillis and a bunch of people. And I looked over and there’s Jeff over there.

“So that was probably the first time I’d seen him in… God, 20, 25 years. So it’s nice to reconnect with him on new music, some new songs.

“He had a riff from 1988 that he hummed to me. One night, we were out for dinner and he just hummed the riff and I went ‘Oh my God, I totally remember that. So that started our musical friendship and brotherhood again. And then Kings of Thrash happened after that.”

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