DAVE ELLEFSON Talks DAVE MUSTAINE’s Abilities To Sell His Ideas: “That’s Why He’s A Rock Star”

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Megadeth‘s Dave Mustaine has always been a figure shrouded in both brilliance and controversy. His musical talent is undeniable, having co-founded Metallica and then birthing Megadeth, both bands leaving indelible marks on thrash metal history. However, his leadership style has often been described as intense, demanding, and at times, volatile. Now, with former bandmates David Ellefson and Jeff Young offering candid insights into their experiences working with Mustaine, we get a rare glimpse behind the curtain of Megadeth‘s inner workings.

In a recent interview on “The Garza Podcast,” Ellefson and Young shed light on Mustaine‘s blend of musical genius and unwavering conviction. They described him as a master salesman, capable of convincing even a room full of talented musicians that his ideas were the best. This ability, they compared to other iconic figures like Yngwie Malmsteen and Ted Nugent, all individuals who possess a powerful aura of control and command attention.

“There’s obviously a wonderful side to his musicianship, his musicality, his ability to sell an idea. You know what I learned from him? Maybe there are four other guys in the room, and their ideas were as good or better than Dave’s, but Dave had a way of convincing you that his was the best. And I think that was what was required. And Yngwie Malmsteen has that same thing. Yngwie has a way, obviously aside from his incredible skill, and a unique skill at the time that no one had — we hadn’t heard that sound before. And probably with Dave — it was a new sound, Metallica and all that stuff, that it was new. It was, like, ‘Wow, I haven’t heard this before.’ That’s what I felt when I met Dave,” Ellefson explained

“It was, like, ‘I have not heard this before. This is brand new. This is a great sound.’ But he had a conviction in how he would get you on board with his idea, and he was such a good salesman with it that you believed it. And that was a big part of it. You read it in his interviews. When he’s on stage, there’s a conviction,” Ellefson further elaborated “Ted Nugent was like this. When Ted‘s in the room, you feel like he’s in control. And I always felt it standing on the stage with Dave. I would always say, it’s, like, ‘I’m glad I’m standing behind him,’ because he had control. If some guy heckled him, man, he would shut that fucking place down. 60,000 people would just go, ‘Whoa.’ He just had that ability to do it. So, I mean, look, that’s why he’s a rock star.”

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