MEGADETH’s DAVID ELLEFSON Taps AL JOURGENSEN, CHARLIE BENANTE For Cover Of CHEAP TRICK’s ‘Auf Wiedersehen’

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ELLEFSON, the eponymous solo band of Grammy-Winning Megadeth bassist and co-founder David Ellefson, has announced signing to EARMusic (Europe) and Ward Records (Japan) for the release of their upcoming full-length covers release “No Cover”, which will be released Worldwide 11/20 in conjunction with Ellefson’s revived COMBAT RECORDS, who will release the album in North America via AMPED. The band has also announced a 10/9 digital release for their cover of the Cheap Trick classic “Auf Wiedersehen”, featuring guest appearances from Ministry’s Al Jourgensen, Anthrax’s Charlie Benante, and Crobot’s Brandon Yeagley, alongside bassist Ellefson, vocalist Thom Hazaert, and guitarist Andy Martongelli, which premiered in August on the nationally syndicated radio show “Nights With Alice Cooper”. A teaser for that music video for its cover version is available below. The full video will make its online debut on Tuesday, October 6. The track will be released on all digital outlets on October 9.

“Auf Wiedersehen” recording lineup:

  • David Ellefson / Bass
  • Thom Hazaert / Lead Vocals
  • Al Jourgensen / Lead Vocals
  • Andy Martongelli / Guitar
  • Charlie Benante / Drums
  • Brandon Yeagley / Additional Vocals

ELLEFSON have also released a static video for the first single, an updated interpretation of the “On Through The Night” classic “Wasted”, featuring Frank Hannon (TESLA), Jacob Bunton (MICK MARS, LYNAM), Dave McClain (SACRED REICH) and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (SONS OF APOLLO)

The band cites the signings, and some unexpected medical situations for the changing release date.

Says vocalist/co-producer Thom Hazaert, “There’s no easy way to say it, but in July, right in the middle of recording the album, I had massive heart failure and went into full cardiac arrest. My heart literally stopped for several minutes, and I was revived at the hospital. There was a long recovery, but we managed to finish the record, and secure amazing deals with our friends at EARMusic, and Ward, but obviously we had to revisit our timeline a bit. And literally, maybe a month and a half later we were in Los Angeles, at Al’s house, shooting the video for “Auf Wiedersehen”. I’m just extremely humbled and thankful to be here to be able to, not only, finish this incredible record, but be able to see it released Worldwide with incredible label partners, which really almost wasn’t the case.”

He adds, “Originally we had envisioned “No Cover” as a smaller, limited release “quarantine project” we were doing for fun with a bunch of our friends, really just to not have to release our studio album during the pandemic. But as it neared completion, and we really got to see what it was turning into, we realized it was worthy of so much more. I have a long history and friendship with Max at EARMusic, and they are an incredible label, and home to some of our favorite artists, and friends – Alice Cooper, Def Leppard, and more, and we are ecstatic to be able to partner with them for not only this release, but future ELLEFSON releases as well. WARD had already released “Sleeping Giants” for us last year in Japan, and we had secured a deal with them for our upcoming 2021 studio album, so it was a natural fit when we went to them with the idea of partnering with us on “No Cover”

Adds Ellefson, “It really was a crazy, whirlwind process, not only making such an involved album so fast, but also remotely, during a pandemic, with not only dozens of guests, but the entire band, spread around the Globe. And then, almost losing our singer in the middle of it. But at the end of the day, it turned out better than any of us had hoped, and really was one of the most fun records I’ve ever made. It’s been great to pull so many great and positive things out of 2020, despite all the challenges.”

