INTERVJU: Dave Ellefson från Megadeth och Altitudes & Attitude

Några timmar innan Altitudes & Attitude ska öppna för Slash, slår jag mig ned mitt emot Dave Ellefson i ett spartanskt möblerat rum. Han bär kavaj och en KISS-tröja med en bild på omslaget från bandets debut 1974. Av en händelse bär även hans kompanjon Frank Bello en KISS-tröja. Att just KISS har betytt mycket för detta herrar är en underdrift. Med Dave blir det snack om kommande album med Megadeth, Gene Simmons basspel, Sunset Strip-tiden, skattesmällar och mycket annat.


How would you describe Frank Bello?

Oh, wow! I´ve known Frank for a lot of years, just kind of… maybe a little superficially. The obligatory seeing him in the hallway at a show and I just kind of knew him as the happy face of Anthrax. He was always the jovial one and the very dramatic performer on stage, and getting to know him, I realized he´s kind of a deep, dark kind of fellow. (laughs) But again, he and I are the same age and have had similar paths, being bass players in big groups. Sometimes under or next to other very big personalities who cast very big shadows themselves and there´s always a little bit of a struggle for your own identity inside those roles. Ironically I was talking to Charlie (Benante) in a period when Frank wasn´t in Anthrax and he said it best. He goes ”In every band there´s roles and those roles are usually defined right away, right when the band forms.” and I know that Frank struggled a lot and he was not participating in Anthrax for a period, as was I with Megadeth for a period. I think the affinity he and I have and one of the reasons I really championed us doing something musically together, was that I know his struggle. He didn´t have to say it because I know it. I´ve been through it myself. It´s funny, all of his endorsements were with Fender and a mutual friend of ours, Mark Menghi, worked at Harkte at Samson and right before I went back to Megadeth, literally end of January 2010, Tim ”Ripper” Owens introduced me to Menghi and I worked at Peavey at the time, so he said ”Look, I´d love to do soemthing with you. I´m a huge fan and I realize you´ve got Peavey so we can´t do anything that conflicts…” We started talking about Zoom and their products were part of their family. Literally two weeks later, I call him up and I said ”Hey man! I´m back in Megadeth as of today and I would like to revisit Hartke.” and Menghi goes ”I´ll work with you, Megadeth or no Megadeth, Hartke or no Hartke. I want to do some stuff with you.”, so I got back onboard with hartke. We did the ”Rust in peace” tour and about two or three months later we did the Big 4 and it became me and Manghi´s mission to get Frank over to Hartke, because he was kind of out in no man´s land and things had changed at Fender, a lot of their products had changed. I remember he was in Helmet. I saw this ad for fender strings, basses and amps and Fender´s 10 minutes from me up in Scottsdale, Arizona where I live and my Jackson basses are a part of their family, so… what´s ironic is that Frank´s no longer with Fender and I am. I just remember seeing the ad and going ”Wow! That´s impressive, man!”, but then time moved on and it´s 2010 and me and Menghi saw it to bring Frank over to team Hartke. We started doing these clinics and that was when I really got to know Frank and again, he and I have traveled a very similar path in very big rock groups… game changing, life defining bands that have literally changed and reshaped culture and been part of shaping many people´s lives over decades. Yet, inside these big, huge bands, are just these guys who on some level are struggling to grow up. We´re family men and we have so many things in our lives that look like… we look like adults, yet we´re tethered to this career of being a teenager. Being a rock star is a great idea when you´re a teenager and the you get into your 30´s and 40´s and now 50´s and some days I think we look at each other and go ”What in the fuck are we doing with our lives? Yet at the same time, Frank and I have been through these seasons of our lives when we were transitioning in and around that and that sucks too, but you don´t want to be in golden handcuffs where you´re enslaved to an identity. I think that through this whole process, this journey of us doing these bass clinics and chatting about ”Hey, why don´t we write some songs together?” and finding out, like, we´re both really good songwriters and we both have a lot of material that would never work in Anthrax or Megadeth and the fact that the two of us can come together and do something, without having to leave Anthrax or Megadeth and we can very much be members of those bands and do this thing that we´re doing here, it´s just a labor of love, man. We´re kind of back to being teenagers in a cool way, yet at the same time we´re grown ups. Someone said to me and I´m so happy, ”This music is age appropriate for you and Frank.” and that was probably one of the greatest compliments that I´ve been given on Altitudes & Attitude.

