MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson has seemingly thrown his support behind the idea of drive-in concerts during the COVID-19 pandemic. As traditional venues remain in limbo, some shows are being planned at drive-ins, with attendees seated and music pumped through an FM transmitter into the car stereos of all in attendance, as well as through a PA system on the stage.
In a brand new interview with Giant TV Niagara, Ellefson said (hear audio below): "I love the drive-in concept. I haven't been to a drive-in since… I grew up in Minnesota, and I remember I went a couple of times with my parents when me and my brother were super young, and it was boring and it sounded terrible. But then I did go see, when I was probably just a young teenager, I saw 'Alien' — the very first 'Alien' [movie] — at a drive-in, and it just scared the living daylights out of me. So that was pretty metal. So it could happen in drive-in theaters, but I think that, obviously, the crowd is metal. What are you gonna do? Start questioning why you're honking? They might. There's a great meme on Instagram that shows the cars all piled up like there was a mosh pit, like Smash-Up Derby.
"Look, it's our human desire to have fellowship with other people and to be around each other and see each other face-to-face," he continued. "Phone calls and Zoom meetings and all these things are great, but it's not the same as having real human interaction.
"The concert business is about one thing, which is put as many people in as big of a room as you can, and that, obviously, runs in complete and direct opposition to what we have to do right now with this thing," referring to the coronavirus crisis.
He added: "So, I don't know. My opinion is whatever however. I think it's all good. Obviously, look, Live Nation is a big promoter. When they can do your shows, it's big stuff. They're probably looking to preserve their business. we want Live Nation to stay in business; we don't want them to go out of business. So whatever we all can do, and I think fans will be happy. However they can get out, as long as it's safe and people feel comfortable doing it."
On Friday (May 22), two Christian music acts — TOBYMAC and NEWSBOYS UNITED — announced the "Drive-In Theater Tour", a 12-show run that respectively brings each to rural outdoors cinemas in the South and Midwest beginning in late June. The tour will follow local health guidelines and capacity regulations set for each venue, and visuals will be projected on the drive-in screen, similar to amphitheater productions.
As previously reported, the first leg of MEGADETH's previously announced North American tour with LAMB OF GOD, TRIVIUM and IN FLAMES will be rescheduled for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first leg of the 55-date trek tour was supposed to kick off June 12 at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia, and wrap August 1 at the Concord Pavilion in Concord, California. The second run was due to launch October 2 at iTHINK Financial Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, Florida, and conclude on November 13 at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada.
Ellefson recently said that he would travel to Nashville, Tennessee this week to begin recording MEGADETH's 16th studio album.
The early sessions for MEGADETH's new LP took place last year with co-producer Chris Rakestraw, who previously worked on 2016's "Dystopia".
MEGADETH's new effort will be the first to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined the band almost four years ago.