DAVID ELLEFSON Says DAVE MUSTAINE Is Intimidated With His New Bands

Dave Mustaine David Ellefson

During recent conversation with Andrew Daly of Metal Edge magazine, David Ellefson, the ex-bassist of MEGADETH, discussed the events leading up to his termination from the band by Dave Mustaine in May 2021. The firing occurred only a few days after sexually suggestive messages and explicit video footage featuring the bassist were shared on Twitter.

“I think it was unnecessary,” he responded. “And it was undoubtedly done with spite and bitterness, which I did not deserve. Considering all that I’ve done for MEGADETH and all that I’ve tolerated over the years, I’d say the whole thing was uncalled for. And it certainly was not what we discussed regarding how the transition would happen. What went down came blindly out of nowhere.

“So, I basically had the option to take it or retaliate, which I was given free license to do. My team said, ‘Hey, if you want to go at this guy, go for it. We’ve never seen something so unethical on every level. Do what you need to do.’ But I said, ‘No. I’ll just sit back, let it sort itself out, and let the music do the talking.'”

Ellefson was also asked if he thinks Mustaine is intimidated by his involvement in other projects, such as DIETH and KINGS OF THRASH, to which he responded: “I do. I also think he hates the idea of me succeeding outside that arena. Because now, I get to be the one who helps create the music, make the decisions, and basically, be in charge. It wasn’t that way in MEGADETH, which I think many people know by now.

“But people love that band because of the music we created together,” Ellefson continued. “Those songs will stand forever despite all the stuff that happened behind the scene. So, when all that went down, I just said, ‘We have a great legacy, but it’s over now. Do you want to have a shootout or let the music speak for itself?’ I chose to let the music I make speak for itself. And I think it speaks volumes. I’m pretty convinced that the stuff I’ve put out since leaving MEGADETH is as good or better than anything they’ve done.”

According to Ellefson, Mustaine‘s persistent attacks on him and Jeff Young via the media are a result of “the intimidation factor.”

“It’s 100% why that’s been happening,” he said. “I’ve watched the quality of MEGADETH diminish over the last five years, which was very frustrating. I’d bring ideas to the table and try to help the situation, but those ideas would be either shut down or removed after the fact. It was very aggressive and frustrating to be intentionally diminished or removed from the process. So, I said, ‘Okay, I see what’s going on here.’ An old saying goes, ‘Kids that don’t share their toys don’t have friends.’ So, I just said, ‘I’ll take my toys and play with someone else.’ This is simple s**t you learn in kindergarten, but not so much in that band.”