Megadeth bassist David Ellefson was asked by The Bear on what it’s like to create music with Dave Mustaine, to which he replied:
“He cares about every single word like every single note on the guitar, for sure. He is definitely a wordsmith.
“I’ve learned a lot about composition from him. When I write a lyric and bring it to Dave, we really get down to the details.
“In the beginning, it was maybe more just a story and a concept, and sort of making it kinda fit over the riff. Now we get more detailed about the cadence, how many syllables…
“There’s things that when you sing a word, ‘ba ba ba ba ba ba ba, bada bada ba ba ba,’ you know you have to count the syllables, how does a word work over that, yet tell a story you’re trying to tell.
“It’s not just about writing some words down, you’re telling a story and the word are a part of that.
“It’s kinda like when you write music for a song. You’re writing something that’s engaging and then you get into the details and the nuance of it.
“That’s a big part of Megadeth compositions for sure.”
Ellefson was then asked about the bass line for the “Fatal Illusion” track off the band’s latest album “Dystopia,” to which he replied:
“Again, working with Dave, in the very beginning he’d be writing a guitar part and said, ‘Why don’t you play that on bass? And then maybe we’ll start a song with that or have this break.’
“I’ve always been brought into the forefront. One of the things we talked about was not only do I play bass but I play lead bass. Not only does Dave play rhythm guitar, he plays lead guitar. Not only drums, there’s lead drums.
“So everybody gets to have this sort of lead feature moments in the show. Chris Adler actually pointed out when he was playing with us last year, he said, ‘Man, there’s so many amazing bass moments in the show! We’re playing ‘Dawn Patrol,’ ‘Poison Was the Cure,’ ‘Fatal Illusion,’ ‘Peace Sells”…
“I was like, ‘Really?’ And he goes ‘Yeah, man!’ Back on the drums, he sees these moments that really create this flow that is not just constant slamming at you all the time. Which is I think most people would expect from a metal band.”