Ellefson recently discussed the book with John Katic at GuitarWorld.com. An excerpt from the interview is available below:
Q: Can you tell us what inspired the project and how it got started?
Ellefson: "I have a lot of lyrics from just the past few months, ideas that were really good, but I wasn't necessarily inspired to go through the process of writing music around them all. Setting the lyrics to photo images opened up a whole new realm of creativity with these words and didn't confine me to having to edit ideas to fit into a specific musical genre, either."
Q: When you write a lyric, you will typically have a melody and form in mind. Was it liberating to be able to just let the lyrics flow naturally?
Ellefson: "Sometimes I will have a melody, or even start with a riff and then put lyrics over the song. But when starting with a lyric, I usually just let an idea flow in order to convey the story I have in mind. The trick in putting lyrics to music is that you are often then required to edit your words to fit into the music, either because of space, rhyme or even the simplicity the words require for the listener to grasp the story. That is really the difference between story telling versus lyric writing. Lyrics have to be musical!
This book didn't confine me to have to edit lyrics to fit musical nuances. In fact, I found it really became much more open, like poetry or even spoken word, because the music wasn't dictating to me how I should edit my words to convey my thoughts. That is why the photos are so important, because they reinforce the words to the reader to really go in depth with the thoughts I'm conveying. The photos are visually doing what the music would be audibly doing if these were songs."
Go to this location for the complete interview.
Dark, light, inquisitive and inspirational, Unsung expresses a uniquely diverse side to David’s creativity. He enthuses that, “as a musician, my past lyrical work has always been set to music. But, with this new book I set out to explore a new medium using both words and images as the canvas for an exciting new mosaic of storytelling.”
Unsung captures the latest chapter in the life of one of metal music’s most iconic and influential artists, as he explores a new medium for his lyrical creativity. The book is also David’s first venture into the realm of self-publishing and as a result, he encourages the reader to utilize his new and original lyrics under license from him for their own songs. In this manner, song-writers of all levels can actually become a co-writer with David.
As bassist for the rock group Megadeth, David has been a regular contributor to one of metal music’s most enduring legacies. Followers of David’s work will be delighted that Unsung proves to be yet another unique narrative from a man who is known for creating fresh and innovative ways to inspire and connect with his fans.