The “No Cover” album sees ELLEFSON, featuring EllefsonHazaert, guitarists Andy Martongelli and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and drummer Paolo Caridi, joined by a laundry list of legendary guests, including:

Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX)
Eddie Ojeda (TWISTED SISTER)
Brandon Yeagley (CROBOT)
Dirk Verbeuren (MEGADETH)
Frank Hannon and Troy Lucketta (TESLA)
Mark Slaughter (SLAUGHTER)
Jason McMaster (DANGEROUS TOYS, ex-WATCHTOWER, EVIL UNITED)
Greg Handevidt (KUBLAI KHAN, ex-MEGADETH)
Chuck Behler (ex-MEGADETH)
Gus G. (FIREWIND, OZZY OSBOURNE)
John Aquilino (ICON)
Doro Pesch
Dave McClain (SACRED REICH, ex-MACHINE HEAD)
Dave Alvin (WHITE TRASH)
Todd Kerns (SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS)
Jimmy DeGrasso (ex-MEGADETH, ex-Y&T, ex-SUICIDAL TENDENCIES)
Andrew Freeman (LAST IN LINE)
Jacob Bunton (Mick Mars)
DEAD BY WEDNESDAY

Produced by Ellefson and Hazaert, with Martongelli, and engineers Alessio GaravelloMatt LaPlant (NONPOINTLIL’ JONSKINDRED), and John Aquilino, and mixed by Alessio GaravelloRandy Burns, and more, the process is described by Ellefson as a collaborative tribute, and a loving homage, to some of his favorite artists.

“No Cover” Tracklist:

Disc One:

1. Freewheel Burning (Judas Priest) ft. Jason McMaster, Gus G, Andy James, Dave McCLain
2. Tear It Loose (Twisted Sister) ft. Eddie Ojeda, Dave McClain
3. Love Me Like A Reptile (Motorhead) ft. Doro Pesch, Greg Handevidt, Chuck Behler
4. Holiday in Cambodia (Dead Kennedys) ft. Charlie Benante, Bumblefoot
5. Rebel Yell (Billy Idol) ft. Paolo Caridi
6. Wasted (Def Leppard) ft. Frank Hannon, Jacob Bunton, Dave McClain
7. Riff Raff (AC/DC) ft. Jason McMaster (Lead Vocals), Dave Lombardo, Bumblefoot
8. Nailed To The Gun (Fight) ft. Andrew Freeman, Russ Parrish, Jimmy DeGrasso
9. Not Fragile (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) ft. John Aquilino, Paolo Caridi, Bumblefoot
10. Auf Wiedersehen (Cheap Trick) ft. Al Jourgensen, Brandon Yeagley, Charlie Benante

Disc Two:

1. LOVE Machine (W.A.S.P.) ft. Dirk Verbeuren, Dave Alvin, Bumblefoot
2. Love Hurts (Nazareth) ft. Brandon Yeagley, Chuck Behler, Tyson Leslie
3. Eat The Rich (Krokus) ft. Jason McMaster, Dave Sharpe and Opus of Dead By Wednesday
4. Sheer Heart Attack (Queen) ft. Bumblefoot, Doro Pesch, Charlie Benante
5. Over The Mountain (Ozzy Osbourne) ft. Andrew Freeman (Lead Vocals), Bumblefoot, Jimmy DeGrasso
6. Sweet FA (Sweet) ft. Todd Kerns (Lead Vocals), Bumblefoot, Shani Kimelman
7. Beth (KISS) ft. Tyson Leslie, Bumblefoot
8. Say What You Will (Fastway) ft. Mark Slaughter, Troy Lucketta

Ellefson says: “Before any of us started writing our own songs, we all began playing cover songs by our heroes during our formative years as musicians. So, it’s fun to go back in time and revisit those songs which helped us to become the artists we are today, especially when, ironically, many of those artists have now become peers and friends. During the process of recording some covers for B-Sides and bonus tracks for the upcoming ELLEFSON solo LP, Thom and I just said, “This is a blast, let’s just do a whole album of covers! Literally, within 2 weeks, we had the songs recorded, and began calling our friends to join us, many of whom we had just performed with on the MEGA-Cruise back in October. From there, the album just fell into place.

He continues, “A lot of our buddies have been playing covers and quarantine jams on the Internet during the pandemic, so this is really just an extension of that, but we took it the next level and actually recorded a full studio album. We’ve been working remotely anyway, as we’re all over the Globe, so it was easy to incorporate some guests jumping in with some outstanding performances of their own. It’s been a really fun nod to making great music with our friends, who are kick-ass players, and many legends in their own right, which is the whole reason we got into this in the first place!”

