David Ellefson Discusses Bass Clinics And The "Big Four" Of Thrash
Band Photo: Megadeth (?)
Megadeth bassist David Ellefson recently conducted an interview with Bravewords.com, in which he discusses his current string of bass clinics, the "Big Four of thrash" touring together, and offering bass lessons. You can check out excerpts from the interview below.
Bravewords.com: You’re currently doing bass clinics with Anthrax' Frank Bello.
David Ellefson: Yeah, it’s cool because Hartke amplifiers has been a really big supporter for me. I started using them as far back as the Peace Sells tour and I’ve turned back to my weapons of choice which is the Jackson bass and the Hartke amplifiers. I did some clinics for Hartke while I was out on the Jagermeister tour and Frank Bello just came on board with Hartke, so I thought it was a really cool idea that during our down time that Frank and I go out and do some clinics together. The Big 4 thing has become the anchor between the four bands now. We’ve really put a name to our community and I think that anytime any of us do things together whether it’s the SLAYER/Megadeth Carnage tour, the Slayer/Anthrax/Megadeth Jägermeister tour, Frank and I doing bass clinics or all four of us getting onstage as the Big 4 again… More than ever we’ve become so tightly knit as a community of thrash metal right now and anything that we can do together as either pieces of the big machine or as the big machine itself is great for the fans and great for empowering the movement.
Bravewords.com: It really is great, but it was a little late in the making don’t you think? The Big 4 should have been done ten years ago.
Ellefson: The truth of it is – it should have been done twenty-five years ago, but there was a period of time where we were all carving out our own paths and our own destinies which would eventually become our own names for ourselves. To be honest with you, we all had our own course to chart and I think that the fact that we all four went and did that… We were called the Big 4 in the early ‘90s or late’80s even, but it took us to go through what we needed to go through to build our own legacies. Every one of these bands has its own legacy, which then creates this dynasty called the Big 4.
Bravewords.com: Tell me about your Rock House On Demand bass lessons.
Ellefson: Rock House approached me about four years ago about doing some instructional metal bass DVDs and I thought, ‘it’s probably a good time for me to go over my tricks, how I play and how I developed my approach to playing bass. So, I put out Volumes I & II which were designed for the very beginner all the way to the intermediate because I know that many of my fans pick up the instrument because I did. If they’re musically inclined they stick with it, and it becomes a fun hobby or maybe it can become, like me, a full time career. Mostly though, it’s for enjoyment, and I didn’t want to start by showing off what a fantastic bass player I am (laughs). So, I started at square one. I remember buying my first bass book at a piano and organ store and that’s how I learned to play bass. I’m that guy, so it lets me give back to the early beginners and bass players just like someone gave a book to me to learn how to play. You can go to the Rock House Method website (Rockhousemethod.com) and there are a ton of instruction and various things on the site that are meant to be a continuation or tutorial of my bass DVDs.
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