frank bello

Dave Ellefson used his signature Jackson Concert 5-string bass and a Les Paul guitar on the Altitudes & Attitude EP, while Frank Bello used the same Les Paul and his ESP basses, including a new 8-string model.
Photo by Dana “Distortion” Yavin.

What happens when the bassists from Anthrax and Megadeth join forces?

“I call it my grandmother’s gift to me,” says Anthrax bassist Frank Bello of the ’74 Fender Jazz Bass he recently rediscovered. Bello learned the basics on the instrument, but had believed it lost until his grandmother’s death several years ago. While Bello was cementing his legacy as one of metal’s most notable bassists, she kept it packed away. Unearthing the bass produced a flood of emotions, including the thrill of playing music for the first time. “Holding it again feels amazing,” he says.

For Bello and fellow bassist Dave Ellefson of Megadeth, their Altitudes & Attitude project is a way to re-experience such feelings. When the duo entered the studio to record a three-song EP, they made sure to keep their sessions off-the-cuff, with much freedom to experiment. Both musicians played guitar as well as bass, and the EP reveals the duo’s formidable songwriting and rhythm guitar skills, as captured by producer Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther, Leonard Cohen) at his Los Angeles studio. Ruston recruited shredder Gus G. (Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind) and drumming phenom Jeff Friedl (A Perfect Circle, Devo) to round out the group.

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