Megadeth bassist and also co-founder of the band, David Ellefson, had recently been interviewed by the YouTube channel of ‘Waste Some Time With Jason Green’ this week and talked about where are the former members of Megadeth now as well as the days how Dave Mustaine became the singer of Megadeth.
As you might already know, the legendary California-based heavy metal band Megadeth was founded by Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson himself back in 1983 and they’ve considered as one of the big four in the heavy-metal scene for decades.
After forming the band, Dave and David have tried to find a drummer and a lead singer for the band. They have auditioned more than ten drummers for a while and finally, they selected Lee Rausch who is the drummer at a church in Ohio these days. However, they could not find a proper figure for the lead singer spot and finally, Dave has decided to become the lead singer of the band by himself.
Here is what David Ellefson said about these days:
“By the end of ’84, Kerry King had come in to start playing to be our second guitar player. He was in Slayer at the time, and we were still trying to audition singers up to this point. And I remember, it was New Year’s Eve of ’83 going into ’84, and another singer flaked out. Dave just took the lyrics and pinned them up either on the wall or like on a mic stand, we had a microphone there and then he just went up to the mic and we started playing.
And I don’t know what it was, I think it was something like ‘Chosen Ones’ or ‘Looking Down the Cross,’ it was not easy to play and sing, and then he did it, he sang through it. And we stopped and I just went, ‘Dude, that was freaking amazing,’ and he looked at me and he was like, ‘Really?’ And his face is all red; he’s not really breathing like a singer, plus trying to riff and play those complex parts, and you know, it just hit me.”
I was just like, ‘Look, man, you’re writing the lyrics, no one’s gonna get inside this character that you’re singing from more than you. You’re the obvious guy.’ So it was weird that we then turned into a four-piece, which is what Dave had just come out of from Metallica, and of course, in Metallica, Dave was not the singer. He was kind of the frontman, as I understand. Between the songs, he did all the banter with the audience, but he was obviously the lead guitar player and James Hetfield was the singer.
So we debuted the band in early 1984 in San Francisco with Kerry King on guitar, Lee Rausch on drums, me, and Dave. We’d go back up again in April, February and April of ’84, we debuted the group, and right after that, Kerry King decides he’s going back to Slayer full-time – because he saw there was an audience for it, and the Bay Area was the holy grail. Kerry saw that, and that’s it, that’s, ‘I now see the vision of Slayer.'”
You can watch the whole interview below.
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