At the NAMM Show in January, David Ellefson of Megadeth was hanging out while his proteges in the band Doll Skin were signing autographs.
He was kind enough to answer some questions about them, the new Megadeth record Dystopia and more…
Q: You’re here at NAMM with Doll Skin. How did you become involved with them?
David Ellefson: Sure. I saw them at a Rock Revelation battle of the bands thing and they just absolutely blew me away, man. They blew the roof off the place. So I’ve been hanging with them a little bit, this last summer I took them to the studio and made a six-song EP, we just released it through Megaforce Records in October, put the first single out, Family of Strangers.
Now we’re on the second single, Wring Me Out, and they just did the Metal Allegiance tour, the ShipRocked cruise, now we’re at NAMM and heading to South By Southwest with a whole March run of dates in a bunch of radio markets.
Things are heating up, man. Basically I manage them…sometimes necessity is the mother of invention, so these girls have been probably as good for me as I have been for them.
Q: So they’re having a good time with it all?
David Ellefson: They love it, I mean, they’re teenagers. It’s funny, they’re like really young, old punk-rock souls.
Q: And here they are with Lita Ford at a signing, which is a whole generational thing.
— Rock Cellar Magazine (@RockCellarMag) January 23, 2016
David Ellefson: Exactly! Of course, Lita being…her and the Runaways being the originals, and now here they are. Doll Skin, every stage I put them on they just win over the audience. Nita Strauss was there at the Whisky when we did the Lemmy memorial, saw the girls play and just said wonderful things about them. And it’s nice, when we were on the ShipRocked Cruise, they have a very infectious way of winning over a crowd and even other bands.
They’re young, they have a great spirit, they’re friends, they get along, they get on stage and kick everyone’s ass and I think…for those of us in bands, that’s that thing we always want. It’s the thing we always had in the beginning but you kind of lose it along the way. Money, travel, the work, everything that goes with it, everything tends to kind of distract you.
It’s inspiring to a lot of us older guys to see a bunch of young girls – and the fact that they’re girls, up there kicking ass, going toe-to-toe with the best of the best.
Q: So when are you going to take them on the road with Megadeth?
David Ellefson: Well, hey, I’d love for that to happen. As time develops…I think with a lot of things, you know Alice Cooper took Megadeth out, we did some dates with Motorhead, some of the early believers are willing to stick their neck out a little bit. It’s a good thing – I think Megadeth maybe more than a lot of bands in our genre have been really good about taking out a lot of…well we always joke that we take out a lot of bands that got bigger than us at some point. Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Pantera, but you know things come full circle. All these years later…today, a new Megadeth record came out and it appears to be probably one of the strongest ones yet, so far.
Q: It’s really, really heavy…I imagine that was an interesting part of the recording experience since some of those riffs are insane.
David Ellefson: That’s Dave, you know, it’s funny because Dave…it was one of those records where Dave had his alone time to find the headspace for it. We didn’t have a schedule, when the record was done it’d be done and it’ll come out when it’s ready. That was a good plan to have, to not have a plan basically. Obviously he came up with those riffs, and those are the riffs that when I met him I fell in love with.
We’re back to that…really not writing ‘for’ anybody anymore, just if we feel it in the room it’s good and that seems to work well with our fans.