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"Making this album was a very intuitive and spontaneous process," says bassist Dave Ellefson of Megadeth's upcoming disc, TH1RT3EN. "We recorded everything after the Big 4 show we did in Indio, California and before the German Big 4 show, so we had about 10 weeks to get in and knock the whole thing out."
Despite the tight window, Ellefson, who was part of Megadeth's classic lineup from 1983 to 2002, and who rejoined leader Dave Mustaine and the fold in early 2010, says that the making of TH1RT3EN was "probably the most fun I've ever had in the studio, and I think the rest of the band would say the same thing."
In moving fast, Ellefson says that the group, which also includes guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover, dispensed with "that whole 'band-in-the-room-for-three-months-writing-and-making-demos' kind of thing. Doing that and then trying to decide on a producer – that can take up to a year. We looked at our schedule, looked at our shortlist of producers – Johnny K was right up there, and he was available – and we went for it."
According to Ellefson, Johnny K, who has worked with Disturbed, Black Tide and Machine Head in recent years, "was the perfect guy for what we needed to do right now. He spent time on important things, but he didn't waste time on stuff that nobody would notice. He let us go in, do our jobs and kick ass."
As both a band member and listener, Ellefson says that TH1RT3EN - the 13th studio album in the band's catalogue (duh!) - pushes all the right buttons. "I sit back and listen to this record, and it rocks my world," he enthuses. "It flows out of the speakers, my toes start tapping, and I want to move. Megadeth’s best records have always made you drive fast in your car. Just don’t blame us for any speeding tickets!"
Megadeth's TH1RT3EN will be released on 1 November. On the following pages, Dave Ellefson walks us through the record track-by-track.