David Ellefson‘s collaboration with Jeff Scott Soto will release a full-length album, “Vacation In The Underworld”in September via Rat Pak Records.
To officially launch the project, Ellefson and Soto will play two exclusive concerts in Italy where they will perform some of the new music as well as run through various catalog highlights, including selections from MEGADETH and Yngwie Malmsteen. They will be joined by an Italian guitarist Andy Martongelli as the musical director, as well as Paolo Caridi he drums and Valerio De Rosa on rhythm guitar.
Ellefson said: “Italy has become, for many years now, a ‘home away from home’ for me and my solo projects. Jeff and I am thrilled to debut and launch our new music with these exclusive live shows for our fans in Italy.”
Sept. 16 – Mila, Italy @ Legend Club Milano
Sept. 17 – Rome, Italy @ Let It Beer
In March 2021 — two months before the former MEGADETH bassist found himself embroiled in a sex video scandal — Ellefson and Soto announced that they had been collaborating on some new material under the moniker ELLEFSON-SOTO. The ELLEFSON-SOTO version of the RIOT classic “Swords & Tequila” was simultaneously released across all digital streaming outlets via Ellefson‘s Combat Records.
In a May 2022 interview with KNAC.COM, Soto offered an update on his collaboration with Ellefsonsaying (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I can confirm that it’s actually happening. I can confirm that it’s gonna be released this year. And I can confirm that it’s a full-fledged album, it’s a full-fledged commitment that we both put into it. We will be doing shows and dates, et cetera. But that’s about all I can give you right now.”
Jeff‘s latest comments came seven months after he was asked in an interview with dr. Music if the rest of the material he recorded with Ellefson would eventually see the light of day. At the time, Soto said: “I’m hoping it will at some point. I’ve given Davidas many people have, the space and the time to kind of deal with his own things.
“We were full-on getting that thing ready to bounce and to drop, et cetera, and, obviously, things were put on hold for that reason,” he explained. “And it’s just better for things to just kind of go away and kind of calm down, because we don’t need the kind of press that comes with it, especially the comments [from] the Internet cowboys out there. Let it go away, let it just kind of slip under the rug, and I’m sure that stuff is gonna resurface. And the idea of it will resurface and get us out there… I’m sure we’ll revisit it when the time is right.”
This past January, Soto shared an Instagram photo of him with Ellefson and he captioned it: “Something brewing in Los Angeles today….#davidellefson”.
When Ellefson‘s collaboration with Soto was first announced, David said in a statement: “Jeff and I have been friends for so many years that it is great to finally collaborate on some material together. He has such a distinctive voice and perfect style for some new ideas my guitarist Andy Martongelli and I have been composing. We are excited about the progress of it all and thought this would be a perfect time to give a little sneak preview.”
At the time, Jeff added: “As COVID-19 became a big negative around the globe, it actually offered many artists a chance to finally collaborate with one another that might have never happened otherwise… As I have known David for many years, I knew from our other efforts outside of our day jobs that we could come up with some badass jams…and here we are, letting you in on our cool little secret.”
Ellefson was fired from MEGADETH in May 2021 after sexually tinged messages and explicit video footage involving the bassist were posted on Twitter. At the time, Ellefson was accused of grooming an underage girl through videos and online messages. David has denied the allegation and has repeatedly said the woman in question had been a willing, consenting adult at the time of their virtual sexual encounter. Ellefson accompanied his denial with an alleged screenshot of a statement from the woman with whom he was supposedly involved at the time. In it, the woman admitted to recording the alleged intimate communications she had with Ellefson and called herself “naïve” for sharing them with a friend without the musician’s permission.
David was in MEGADETH from the band’s inception in 1983 to 2002, and again from 2010 until its latest exit.