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David Ellefson


1983-2002 Megadeth - bass, backing vocals (as David Ellefson)  
2004- Temple Of Brutality - bass  
2004-2010 F5 - bass  
2005-2006 Killing Machine - bass  
2008-2013 Angels Of Babylon - bass  
2010-2019 David Ellefson - all instruments  
2010-2021 Megadeth - bass, backing vocals (as David Ellefson)  
2011- Knight Fury - bass  
2013- Altitudes & Attitude - bass  
2014- Metal Allegiance - bass (as David Ellefson)  
2019- David Ellefson - bass  
2021- The Lucid - bass  
2022- Ellefson-Soto - bass  
2022- Dieth - bass, vocals  

Studio musician

2003-2005 Soulfly - bass  
2005 Avian - bass  
2006 The Alien Blakk - bass  

Live musician

2009 Tim "Ripper" Owens - bass  
2024 Overkill - bass  

Guest musician

1987 Malice (USA-CA) - backing vocals  
2004 MD.45 - bass  
2005 Warmachine - bass  
2007 Dream Theater - spoken word  
2009 Tim "Ripper" Owens - bass  
2010 The Alien Blakk - bass  
2012 Memorain - bass  
2013 Memorain - bass  
2014 Ethan Brosh - bass  
2014 Gus G. - bass  
2015-2016 Operation: Mindcrime - bass  
2016 Memorain - bass  
2017-2018 Green Death - bass  
2021 Sepultura - bass  
2021 Ministry - bass  
2021 Offensive - bass  
2022 Fatal Opera - bass  
2023 Noturnall - bass  

Personal information

Born on: 12.11.1964

Official website
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David Warren Ellefson (born November 12, 1964 in Jackson, Minnesota) is a bass guitar player who is best known as one of the founding members of American thrash metal band Megadeth in which he played from 1983-2002. He currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is currently a member of Temple of Brutality, F5 and Killing Machine.
Ellefson started to play bass guitar because of its presence in heavy rock music. He then became an accomplished rhythm guitarist and honed his songwriting skills while leading several of his own bands through the club scene of North America's Midwest region.
Other than vocalist and primary lyricist Dave Mustaine, Ellefson was the only constant member of Megadeth from the time of their establishment in 1983 to their disbandment in 2002. To differentiate between the two Davids, Mustaine referred to Ellefson as "Dave Junior", which was often shortened to "Junior". He appeared on every album and tour from 1985's thrash record Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! up until 2002's Rude Awakening. Ellefson's original playing style involved using his fingers, however, as Megadeth progressed and the music became more complex, he tended to prefer playing with a pick/plectrum. Towards the end of his Megadeth career, Ellefson was not getting some of his material played for the band, which angered him. Ellefson was credited with some Megadeth songs, including "Family Tree" from 1994's Youthanasia (in the 2004 remastered collection of the CD however, the track is credited to Mustaine, Ellefson, Friedman, Menza, but Dave Mustaine credited the Rust in Peace-era line-up with the entire Youthanasia album as a tribute to the band's success at the time of the record's initial release).
Mustaine resurrected Megadeth in 2004 to record the album The System has Failed, though Ellefson and every other former band member with the exception of Chris Poland (lead guitarist from the Killing is My Business-Peace Sells era) declined to partake in the recording process. Ellefson and Mustaine had a severe disagreement over royalties and rights to Megadeth's name and back catalog resulting in Ellefson filing an unsuccessful lawsuit. Though the two once enjoyed a close friendship, considerable animosity developed between Ellefson and Mustaine to the point that on Ellefson's website, Megadeth was not mentioned in his biography, only in the discography.

In a mid-2005 podcast, Ellefson did not mention his past with Megadeth at all, instead concentrating on discussing his current projects. Mustaine felt Ellefson was unfairly using the Megadeth name when advertising for an amplifier for Peavey. On, Mustaine claims to have had dinner with Ellefson at Christmas in 2005 to talk things through; they are on good terms today as Mustaine states they have spoken on the phone numerous times. [1] It should also be noted that as of late, Ellefson has stated (also on that if Mustaine were to call him tomorrow and ask him to rejoin the band, he would say yes.

