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metal talk
22nd November 2017

jeff kunze
Words and Pictures: Jeff Kunze

dave ellefson jackson coffee

Megadeth's David Ellefson returned home to celebrate his birthday and to introduce the new 'Jackson House Blend' coffee. A small town in southern Minnesota called Jackson is where the iconic and Grammy-winning bassist grew up on a farm.

The event was held at Kat's Hog Heaven and there were plenty of people crammed in for food, music, and naturally some coffee. Kat's Hog Heaven also features some Megadeth memorabilia on the walls. Some interesting stuff to enjoy as you take in the atmosphere.

Ellefson told stories how early in the Megadeth days, the band would record at night. They started drinking coffee to stay awake to help get through those sessions and subsequently some of the best Megadeth brainstorming and ideas have originated over a good cup of Joe.

With that history, it was an easy transition to jump into the coffee business with the Ellefson Coffee Company.

dave ellefson jackson coffee

Ellefson Coffee Company formed in 2016 and has already established itself in the coffee industry. The flagship coffee blend is appropriately named 'Roast In Peace'.

Another blend called 'Urban Legend' is connected to Jackson and the Megadeth song 'Mary Jane' as Mary Jane Terwillegar was a local legend throughout the area. Other blends include 'Rock N' Rose' and 'Kenya Thrash'.

Ellefson signed anything and everything people wanted signing and took pictures with each person as well. He really took the time to talk to people and seemed to appreciate everybody that showed up to support the event.

Dave also started the EMP Label Group; also known as Ellefson Music Productions, enlisting Thom Hazaert for Marketing, A&R, and operations, which is now in its second year.

dave ellefson jackson coffee
Dave signing Jeff's (AKA the Wolf from The 3rd Floor) custom made Megadeth goalie mask his son wore for hockey

The label have released some great albums by an expanding list of artists. Doll Skin's album 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl' and Mark Slaughter's 'Halfway There' immediately come to mind of some great material coming from EMP.

This plays into the musical entertainment for the afternoon. The legendary Ron Keel has signed onto the EMP Label and his 'Metal Cowboy' album will be re-released along with a new record later in the year.

Ron didn't come alone; he brought the boys from the Ron Keel Band with him and they played an inspiring acoustic set that sounded fantastic. Ron's voice hasn't skipped a beat over the years and this was another example of how gifted he is.

dave ellefson jackson coffee
Ron Keel

The highlight of the set was 'Wild Forever' as it engulfed the entire room. There was also an acoustic version of 'Symphony Of Destruction' with Ellefson on bass.

Ron was signing a Keel 'The Final Frontier' album he told the story of how Gene Simmons convinced MCA to pay $15,000 for that cover. All the guys were friendly, accessible, and signed whatever folks wanted.

It was a great day at Kat's Hog Heaven. Big thanks to them and everybody else that put this event together. People came from all over to attend this event and I'm sure everybody had a great time, because I know I did.

Ellefson Coffee Company

dave ellefson jackson coffee

EMP Label Group

dave ellefson jackson coffee



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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