During a recent conversation with Mitch Lafon and Jeremy White, David Ellefson talked about his firing from MEGADETH.
As previously reported, Ellefson was fired from the group after sexually tinged messages and explicit video footage involving the 56-year-old musician leaked.
On how he was fired from MEGADETH, Ellefson said: “Well, for the last 10 years I was an employee, and it’s funny to say that I was fired because I hadn’t picked up a paycheck from MEGADETH since September 2020 when we did the photoshoot for the album. So to say I was fired I think is a bit dramatic. Again, it’s not like I was on the payroll, getting a paycheck every week. ‘Not rehired for the tour,’ yeah, sure, I’ll go with that. ‘We’re not rehiring you for the tour,’ OK, fair enough.
“I wasn’t getting a weekly paycheck from the group,” he continued. “When we worked, I got paid. When we didn’t, I didn’t. And then hence why I did a coffee company and a record company, and all the other things to fill in the blanks and support myself, and build up my own legacy for my family and to have things like that. Certainly, those things, I think, were supported by management, I think they saw that if I wasn’t going to be…
“You can’t expect someone to be beholden to a company when you’re not getting paid by that company in the off-time. But I don’t think they’ve liked it, but it’s like — royalties by loyalties. When you’re all in and you’re getting paid for everything, then hey… Look, for the first 20 years of the band, I never did anything. I wrote a book and I co-wrote one song on a FLOTSAM AND JETSAM record.
“I didn’t do anything because when you’re all in, you’re all in. But when the group disbanded and it disbanded in 2002, it was not a hiatus, it was not taking time off, it was very clearly a disbanding, and when that happened, we were all left to our own. And it’s that way to this day. It’s kind of everybody fends for themselves. So when I came back 10 years ago, I was glad to be there, agreeable to be there, happy to be there for the fans, to play the songs, to be part of the legacy.
“And I clearly put another 10 years of gas in the tank, so it was a good thing. And that was always my attitude — do it for the love of the music, the love of just being there for all of it, and I was looking forward to that continuing obviously, but I guess it’s not what they want…
“In Nashville, it’s common when tours end and people file unemployment, it’s just common,” Ellefson added. “And over in rock ‘n’ roll, that’s not the common thing. On some level, you’re like the handyman — you’re called in to fix the pipe and clean the sink, and then when the job is done, you’re out.”