DAVID ELLEFSON: DAVE MUSTAINE Fired Me From MEGADETH Over ‘Personal Grudges And Resentments’

Dave Mustaine David Ellefson

During a recent conversation with The Metal Circus from Spain, former MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson discussed the ongoing connection to his previous group, despite his efforts to introduce various fresh music endeavors, such as KINGS OF THRASH and DIETH.

“I’m always gonna be known for my work in MEGADETH,” Ellefson said. “But me not being in MEGADETH is not of my choice. [Laughs] I think people are appreciative that I’m continuing to make music — at least from what I’ve seen. It’s not like I left the band and said, ‘F**k you. I’m out.’ ‘Cause if I did that, and then if I was trying to start new bands, people would be, like, ‘F**k you, Ellefson. You left our favorite band. F**k you. We don’t care.’ People know that that was not my decision; it’s not the way I would have handled that at all.

“Clearly I’m not mad about the past. I’m not disrespectful. I didn’t just close the door on MEGADETH and say ‘f**k you’ and move on to something else; I didn’t do that at all. I will always be an ambassador for that group and for those songs and for that music, because I’m a part of that. So I think that’s the difference. I think I’m being very respectful toward it despite how my dismissal was handled. I think I’ve gone above and beyond being respectful. I can assure you many others would not have [laughs], but I did. At the same time, there’s new music. There’s a forward path. And I’m not just gonna live in my past, my glory days of the past.

“Look, I can just quit and not do any more music — to be honest with you, I could,” he continued. “And there are some days I think about that and go, ‘Yeah, f**k all this s**t. Maybe I should just stop and just f**king get rid of all my guitars and just call it a day.’ I mean, there really are days I think about that. But then I turn around and I go, ‘I’m gonna grab an instrument,’ and I start playing. So it’s that natural instinct to want to play. That’s why there is another David Ellefson band. It’s because I’m passionate about it and I’m honest and I’m genuine about it. I’m not forcing something. I’m certainly not doing it for the money. All these bands f**king cost me money. I put my own money back into these things.”

Asked about whether he believes he he was “a victim of unnecessary criminalization” upon his dismissal from MEGADETH in May 2021, occurring shortly after the release of sexual-themed messages and graphic video content featuring the bass guitarist on Twitter, Ellefson responded: “A hundred percent. F**king a hundred percent I was. Everything about that was just not okay. [Laughs] But you can spend your life trying to get justice, trying to go down that road, and it’s kind of like it always just follows you. I had some good advisors around me, and at some point, it’s, like, ‘Look, it is what it is. What happened, happened. Just move on.’

“Life is lived forward, not backward… Own your s**t and move on. Which is what I did. The night that a video was put out of me that I knew nothing about, and there it was. And all of a sudden, it’s, like, hey, own your s**t. All right. Whatever. That happened. Move on. And don’t sit there and try to go back and do some spin control or call the publicists. ‘Cause that’s what some people wanted to do. And I was, like, ‘F**k that.’ It is what it is. Just f**king own it and move on. And I’d like to think there’s more integrity in just ‘own your s**t and move on.’ … Let that situation help you get better rather than just sit around and hate on everyone.”