Megadeth bassist David Ellefson has declared Megadeth frontman and founder Dave Mustaine to be the inventor of thrash metal.
Speaking with the Pogg.com, Ellefson acknowledged that his claim was a bold one, but insisted that it was Mustaine’s unique guitar playing style that brought forth a new era of metal: “It could be argued that Motorhead were the earliest pioneers to point toward the genre but I think Dave Mustaine’s guitar playing (even in Metallica) was the invention of thrash.”
He explained that thrash was a hybrid of punk and heavy metal: “We were the first generation of musicians to like the Sex Pistols and Black Sabbath, so as a result we drew from both punk and metal cultures to create our thrash.”
Megadeth are currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of their classic album ‘Countdown to Extinction’ with the release of a special two-disc edition of the album, which also features a live CD, a poster and more.
In a recent interview with Artist Direct, Mustaine recalled writing some of the album’s classic songs: “Take the chorus of ‘Symphony of Destruction.’ I found a martial arts instructor I liked, and I started training with him. I’d been with him for a while, and one day, I was driving to get lunch. For some reason, I wanted sushi. Maybe I thought I was David Carradine [Laughs]. Who knows? You finish karate and go have sushi, right? I wrote on the back of the receipt from the sushi restaurant, ‘My head explodes. My brain corrodes.’ That’s where it started. “
He continued: “The feeling of this record reminds me of how meticulous we were doing it too. When we had the guitars patched into strobe tuners, we’d bend up until where the tuner would stop dead if we were doing any solos with bends in them. It was crazy stuff like that. We were doing it to tape too.”