MEGADETH’s Bassist DAVID ELLEFSON On Five-Strings Basses: ‘A Couple Of Guys Like Me And [METALLICA’s] JASON NEWSTED Were Early Adopters Of It’

David Ellefson

Megadeth‘s bassist David Ellefson talked to Talkin’ Rock With Meltdown about how he became one of the first to use the five-piece. Check it out:

“The five-string bass was a brand new invention really. A lot of people in pop and R&B world were using it, but it really wasn’t being used in heavy metal and hard rock.

“A couple of guys like me and [Metallica‘s] Jason Newsted were early adopters of it. For me, necessity was the mother of invention. As I recorded ‘Hangar 18’ [off 1990’s ‘Rust in Peace’], I needed the bass to go a full step lower, so I tuned the bass differently to record it.

“In the studio, you can sort of cheat your way around it, but when it came to performing live, I was like, ‘Oh no, I need a bass.’ And I called the company which made my instruments, Jackson Guitars, and I was like, ‘I need a bass.’

“And pretty quickly, we pulled one together. They got one for me that I was able to use on tour, which started a few months later – it was actually the first Clash of the Titans tour in Europe [which kicked off in September 1990]. And that was my signature bass, the Jackson five-string, for almost 30 years.”