Interview with David Ellefson (guitar) - F5 (December 18th 2008)

It all started in 2003, David Ellefson had worked with the singer, Dale Steele, as he produced some demo tracks for a band Dale was in. That was the beginning of F5. The CD 'A Drug for all Seasons" was released in 2006 and now they come with their second record called 'The Reckoning" in January 2009. David found the time to answer some questions about the new release. 


Another ex-Megadeth member (Jimmy DeGrasso) has entered the band, what happened to the former drummer Dave Small?


David: As we were writing the new record Dave Small decided to leave the group. I think as the music got heavier and more progressive that was not a direction he wanted to go in. So, we parted ways and brought in Jimmy DeGrasso who is a perfect fit for this type of music. He and I have known each other for years and play real well together. I'm glad he's in the group now.


The new record is sounding more metal and more melodic than “A Drug for All Seasons”. Was that a well considered choice?


David: I definitely think it is more of a metal record for sure. I think as a band we wanted this record to be way more ferocious sounding and to offer more of our progressive nature as song writer, too. Everyone in the band plays really well and I think we showcased that on this new album.


Dale Steel is a good vocalist, his voice sounds a bit like David Draiman. Sometimes even the heavier songs have a kind of Disturbed-vibe. Can you live with that comparison?


David: I agree, I think Dala is a great singer and I think he has a very unique sound to his voice too. In some ways I understand the comparison to Draiman, who is also a very identifiable and strong singer. One thing I think the two of them have in common is that they write very memorable melody hooks and actually SING! That's not so common in today's metal-core world where it's all about aggression with less focus on melody and clarity.


Is the trouble between you and Dave Mustaine past tense?


David: On my side it is.


The cover has nice artwork, what is the message in it?


David: Thank you. It is a portrayal of the spirit world having it's reckoning between the good and the bad. They are warring with each other. One thing I really like about Dale's lyrics, is that it's as if he's writing my life. I noticed that on both F5 records. I think he and I think a lot alike. Hopefully that means the listeners can relate because they may be themes that they can relate to as well.


Do You write all the songs?


David: No, it is definitely a group effort. For instance, musically I wrote most of 'The Reckoning'. John wrote "No Excuse" and Steve wrote "I Am the Taker". That should give some indication of each member's taste and writing style. Dale wrote all the lyrics on the album. He basically just wrote his life as it was during some of his dark days a few years back. Even though it wasn't planned this way in advance, lyrically it lays out like a concept album with "No Excuse" being sung as if he's singing to himself in a mirror. Then, going through "The Reckoning" with another person onto "My End" and finally "Final Hour". 


Can you tell us your plans for the future, are you going on tour and can we expect the band inEurope?


David: I wish I could give you a date on that, but do know that as the new album is preparing to release we are focusing our efforts on getting to Europe this time around. SPV is a great record company for this type of music and I think there are a lot of fans who would love to see us arrive on your shores with F5.


Your first record was released by Mascot in Europe, this record is released by Silverwolf/SPV. Wasn’t the band satisfied with the first one?


David: Mascot is a great record label, but they specialize in more instrumental releases and also bands that have long standing "brand names" so to speak. I'm thankful they released the "Drugs..." album as it was our initial entry into Europe with F5.

We are at the end of the year, what 2008 released records would be in your top 5

David: Metallica - Death Magnetic; AC/DC - Black Ice; Slipknot - All Hope Is Gone; Motorhead - Motorizer; F5- The Reckoning.


Interviewed by Reinier de Vries

F5 - The Reckoning

Album available on Silverwolf/SPV