Says vocalist, and co-producer, Hazaert, “It’s all songs and artists that really mutually influenced both myself and David, especially a lot of early “Metal” and harder Classic Rock. Some stuff I picked, some stuff he picked, but for the most part is was all artists that we both loved. What’s funny, as there’s a bit of an age gap, we were sometimes more influenced by different eras of the same bands. But it was really him saying, “Let’s do this song”, and me saying, “Yes!!! And let’s do this song.” And before we knew it, we had over 15 songs. And it’s a lot of album tracks, deep cuts, early tracks, stuff people might not expect, which was what was so fun.”

He adds, “It was also great that we were able to work in a lot of nods to David’s history, getting Chuck Behler to play with us, bringing in original Megadeth guitarist Greg Handevidt to play on “Love Me Like A Reptile”, a song they used to play in cover bands together before they moved to LA (which we wrote about in MORE LIFE WITH DETH), and Randy Burns is going to mix a track or two. As a singer, these are literally bands I’ve listened to, and covered all my life, and for me, getting to play with Eddie Ojeda, the Tesla guys, Charlie Benante, Jason McMaster, Mark Slaughter, etc, and sing these songs that mean so much to me. I mean, literally, the entire record is my bucket list of people I’d love to play with, and some of my favorite bands. So, it’s truly an honor to put together something so fun, and really as effortless as this was. It truly is a love letter to Rock N’ Roll, an homage to what made us, musically, who we are today.”

2019 saw the release of Ellefson’s MORE LIFE WITH DETH Memoir, co-written with Hazaert, which led to the pair collaborating on the Ellefson compilation release “Sleeping Giants”, released as a companion album to the book, featuring Hazaert on several new tracks, alongside guest appearances by Thal, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Mark Tremonti, Chris Poland, Kristian Nairn (Game of Thrones), Dave McClain (Sacred Reich), Eric AK (Flotsam and Jetsam), John Bush (Armored Saint) and more, which spawned the Metal radio hit “Hammer (Comes Down)”, which spent several weeks in rotation, as well as landing in the “Devil’s Dozen” Top 12, on Sirius XM Liquid Metal.

Ellefson and Hazaert followed up the release of “Sleeping Giants” with an extensive US and European Tour dubbed MORE LIVE WITH DETH, with Hatchet guitarist Clayton Cagle, as well as Flotsam and Jetsam’s Steve Conley, stepping in on second guitar in the US, including several now legendary shows featuring Megadeth alumni Chuck Behler and Chris Poland. That tour also included a performance on Megadeth’s MEGACRUISE, where Ellefson and Hazaert, along with Opus and Dave Sharpe of Dead By Wednesday, and Clayton Cagle of Hatchet, performed a special Megadeth MEGA-JAM set, as a tribute to Dave Mustaine, with guests including Megadeth’s Kiko Loureiro and Dirk Verbeuren.

Ellefson and Hazaert (DE and TH) also participated in another noted highlight of the MEGACRUISE, coordinating an all-star KISS jam, which, in addition to Ellefson, featured Frank Bello, Charlie Benante, and Scott Ian of Anthrax, Clayton Cagle of Hatchet, plus members of Hellyeah, Butcher Babies, Queensryche, Suicidal Tendencies, and more, where Hazaert shared vocal duties on “God of Thunder” with Chuck Billy of Testament, and “God Gave Rock And Roll To You” with the legendary Doro Pesch, as well as participating in the epic finale of “Rock And Roll All Nite.”

The European MORE LIVE WITH DETH tour saw the permanent addition of guitarist Andy Martongelli and drummer Paolo Caridi into the recording lineup, as well as the return of Bumblefoot to the fold, and ELLEFSON was born. March 2020 brought the release of the hit single “Simple Truth”, which was premiered on SiriusXM by Eddie Trunk, followed in May by the release of their re-imagined Post Malone cover “Over Now”, both of which garnered national airplay, (Over Now currently in its 4th week on the Billboard Rock charts), garnering spins and coverage on nationally syndicated radio outlets.

ELLEFSON is set to tentatively release their debut full length studio LP in Spring 2021.

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