Ellefson played five tracks for the Soulfly album Prophecy and also played on one track on Dark Ages. Ellefson is currently in a hard rock band called F5.

Ellefson formed F5 following Megadeth's 2002 disbandment. The band features Ellefson on bass, Dale Steele on vocals, Steve Conley on lead guitar, John Davis on rhythm guitar and Jimmy DeGrasso on drums. Their first album, "A Drug for all Seasons" was released in 2005. F5 appeared in support for Disturbed in February 2006 and toured the American Mid-West in the summer of 2006. Ellefson also appeared on the new Killing Machine record "Metalmorphosis" in 2006 alongside former Megadeth drummer Jimmy DeGrasso and has also been working with Temple of Brutality. Ellefson is currently a member of the melodic power metal band Avian which features singer Lance King. He commented in an interview with that "Megadeth was really just a starting point for me, creatively"

David currently works for Peavey Electronics Corporation as an artist relations representative.

He has recently worked with underground emcee/Record producer Necro for his album entitled Death Rap.

Ellefson is also a member of a tribute band called "Hail". Ellefson, Jimmy DeGrasso, Tim "Ripper" Owens and Andreas Kisser from Sepultura formed the band in late 2008[4]. The band, as of April 2009, is touring Europe

David participated in the Christmas Rock project Northern Light Orchestra, he performed bass on many of the 17 cuts produced by rock drummer Ken Mary and also at the live show Christmas in April Orpheum Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona.

Ellefson told HM Magazine that he, like Dave Mustaine is a committed Christian. "Well, I was actually brought up in a Christian household, so I have, you know, a pretty broad knowledge of it; and strayed from it for quite a while. And, now that I have children, I actually do go to church, so I've kinda sorta returned to it, you know?"

In an article titled CODA - Ready for a MEGA Life, Dave indicated that in the fall of 2007 he began the new MEGA Life Ministiries worship service in Scottsdale, AZ. "Oddly, the service has become one of my most rewarding and musically invigorating gigs I've ever had-a gig that literally landed in my lap and not something I had to chase down either. Not only are the parishioners respectful (no bar fights, spilled drinks and foul mouthed hecklers in the crowd like many secular gigs) but it's a musical event my whole family participates in. Plus, I'd finally had been given the venue to put into practical application the very words I'd been trying to live by for many years which is 'Play music for God, not us'."

During Megadeth's early days, he first used BC Rich Basses primarily the Mockingbird series in black for the albums Peace Sells and Killing Is My Business. Ellefson secondarily used Jackson Concert 4 and 5-string basses. He later started to play Modulus Quantum and Flea 5-strings and two Fender Precision Basses, a rosewood neck '78 with a DiMarzio split-coil humbucking pickup and a maple neck '76. David switched to the American Deluxe Series P-Basses around 2000/01. His current bass arsenal includes a pair of maple-neck American Deluxe Precisions in 4 and 5-string versions, his '78 and '76 P-Basses, an Epiphone El Capitan 5-string acoustic bass, an Ovation 4-string, a Hamer Chaparral 12-string bass and an assortment of Peavey and Modulus 5-string basses. In addition to his bass gear, Ellefson's guitar rig included an Ibanez Destroyer, a pair of Peaveys as well as Alvarez and Briarwood acoustics. David uses Peavey amps/cabinets and Mackie power amps for amplification. His effects setup includes DigiTech Genesis 3 and BP-2000 pedals, Korg and Peterson tuners, BBE and Tech 21 Sansamp DIs, Digidesign Pro Tools MBox LE and Peavey Pro Comm U1002 Wireless systems. Ellefson uses D'Addario Nickel Electric guitar strings for his guitars, Prism and Pro Steel Medium Gauge bass strings (45-130) for his basses, Jim Dunlop Medium Tortex picks and Planet Waves cables.

On February 8, 2010, Dave Ellefson got a text message from now Megadeth drummer Shawn Drover. Dave Ellefson called Dave Mustaine and the two talked out everything and decided they missed being friends. After the phone call, the news was released that David Ellefson would return to the Megadeth lineup. Ellefson was quoted saying "it felt like I never left" after their first rehearsal together