David Ellefson is one of the finest bass players of all time in the history of rock and metal music.
In a recent interview with Metal Underground‘s Diamond Oz, Ellefson revealed who’s the best bass player in the business.
Ellefson also touched on the similarities between Megadeth and Judas Priest.
Here’s the statement:
“I am Ian Hill‘s biggest fan.”
“I have always admired his bass playing from the minute I heard it. It’s clean; it’s precise. I’ve emulated a lot of his style during probably the ’90s MEGADETH when our songs got a little bit more mainstream; I emulated what JUDAS PRIEST went through when they had their big ’80s MTV years. Ian‘s bass playing, at times, it was very progressive, almost [in the style of] JETHRO TULL, Jack Bruce [CREAM]. Then there are times he plays real simple to support the song. He has been the number one influence of mine. [Other influences were] Steve Harris [IRON MAIDEN], Geddy Lee [RUSH], and, of course, Gene Simmons [KISS], but Ian doesn’t get a lot of the big celebrity credit because he’s not down front — he’s intentionally in the back — and he really holds down the role. If you think about the most formidable, probably iconic heavy metal bass player, he is it. Now I’m not just listening to these songs in my car as a fan, but to pick up the bass and really study what he’s doing, has really been an incredible education.”
On similarities between Priest and Megadeth, he said:
“Obviously, a lot of what we learned we learned from JUDAS PRIEST. Yet, as K.K. talked about in his book, by the time they did ‘Painkiller’, they were very aware of this thrash metal genre, which is us coming up behind them. I think it kicked them in the pants and got them to dig deep and come up with records like ‘Painkiller’, and even the couple of records when Ripper was in the band. There’s some pretty deep, pretty intricate stuff — very different JUDAS PRIEST in that era. I can relate to that. MEGADETH has done the same thing. We’ve had to reinvent and dig deep and to reinvent ourselves throughout the 36 years we’ve been a band. In a lot of ways, JUDAS PRIEST and MEGADETH have walked a very similar path. I think those are things that probably bond me and K.K. as kind of brothers in arms as professional musicians.”
MEGADETH leader announced his cancer diagnosis on June 17 on social media. At the time, he said that he had already begun treatment as part of a plan that his doctors felt had a “90% success rate.” Although most of MEGADETH‘s previously announced 2019 tour dates have been canceled as Mustaine undergoes treatment, the MEGADETH-curated Megacruise — which is set to take place October 13-19 — will still depart as scheduled, and the band will be a part of it in some form. Recently Dave Mustaine completed his cancer treatment and we hope Dave comes out with flying colors.