From humble farm roots in rural Minnesota, David Ellefson has come a long way, literally and figuratively, to conquering stages around the World as bassist of thrash metal titans MEGADETH. Revered for his unique, hard-hitting playing style, and unwavering dedication to his musical craft, Ellefson has woven a vast professional tapesty as a bassist, songwriter, record producer, clinician and author. As a member of MEGADETH, he has been awarded 10 Grammy nominations, countless gold & platinum records and toured the world for the better part of 3 decades.
In addition to Megadeth, David has lent his playing and writing abilities to several other recording and touring projects including Soulfly, F5, Temple of Brutality, Altitudes and Attitude (With Frank Bello of Anthrax) and Metal Allegiance, the “supergroup” formed by Mark Menghi with David, Mike Portnoy, and Alex Skolnick who released their eponymous debut in 2015 on Nuclear Blast.
Ellefson who holds a Bachelor’s degree in business marketing and continues to lecture on a variety of music and business related topics, has also ventured out into other related forays, as president of record label EMP Label Group (Ellefson Music Productions), and with his own coffee brand Ellefson Coffee Co.
David Warren “Dave” Ellefson (born November 12, 1964) is an American bassist and co-founding member of the American thrash metal band Megadeth from 1983 to 2002 and again from 2010. He has also been referred to as “Junior” to differentiate him from his bandmate Dave Mustaine but does not go by this name professionally. Ellefson currently resides inScottsdale, Arizona. In addition to playing bass guitar in Megadeth, Ellefson also has various side projects which include Temple of Brutality, F5, and Killing Machine.
First stint with Megadeth (1983–2002)
Other than guitarist, vocalist, and primary lyricist Dave Mustaine, Ellefson was the only constant member of Megadeth from the time of their establishment in 1983 to the group’s dissolution in 2002 (Mustaine subsequently reformed Megadeth without Ellefson in 2004). To differentiate between the two Daves, Mustaine referred to Ellefson as “Dave Junior”, which was often shortened to “Junior”. He appeared on every album and tour from 1985’s record Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good! up until 2002’s Rude Awakening. Ellefson’s original playing style involved using his fingers; however, as Megadeth progressed and the music became more complex, he tended to prefer playing with a pick/plectrum. Ellefson was credited with some Megadeth songs, including “Family Tree” from 1994’s Youthanasia (in the 2004 remastered collection of the CD however, the track is credited to Mustaine, Ellefson, Friedman, Menza, but Dave Mustaine credited the Rust in Peace-era line-up with the entire Youthanasia album as a tribute to the band’s success at the time of the record’s initial release). He’s also a featured artist on the bass guitar instructional website Jamplay.com.
Here Are Some Of The Albums That David Shredded Bass On
Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good! is the debut studio album by American thrash metal band Megadeth. It was released on June 12, 1985, through Combat Records. At the beginning of 1985, the band was given $8,000 by Combat to record and produce its debut album. After spending half of the album’s budget on drugs, alcohol and food, the band was forced to fire their original producer and produce the album themselves. .
Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying? is regarded as a thrash metal classic and as an album that gave prominence to extreme metal. It has been featured in several publications’ best album lists, including Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Martin Popoff’s Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums of All Time. The album has been reissued several times over the years.
So Far, So Good… So What! is the third studio album by American thrash metal band Megadeth.The record was well received among contemporary music critics, although retrospective analysis has been less favorable. It managed to enter the top 30 on the Billboard 200 with no commercial radio play; it charted in several other countries as well. The album was eventually certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and indicated Megadeth’s forthcoming emergence from the underground scene.
Rust in Peace received universal acclaim by fans and critics, and was responsible for bringing Megadeth to the attention of a mainstream metal audience. It has been cited as one of the best thrash metal records of all time by publications such as Decibel and Kerrang! and listed as one of the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The album was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 33rd Grammy Awards.
