Megadeth bassist David Ellefson and Sons of Apollo vocalist Jeff Scott Soto released a collaborative cover of Riot’s 1981 track, “Swords & Tequila,” under the name Ellefson-Soto, on March 23.
Coming off a solo covers album, “No Cover,” and with a new Megadeth record reportedly in the works, Ellefson has been as busy, despite not being able to tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Jeff and I have been friends for so many years that it’s great to finally collaborate on some material together,” Ellefson says.
“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.”
Ellefson says he admires the late former Riot vocalist Guy Speranza, who played a part in the decision to cover the song.
“The first time I ever heard of Riot was on the Castle Donington ‘Monsters of Rock’ album from 1980. For me, they were the USA representatives during the New Wave of British Heavy Metal,” Ellefson says.
“‘Swords & Tequila,’ along with the entire ‘Fire Down Under’ album, for that matter, show the band delivering its rowdy and high-energy rock ’n’ roll like no other band in the USA was doing at that time. So, it is an honor to offer them much-deserved reverence, as well as a reminiscent tribute to the mighty Guy Speranza, who fronted the band like a god during that period.”
The pair teamed with Sword vocalist Rick Hughes on the track and recorded its lead vocals.
“What can I say? This was a classic metal track from Riot that we all knew growing up. When David brought up that we should cover it, I was thrilled,” Soto says.
“But when we added Rick Hughes from the band Sword onto it, it truly came to life. Forty years after its release, we hope you dig this new version we built for you.”
The song was distributed on Ellefson’s Combat Records label, part of EMP Label Group.
Riot, formed in New York City in 1975, originally released “Swords & Tequila” on its 1981 album, “Fire Down Under.”
Ellefson-Soto is expected to release more new material in the future. “Swords & Tequila” can be found on all music streaming services.