(F5 Photo courtesy of Fran Strine)
Being a huge fan of MEGADETH, I was glad to hear that David Ellefson was going to be in another band after MEGADETH went splitsville. So I requested this interview with F5 to see what was happening with the new band. Imagine my surprise when David answered the questions himself.
I would like to thank David Ellefson for taking the time to answer these questions for Maximum Metal. F5 is currently in the studio finishing the debut album that should be out later this year. I asked David several questions to get the inside scoop on his new band and this is what he had to say…
How did this lineup come about? What can you tell us about the background of the other members? Is Dale Steele the same Steele that fronted SICK SPEED?
Man is he talented! Guitarist Steve Conley, drummer David Small and myself started writing back in early 2003 and the creative flow was great! We just kept getting together and we knew we were on to something very cool. We unanimously formed our own style and from there Dale Steele (yes, of Sick Speed) wrote and sang over some music demos we sent him. He just nailed it out of the gate and quickly moved to Phoenix, AZ to move the process of writing along quicker. I love his faith in the project and his commitment to it all.
From there, Conley invited John Davis in and it was a perfect fit. I must say that the whole thing fell into our laps and was never contrived or planned in any way. The whole process has been like that and that makes me feel good because I honestly was not looking to put together another group after Megadeth. I figured that was it, and I didn’t even know where to begin on a new band so I just picked up my guitar and wrote. Many of those ideas are now F5 songs.
Aside from Dale, who has previously fronted Sick Speed, the other members have been paying dues in the Phoenix area for several years in various original bands. They are all extremely talented with optimistic attitudes and abilities.
WWE superstar Brock Lesnar's finishing move is similarly called the F5. How did you come up with the name F5? Is that hurricane strength?
No, it’s actually the highest level, most deadly tornado. I think David Small came up with the name and we rolled with it. I like that it’s simple.
Now that F5 is currently finishing the debut album, can you give us a breakdown of what we can expect the album to sound like and maybe some song titles?
It’s heavy, so don’t sweat that! However, it’s melodic. I would rather have both, which are very difficult to make happen in a cool way. I think the abilities of everyone in the band, and our synergy with us all on the same page as song writers, really helps us be something unique in a seemingly bland metal environment that seems to be surrounding us these days. The first track that KUPD in Phoenix has played a few times is called “Fall To Me”. The response was huge and now we are holding everything off as much as we can until the full length is complete and ready to release.
What can you tell us about the recording and writing process on this album? Who is producing the album and where is it being recorded?
Ryan Greene is producing the record, who I coincidentally worked with on Megadeth “Countdown…” demos in LA back in 1991. He’s a killer producer and it feels like an awesome combination for our band. We are working on it in an exclusive setting in Phoenix which is very energetic and creative. We have three of the tracks completely finished and are commencing the sessions again immediately after Easter holiday to complete the rest of the recordings.
Has F5 signed to a record deal yet? Is there a tentative release date for the new album?
|"I wouldn’t want to tour until we have the record complete, it just wouldn’t make sense to play that much until people can hear the material first and be familiar with it."|
We have the option of being on an imprint label called Marquis Records, which is part of The Universal Group, or to release elsewhere if we so choose.
Do you guys have a working title for the album? Have you decided on an album cover?
All of this is coming together now.
Does F5 plan to make a video for use on Mtv's resurrected Headbangers Ball?
I’d like to, yes. I’m stoked that there is finally a cool outlet for the heavy stuff again.
Is F5 planning a tour? Any ideas of who you may tour with or would like to?
I wouldn’t want to tour until we have the record complete, it just wouldn’t make sense to play that much until people can hear the material first and be familiar with it.
What are the influences behind the band and are there any bands out now that you really enjoy?
Everyone is a great player so they’ve appreciated the legendary players from the past, along with all things metal. Also, I think there is a good influence from melodic musicians of the past and not just metal. So, that gives us good roots for writing actual songs, not just heavy for heavy’s sake. I personally like everything from Lamb of God & Trivium to Disturbed.
What is your opinion on the Judas Priest reunion and forthcoming album?
I think it’s cool but I also think they’d be best served to just play the hits at this point in time. However, I’d love to hear them break out something as heavy as “Hell Bent For Leather”.
And here is one that I just have to ask, I know never say never but are you done with MEGADETH? And do you plan to focus full-time on F5?
I agree, never say never. However, since I’ve been pushed out of any new Megadeth activities I will certainly be continuing to put my energies into F5.
Are there any final thoughts you would like to leave us with?
I know a lot of people are chomping at the bit to finally hear me step out with some new music of my own away from Dave Mustaine and Megadeth. In fact, this opportunity is something I probably should have done many years ago, but because Megadeth was in full force I kept my loyalties to that group.
So, you know, I’m taking my time to make sure I don’t disappoint but no one is more anxious than me to get the songs out for you all to hear!
Stay tuned to www.f5theband.com for more details.
Thanks again David for taking time out of the bands busy schedule to answer these questions for the metal community. Maximum Metal wishes F5 the best.
Be sure to check the F5 website out often; audio clips should be coming soon.
(Look for PT. 2 with F5 after the CD release.)