Countdown to Extinction received positive reaction from music critics, who noted its politically oriented lyrics and simplified sound in comparison to their previous record. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number two, the band’s highest position ever. It eventually achieved double platinum status and became their most commercially successful album. The record was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 1993 Grammy Awards, while the album’s title track won the Humane Society’s Genesis Award for raising awareness for animal rights issues.
Youthanasia is the sixth studio album by American thrash metal band Megadeth, released on November 1, 1994 through Capitol Records. Youthanasia received positive reviews upon its release. It was commercially successful, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart, and was certified platinum for shipping one million copies in the United States—a distinction achieved in 1995. A remixed and remastered edition featuring several bonus tracks and detailed liner notes was reissued on July 27, 2004.
Hidden Treasures is an EP by American thrash metal band Megadeth, released on July 18, 1995 by Capitol Records. The album features songs that first appeared on movie soundtracks and tribute albums. Four of the tracks were released as singles, and three have received Grammy Award nominations for Best Metal Performance. Despite having garnered mediocre or negative reviews, the material on the EP has been credited with helping expand the group’s MTV audience in the early 1990s.
The album debuted at number 10 on Billboard 200 chart and was certified platinum in 1998 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipping one million copies in the United States. The first 500,000 copies of Cryptic Writings in the U.S. were released with silver background album cover. A remixed and remastered version, featuring four bonus tracks, was released in 2004. Two years after its original release, the album sold 850,000 copies in the United States and won widespread praise from rock radio programmers. The song “Trust” was nominated for a “Best Metal Performance” at the 1998 Grammy Awards and became the band’s highest charting song on the Billboard’s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks.
Meant to be a breakthrough on alternative rock radio, Risk received a mixed response because of the great deviation from the band’s traditional sound. The resulting backlash ultimately caused the band to return to a heavier, more typical style with their next album, The World Needs a Hero. Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine has blamed the record’s lack of success on the fact that it was released under the “Megadeth” name: “if anybody else’s name was on ‘Risk’, it would have sold”
Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years is a greatest hits album by heavy metal band Megadeth, released in 2000, through Capitol Records. The album featured the Dave Mustaine/David Ellefson/Jimmy DeGrasso/Al Pitrelli line-up on the new tracks “Kill the King” and “Dread and the Fugitive Mind”. The album features a hidden track, “Capitol Punishment”, which is a medley of numerous previous Megadeth songs.
The World Needs a Hero is the ninth studio album by American thrash metal band Megadeth, released in May 2001 by Sanctuary Records. After the critical and commercial failure of the previous album Risk (1999), The World Needs a Hero represented a change back to a heavier musical direction. Subsequently, the album charted at number 16 on the Billboard 200 upon release.Furthermore, The World Needs a Hero was the last album with original bassist David Ellefson until his return to Megadeth in 2010.
Thirteen is the first Megadeth studio album since The World Needs a Hero (2001) to feature bassist and founding member David Ellefson, who returned to the band in 2010. Thirteen debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 42,000 copies in its first week. The album broke into the top 20 in several other markets as well. It has sold about 120,000 copies in the United States as of December 2012. The album has received largely positive reviews from critics.
Super Collider is the fourteenth studio album by American heavy metal band Megadeth.It marked the first time the band had released more than one album with the same lineup since 1997’s Cryptic Writings, however it is the band’s final album to feature drummer Shawn Drover and guitarist Chris Broderick, due to their departures from Megadeth in November 2014. The album debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 and has sold over 86,000 copies in the United States as of December 2015.
Prophecy is the fourth studio album by the metal band Soulfly and it was released in 2004.
This album is noteworthy for three features — the completely different line-up for the album apart from leader Max Cavalera, the world music influence from a stint that Cavalera spent in Serbia and explicit Spirituality themes on the album. The album has gone on to sell over 275,000 copies.
From the Depths of Time is the debut album by the progressive power metal band Avian. The album was released on October 21, 2005 by Nightmare Records and was remixed and remastered in 2006 with art enhancements inside the booklet. The album features American vocalist Lance King and then-former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson. The album is a concept album, dealing with the end of days and a warning to mankind that there are “guardians” watching us.