Is it the greatest job in the world?

I think it is. I mean, it still beats working. I have a promoter friend of mine in Phoenix, Danny Zelisko, and he reminds me of that all the time. I´ll bitch and complain about something and he´ll look at me and go ”Still beats working brother!” When Megadeth ended in 2002 there was that moment… I remember flying over to Europe, around the world and the big years of the 90´s for Megadeth and Nick Menza (1964-2016) hated going over to Europe. He hated it. I don´t know why because his dad is a jazz musician and spent a lof of his career and life over here touring around. He just hated it. Nick was Italian so he´s a family guy and likes to be close to the tribe at home and he hated leaving and I´d sit up there in business class, living the dream and I´m just going ”One day this is going to end. Either we´ll be done with it or they´ll be done with us. Times will change. Megadeth´s over. I´ll quit or they´ll fire me or… something will go down.” and then one day in 2002 Dave (Mustaine) calls and says he´s quitting Megadeth and the band´s over and I was like ”Fuck, that day showed up!” On one hand I was really relieved because I had a young family and I really hated being gone from my kids and on one hand I was relieved and I went ”Well, maybe that phase of my life is now over.” followed immediately by ”Holy shit! How am I going to pay for my house?” Real life showed up and I got into action. I picked up the phone and called everybody I knew and ended up getting some stability with this consulting position I had at Peavey, which is a really big job at a big company, yet it allowed me the flexibility to still perform when I worked with Max Cavalera and I had F5 and I realized, me being a musician will never end. This is really the calling that the good Lord put on me to do. It´s why I´m here and I realized I never really had to get a job because even working at Peavey, I loved it and it was still like waking up and being in a band. ”I´m calling band guys.” and it could barely be considered a job. It was fun and I was just calling my friends and hanging out in a different capacity. Then rejoining Megadeth and the Big 4 and I think this last season probably for both Frank and I, has been great. The Big 4 really realigned all for of us, even Metallica. Metallica needed that too. They needed to get their hands dirty as a metal band again and they did. As a result they brought us up to enjoy some of the successes that they´ve had and I think just for our community… I can´t think of one other genre of music that has its four founding fathers still alive and working. The jam bands, the country bands, jazz… it´s such a cool thing we have and I think for us that really kind of reestablished all of our bands on a whole new level that´s pretty much a legacy level forever kind of level.

That´s got to be something, to know that you´ve had such an impact on so many people with your music?

People ask me all the time ”Did you ever think Megadeth was going to be big?” and I did. When I met Dave I went ”This is going to be fucking huge! It´s not going to be easy and it´s going to be a lot of hard work. We´re going to be broke and we´re going to be poor.”, but I just knew and I´ve been in a lot of bands like probably most of us have, some of them have been successful, but most of them haven´t and some of my favorite ones that haven´t been were some of the most fun. The songs were good, we had great times as buddies, but it just didn´t get any traction, it just didn´t catch for some reason. When I´m on stage, even with Megadeth, I´m having a great time, I really enjoy it, but it´s like keeping a family together. There´s times where you´ve got to do stuff you didn´t think you´d have to do, but you´re part of a band and that´s just our lives as musicians. We all have things in our jobs that aren´t the glamorous parts and that´s just a part of life. It is what it is.

You and Frank, writing wise, did you just hit it off right away when it came to coming up with stuff?

Right away. Immediately. We were doing these bass clinics and  and he´s playing along to some Anthrax tracks and I´m playing along to some Megadeth tracks and I was just like ”Why don´t we try to write something that isn´t either of that?” On that first EP the song ”Here again”, if you muted the vocals the whole thing is a bass clinic because there´s all these licks that me and Frank play. That was kind of the intention of that, but Frank sent over these full on songs that were complete and I picked up the bass and was just inspired in a whole new way to play bass to it. It reminded me… when we were growing up there was this era… it was KISS obviously, there was disco and there was punk rock, all three coming out. Then right behind that was the skinny new wave and The Clash was kind of maybe a part of that, but certainly like The Cars, Donny Iris, Joe Jackson and that to me was the genre and the era that I really pulled that out and found an outlet to play like. This guy Graham Maby, who´s the bass player in Joe Jackson, he was really… when I started playing I wanted to be like him for so long and never had a way. Even Adam Clayton from U2, who´s got this simple… it almost sounds like this uneducated musical style, but it´s in this rawness of how he plays. Instead of playing a G… I´m musically educated and for me it was always ”How do you get to the G the quickest and the most seamless way to play the line.” and what Adam does is ”How do I make it so obtrusive, almost to the border of obnoxious.” and that´s the fucking beauty of how he plays and he´ll slide up 12 frets higher to play the same note, which any bass teacher would tell you ”Don´t do that!” and he does it. That´s what fucking makes it sound so cool and Graham maby was one of these guys that was just really aggressive and also there´s that Tubes album ”The completion backward principle” (1981) and Steve Lukather (Toto) wrote a lot of that and that bass player (Rick Andersson) on that album is just fucking killer! Great, aggressive, pick playing that I just love, where the bass is right up in your face. Probably that Tubes album and the Joe Jackson stuff and maybe a little Adam Clayton is really my sweet spot of the Altitudes & Attitude stuff.

