DAVID ELLEFSON Slams MEGADETH And METALLICA While Praising OVERKILL: ‘They Don’t Have A ‘Risk’ Or A ‘St. Anger’ Anywhere In Their Catalog’

David Ellefson
Photo credit: Mike Savoia

During a recent interview on The Metal Podcast, David Ellefson discussed his involvement in the “Scorching Latin America 2024” tour with veteran thrash metal band OVERKILL. Former MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson has stepped in to handle bass duties for the tour in place of original OVERKILL bassist D.D. Verni, who is currently recuperating from shoulder surgery.

Ellefson conveyed his enthusiasm for being invited to stand in for Verni by saying: “They’re dear friends of mine. I haven’t played with Derek [Tailer], the other guitar player, but it’s funny, me and Dave Linsk [OVERKILL guitarist] actually wrote some songs together after a NAMM show 15 years ago maybe; it was a while ago. And he and Joe Comeau, who was the singer in ANNIHILATOR for a while, me, Dave LinskJoe Comeau and Jimmy DeGrasso [ex-MEGADETH drummer], they all came out here to Phoenix and we wrote a bunch of songs under a band name called ATOMIC 66. And they’re great songs. Dave‘s been reluctant to put ’em out. I’ve gotta beat on him a little bit here this next month when we’re together to put these songs out, if we just put them up digitally.

“They’re fricking cool, man — super good. And then, of course, me and Blitz [OVERKILL singer Bobby Ellsworth], we’ve jammed METAL ALLEGIANCE all the time and me and [JasonBittner [OVERKILL drummer] have done clinics and stuff and jammed together. So, I’m excited about it.”

Expanding on his enduring personal friendship with the members of OVERKILL, Ellefson remarked: “It’s funny, [MEGADETH] had OVERKILL on the Peace Sells tour — OVERKILL was out with us in 1987 — so, yeah, we’re all brothers from the same neighborhood. And I always said, look, if there’s the ‘Big Four’, if you added EXODUS on the West Coast and OVERKILL on the East Coast, there’s your ‘Big Six’ right there.”

Regarding the task of mastering the OVERKILL repertoire within the span of several weeks, Ellefson commented: “Look, I’ve gotta say, digging into these songs — they’ve got, what, 20 records out — consistently they have probably made the best, most consistently great albums out of all of us. And I mean, all of us.

“There’s not a dud in the bunch, you know what I mean? They don’t have a Risk or a St. Anger anywhere in their catalog. And EXODUS has got good stuff too, but I think OVERKILL, now that I’m really digging into it and really understanding it, it’s just that. And D.D.‘s amazing, man. Look, I may be David Ellefson, but I ain’t no D.D. Verni, man. I mean, that guy, he’s a masterful songwriter. His arrangements are killer and his parts are very clever and cool. And so, yeah, it’s got my thrash chops up and it’s an honor to just step in and help them out… Again, we’re all buddies, we’re brothers, and, look, I’m in a position and schedule allows for me to go do it. So, that’s what it is.”