MEGADETH’s DAVID ELLEFSON Says Live Music Experience Will ‘Definitely’ Change As Result Of COVID-19 Outbreak
MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson recently spoke to FM94's "The Dark" about how he is dealing with the coronavirus crisis and what the touring circuit might look like post-pandemic. Asked if he thinks the live music experience is going to change after the COVID-19 outbreak has subsided, Ellefson said (hear audio below): "It's definitely gonna change, for sure. I think we've all come to believe that, look, this isn't gonna last forever. I mean, there will be some sort of a vaccine or something at some point — something that will change the course of this. We're not there yet, obviously, just between the testing and vaccinations and finding a cure and whatever else comes into this on the medical side. And yeah, for the next year or so, for sure, the live experience of any gathering — whether it's going to church, sitting in a movie theater, going to a rock concert, whatever it is — it's absolutely gonna be changed. I don't know that it means that it will be like that forever, of course. "I think what happens is crisis also creates opportunity," he continued. "We've got all these digital platforms and all these things around us, and our phones and our computers… I think it's kind of funny to watch people putting bands together over the Internet and on Skype. The truth of it is we've able to do this for a long time; it's just we needed a crisis to make it become suddenly important. If nothing else, we're probably utilizing our technologies maybe to a little better potential now than we were a few month ago. And for good things, rather than posting selfies — we're actually using it to do things that help other people and bring people together and create a sense of community, and I think that's a good use of the technology." Ellefson went on to say that he is concerned about the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has prompted concert cancelations and thrusted hundreds of venues nationwide into a state of uncertainty. "And it isn't just even for music — it's for sporting activities," he explained. "I think ultimately if we keep an eye on what the sports world is doing, it's probably gonna be a pretty good indicator of what's gonna happen with music. If sporting events are able to operate in some fashion with social distancing, then maybe [concerts] will probably follow suit. But there's a lot of money in this stuff, and, obviously, that's definitely a concern, because right, wrong or indifferent, someone has to pay the bills and someone has to keep the lights on in these venues. "It's definitely a new day, for sure," he continued. "And this one caught us all by surprise. I don't think three months ago, at Christmas, none of us saw this one coming. And yet, at the same time, there's a sense of real togetherness, oneness in community that comes… It's kind of like [the 1996 film] 'Independence Day' — we're all fighting with each other until the alien from outer space comes and suddenly earth unites as one against the alien. It's kind of the same thing right now. "Washington, D.C. was fighting over borders of countries just a couple of months ago, and that seems to have kind of gone away now," he added. "Now all of a sudden, it's, like, hey, we're all in this together. And I think that's beautiful, because, ultimately, as musicians, that's ultimately what we're doing. These airwaves that you and I are speaking over is a platform to bring people together. We can either divide or unite, and music is always something that brings people together." MEGADETH is tentatively planning to enter the studio this summer to record the follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album. The early sessions for MEGADETH's 16th studio LP took place last year in Franklin, Tennessee with co-producer Chris Rakestraw, who previously worked on "Dystopia". MEGADETH's next effort will be the first to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined the band almost four years ago. Guitarist Kiko Loureiro made his recording debut with MEGADETH on "Dystopia", whose title track was honored in the "Best Metal Performance" category at the 2017 Grammy Awards.