About KISS. I did a phoner with Brent Fitz (drums, Slash´s band) who´s played with Gene Simmons and he said that Gene was a real underrated bass player.

Gene´s one of my favorite bass players. I defend Gene to the grave. Absolutely one of the greatest rock players ever. I missed The Beatles. I was born in ´64 the year they came out and they were broken up by ´71 and I started to listen to music about ´74, so I just missed them completely. Gene and Paul very much credit The Beatles for the whole concept of KISS. KISS were my Beatles and it´s funny, as big of a KISS fan as I was and I was the biggest, as we all claim to be, funny thing is that in my bands growing up, we never played any KISS songs because they were hard to play. Paul´s guitar, his voicing and chord choices were so avantgarde and just really out of character and that´s what made them so cool. They were riffs, but there were these chords… whereas you listen to this kind of 12-bar blues kind of stuff that was going around at that same time… the KISS stuff was very challenging and they tuned down a half step. I remember when I bought the KISS ”Destroyer” (1976) piano, vocal, acoustic guitar song book and everything was in E flat and I knew how to read music and I went ”But my bass only goes to E? How do you play this?” I got very frustrated and I didn´t realize they tuned down and of course in a piano book everything´s very little. You can´t drop tune a piano and drop tuning wasn´t even in vogue. Gene´s bass playing was just incredible. I´ve emulated some of it, him and some early Geezer (Butler, Black Sabbath), but certainly Gene like ”Firehouse” (1974). I remember when Dave and I first met and we were putting together the very earliest Megadeth stuff, I would emulate this kind of Gene fashion of his bass lines that I really, really liked. I just saw KISS a couple of weeks ago when the came through town and Gene was playing the best I´ve ever heard him play. He´s adlibbing and riffing out and his tone´s great and here he is, he´s an older guy playing fucking better than he´s ever played and just going for it! Just riffing like how Jack Bruce (Cream, 1943-2014) or John Entwistle (The Who, 1944-2002) would be riffing in between parts of songs and it was like ”Fuck, check him out, man!” I totally defend Gene and I think he´s an incredible bass player and the fact that hes pits blood and breathes fire with fucking bat wings and those killer boots just makes him the best. (laughs)

You mentioned the heydays of the 80´s and 90´s. I love the whole Sunset Strip scene and all that stuff. When all that happened and you had Poison and all that, did you just look at it and go ”What the fuck is this?”

