Megadeth bassist talks about Metallica’s James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine

Megadeth bassist David Ellefson shared his thoughts about Dave Mustaine and Metallica‘s frontman James Hetfield on a podcast.

While he was on Waste Some Time With Jason Green, David Ellefson talked about Metallica and his memories with two members of the legendary band. Megadeth‘s bassist Ellefson mentioned his band’s history with Kerry King.

Megadeth bassist talked about the band’s forming-up and success:

“The original founding lineup – so Dave, Greg Handevidt, my friend from Minnesota who I moved out to L.A. with, me on bass. Greg was playing rhythm guitar, the second guitar to Dave. Dave had a vocalist named Lawrence Kane, who Dave was trying to work with as a singer when Greg and I met Dave in June of ’83. Keep in mind, this is only like six or seven weeks after Metallica when we met Dave.

There’s another guy named Matt Kisselstein that Dave was teaching the songs to, a bass player – cool guy, a young guy from Beverly Hills, I wouldn’t say a rockstar bass player. It’s funny – he actually works in administration, he’s kind of higher up. The last time I saw him at the Eagle in Dallas, a big P1 rock station down there, we had a good laugh. It all kind of worked out, you know? He ended up – he’s a businessman and I’m a bass player, so he actually is somebody I did run into recently.”

After mentioning how the band succeeded with its initial lineup, the bassist proceeded to talk about King coming into Megadeth:

“That lineup with Dijon on drums, that lasted kind of like through maybe June and July of ’83. By August, everybody was gone except just me and Dave, and then we started auditioning, we got a drummer named Lee Rausch who came into the fold, and then Kerry King.

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.”

David Ellefson then talked about Dave Mustaine and James Hetfield:

“It’s kind of interesting how then James became really the frontman of Metallica when Dave was out of there, and then Dave now in Megadeth becomes the singer, so they both kind of swapped roles, they both kind of had to step up to maybe the parts of the job they weren’t doing before.

Not that Dave was never hired to be the singer of Metallica. So it’s kind of funny that that was now a new role for him, and of course, Hetfield has become one of the greatest frontmen in rock ‘n’ roll, period. I mean, he’s on the level of, like, Bono. Doing those Big Four shows with him, hearing him command the stadiums, he’s just such a powerhouse, it’s impressive.”

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