Well, an interesting story about Poison is that they got signed… they were on a label called Enigma and we were on Combat. We got signed to Capitol literally the same month and a good friend of mine in Phoenix, John Acuilino (guitar), he was in a band called Icon and he said that basically they got pushed out right at the same time as Posion came in. Poison was their replacement on Capitol and this is how he tells the story. I just remember going up to the Capitol tower on Hollywood and Vine and all of the girls at the tower were just gogo gaga over Poison and honestly, because they dressed like women and it made me go ”Are all these women dykes? Why do they like these guys that look like girls?” and that was the look of the Sunset Strip. The chicks dressed hot so the guys dressed hot, that was the pick up line. That´s what it was. I think Mustaine said it best ”Their look was hair up, ours was hair down.”  and that was the marching orders in our genre. I knew CC (Deville, guitar) and he was in a band called Screamin´ Mimis and for a brief period I managed a recording studio, mostly so I could have a place to sleep because we were homeless and we could get free rehearsal after everybody left, so everything had an angle… survival skills in Hollywood with no money, and his band would come in and rehearse there and that´s why when I saw the cover of the Posion album (Look what the cat dragged in, 1985) I went ”Dude, that´s fucking Bruce from Screamin ´Mimis!” But you know man, and to Bret Michael’s credit, these guys they fucking worked hard, man. They scrapped around and… it´s funny, my partner Tom… we´re writing a new book ”More life with Deth” and he´s got a manuscript that he started many years ago and it has a lot of dialogue with Kelle Rhoads, Randy´s brother, and I hope he gets it published now and it´s fascinating. I started reading the first chapter and he´s talking about Blackie (Lawless, W.A.S.P.) and Nikki (Sixx, Mötley Crüe) and their bands pre Mötley and pre W.A.S.P. and Nikki then had London and Nikki, I guess, kept getting kicked out of bands and he´d bring in songs that sounded like Cheap Trick and all this stuff and then he found his thing with Mötley and the same with Blackie But by the time I got to LA Mötley had gotten signed and they´d just played the US Festival (1983) and Quiet Riot played the US Festival and I remember going to the Troubadour and W.A.S.P. had just got signed to Capitol and it was the last show in Hollywood that they played and then Rod Smallwood managed them and they they got sucked up into the whole kind of Iron Maiden world and off they went. Everybody became arena superstars, so for me it was a great time to get to LA because that whole scene had taken off and right behind it was our genre. Of course Metallica had relocated to the Bay Area so the Bay Area became the focus and in New York were Anthrax and Overkill and the Bay Area was Metallica, Exodus and Testament and Violence and all that and in LA of course Slayer, Dark Angel, Hirax and Megadeth. Right behind that, ironically, it was Guns N´Roses. I remember they were working on what became ”Appetite for destruction” (1987) for years. They were working for a long time and they were the homeless, just disheveled Hollywood band living in the gutter. We were in the gutter but they were one step below in the gutter than us. Probably only because we had a little bit more of maybe a national following. All the girls in town loved them and they were the twinkle of their eye. I remember hearing about Slash and hearing about these guys, but they kind of had this Hanoi Rocks vibe about them, but for some reason there was a thing about Guns where all the metal guys liked them. We were writing and had maybe started recording ”So far, so good, so what” (1988) and it was me Dave and Jay Reynolds (guitar), who was in Malice, and he was playing with us and we were hoping he would join the band, but we realized it wasn´t a good music fit bu the was a great guy and a good friend and we were driving to Dave´s mom´s house to go jet skiing and on came, on KNAC, ”Mr Brownstone” and it was like ”Holy shit!” We were full on junkies and heroin addicts and everything and it spoke truth to us. It was like ”How do these guys know what we´re doing? It´s like they wrote a song for us.” so I immediately had an affection for Guns N´Roses, like ”We sing from the same sheet of music lifestyle wise.” and it was known around Hollywood that they were junkies and it was just that thing. It was what it was and it was a part of the culture, like this Johnny Thunders (1952-1991) vibe and MC5 and that whole vibe. Just watching those guys blow up and then it was them and Faster Pussycat and typical of Hollywood when one band hit, the record labels all chased to sign ten more just like them. After Posion it was Pretty Boy Floyd and ten other of those and that´s just kind of how it went. I guess it was kind of like that a little bit with thrash. Maybe not as much, but then the 90´s hit and that was the heyday. I´ll never fucking forget when Nirvana hit, man! I remember hearing Nirvana driving home one day and hearing them on KNAC and it was that one song (hums intro to Breed) and I went ”This is fucking cool! It´s punk rock and the tone is great.” but once ”Teen spirit” hit, Hollywood dried up in a year. It was gone. The Sunset Strip was gone and all those producers like Michael Wagener and Max Norman, all the guys that made the big glossy rock records were done and the record companies were going ”Fucking get on a plane and go find me a Nirvana!” and they all started going out of town and in a couple of years Sunset Strip was just gone. It was really cool to live in LA during that kind of ten year period that I was there. When I landed it was full on and by the time I left it was fucking gone. (laughs)

How long did it take for Megadeth before you started making real money?

We, like every band… you would invest everything you made back into the band. We started in a van on the ”Killing is my business” tour and the van broke down and we ended up in a Chevy Caprice which Gar (Samuelson, 1958-1999) drove off the road in 80 mph and almost killed us one night, so then we were back in a van. Then on the ”Peace sells” tour it was a motor home tour and then when we went out with Alice Cooper we had to get a bus, but by ”So far, so good, so what” it became a bus with a truck. I remember walking outside one day out of a hotel and going ”Fuck, we´ve got two trucks!” There was like two trucks and a bus because now we had sound and lights and playing theatres and halls, but our guitar techs were making more money than we were. If our salary was $500 a week, they were making $750 a week, but we were the owners. It´s just is what it is. We had drug issues so whatever money we probably could´ve lived some what comfortably on… I can say, when I got sober… which is 29 years tomorrow. I got sober March 1st 1990 and I remember when I got sober I went to the accountant and I owed the government like $70000 in back taxes and I said ”It´s not that I made that much money, it´s just that I never paid my taxes because I snorted it all.” I remember at the beginning of ”Rust in peace” just going ”Oh my god, there´s no fucking way I´ll ever pay that back!” I was literally, on the ”Rust in peace” tour, on a $20 a day per diem. No credit cards, I had terrible credit and eating whatever was in the dressing room and by the time we came off that tour a year and a half later… we did two ”Clash of the titans” and Judas Priest and all this stuff and I remember sitting in the accountant´s office and we split up a $45000 net profit from our merchandising and all my bills were paid. One day we were so broke and we´d go to the mailbox and a Metallica publishing cheque showed up for Dave and it was maybe 5 grand or something and it may as well have been 50 grand. It was like ”Oh my god, we´re rich!” He loaned me some money so I paid back and I was like ”Oh my god, all my debts are paid!” and it was just amazing. By the time we turned the corner into ”Countdown to extinction”, that was when I really made some money and I could buy a house, buy a car, support my girlfriend and we got married and she was able to quit her job. She worked for a management country for Mötley Crüe and it was right around the period when Vince and Nikki had their falling out so my wife was just like ”You know, I´m done with this now.” She said ”If I´m going to wipe asses I´ll have my own kids. I don´t need to wipe asses of grown ups.” (laughs) Most people just got to go ”Ok, that was a fun time in the entertainment business, but now I´m ready to move on to something else.” We relocated out of LA to Arizona where we live now and raised a family. That´s an interesting thing, going back to your initial question of Frank. Seeing Frank, we have very similar lives, raising kids and my kids are now in college and getting jobs and it´s like ”Wow, we made it! We made it through.” But when you have young kids and you´re at home and you really see what a kid is. From nothing and ”Here´s a child!” and all the responsibility and then you leave your house and come out here and do this. You provide the insanity as a backdrop for other peoples debauchery and craziness and you kind of go ”What am I doing with my life?” and being sober and clean and present in the moment… there´s a lot of real life shit going on inside rock and roll.


The new Megadeth album then? Is it done or are you still working on it?

We´re working on it. I mean, the last year we spent… We literally had no left over material for ”Dystopia” (2016). I mean nothing. We cleaned out the vaults. In fact I heard a lot of stuff from the three records I didn´t play on, especially ”Endgame” (2009) and I was like ”Whoa!” There´s a lot of cool stuff that I remember writing at soundchecks with Nick (Menza) and Marty (Friedman) and different things and I was happy to hear those turning into songs, but by the time we got done with ”Dystopia” the vault was empty. For me, I realized that Metallica didn´t put out an album for eight years and Def Leppard hasn´t put out an album for six years and I´m kind of going ”When are we going to get to that point?” I realized with ”Dystopia” that I think we´re there now and I realized it too because fans, what they´re asking for is like ”Man, play Killing is my business!” or ”More songs off of side two of Peace sells!” and I´m going ”Wow, these are young teenage fans!” and that´s what I discovered when I do bass story, these are young fans that are digging ”Peace sells” or ”Rust in peace” and I discovered that Megadeth´s best path forward is the past because there´s this new generation coming in. It´s nice that we can still write new and compelling music that has real depth and it still means something. But we don´t have to hurry back to the laboratory to try and whip up a new widget to get back out on tour. It´s nice to know that we´re through that and there´s a lot of other stuff in our catalog that we can celebrate now.

So it´s another three years before we see a new album?

(laughs) I think there were some kind of pressure towards the end of last year, you know, a couple of months ago, like ”Oh my god we´ve got to get going!” and it´s like the truth of it is… now owning a label, vinyl sells and a lot of the artists we´ve signed to EMP are legacy artist so people want to buy physical products, but the buying habits have just changed of how people consume music. I´ve talked to millennials and they´re like ”Albums? We don´t buy albums.” We listen to a song and we probably don´t even buy it.” So the idea to shut down your whole operation and to go inte the studio and make an album, the time, the expense, it just doesn´t even seem like it makes sense anymore. So, I mean, we´re making one… we´re going to do it again, but I´ve got to say, Dave and I have been talking about it a lot lately and I think management is very much behind it, they´re younger guys so they´re very on the pulse of stuff and trends. I remember when Rush put out three songs and they went out and did the fucking ”Moving pictures” anniversary. It´s like the three songs were kind of the ”Hey, we´ve got something new and now we´re going to go play an old album!” I thought it was cool and I loved it. I even saw the tour and it was great. That´s one of my favorite albums, so as a fan of bands that do it and now being in a band that I think is at a point where we can do that…

Right. After all the albums and the tours, seeing the world, making money, all of that… how would you define true happiness?

To me, it´s making music you like with people you like. That became my mantra when we made Metal Allegiance. We realized when we did the Motörboat Cruise… Dave had to cancel Megadeth off of it because the health issue thing he had and all of a sudden there´s me and Scott and Alex Skolnick and Mike Portnoy and we´re all just buddies. Turns out we´ve been all fortunate enough to get kind of famous for goofing off playing music, but the fact of it is that we all shared the same record collection. We´d do side A of the first Van Halen album, song to song to song and as soon as we would stop we would just go right into the next one and every time we would play like Accept´s ”Restless and wild”, Portnoy would immediately go (claps a beat) and go right into the next track behind it. We grew up on albums and to us albums were this continuum, like eight or nine songs, like a story. That´s when I realized we´re all good buddies, we´re all good friends and everybody can play and we all share the same record collection and that to me at this age is… you know, we´re on the back nine, to use golf terms, probably on hole 11, maybe 12 for some of us, but hole 18 is coming and then hole 19 up in the sky… the big bar in the sky. At this point it´s like, we´ve had these successes and it´s even with the Big 4 it´s like… years ago we were all competitors and then we all came together as the Big 4 and we all realized that we´ve been to the top of the mountain and we´ve all seen the view. I mean, me and Frank… 20 years ago we were fighting to get up the same hill and no fucking way we´d be in a band together and now here we are all hanging out and we´re in a band doing something that doesn´t even sound like anything like our bands and that´s the beauty of it. To find musical friendships. I´ve found that the harder you look for them, it´s almost like a magnet, you repel them. It´s like two Norths, they push each other away but when you just kind of show up and just do your thing these things happen. Even like on this tour with Slash. One day Frank goes ”Oh my god, I saw Slash announce some dates!” and he goes ”That would be a fun tour to be on.” and I looked at it and said ”Fuck, he´s going to be here next week in Phoenix.”, so I took some coffee down. Me and Slash used to hang out a lot in 1988 I remember. 1988 into ´89 and he had just gotten off the ”Appetite for destruction” tour and he was still living in a little dingy apartment behind Tower Records and I had kind of a nicer apartment over in Hollywood. I remember one day when Slash and Steven Adler came over to my apartment and they were like ”How did you get this?” and I said ”I just went to the rental agent and i bought some furniture.” and they go ”And you have a car? How did you get your car?” and I just said ”I just went to the car dealer.” (laughs) These guys didn´t get it and I know because we were such street urchins and so poor and so broke for so long and it was just funny. Then we became buddies and we were hanging out playing guitar and would go over to each others apartments. At one point we had me and Dave… I had a bass Marshall mini stack and we had two guitar ones and Slash brought his red one over and we had this whole Marshall backline of mini stacks in my apartment and we would just plug in and jam and hang out and get high and just play guitar for hours. It´s funny then how Slash went through all his transitions and he got cleaned up and he´s had a great life and I got cleaned up and then we meet years later as guys not partying, but just rock and roll buddies. So when I asked him ”Hey man, me and Frank got this new record…” and he asked me and looks at me and goes ”Are there any vocals on it?” (laughs) he just thought it´d be two bass dudes just shredding and he laughed when he said it. I gave him a copy and some coffee and it was just fun to go to my buddy and say ”Hey, any chance we could play with you?” He´s so cool and one of the greatest guys and he´s also in a big, big band, one of the biggest in the world and yet, as soon as that tour ends, he´s off making an album, playing with his buddies and doing other stuff. We´re all kindred spirits and all doing the same things.


Text: Niclas Müller-Hansen