MEGADETH’s DAVE MUSTAINE On Firing DAVID ELLEFSON: ‘I’ll Forgive Him. I Just Won’t Play Music With Him Anymore’

David Ellefson and Dave Mustaine

In a new issue of Metal Hammer magazine, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine describeb his decision to dismiss his longtime bandmate and friend David Ellefson from the band as “a hard decision that had to be made.”

As previously reported, Ellefson was fired from the group after sexually tinged messages and explicit video footage involving the 57-year-old musician leaked.

“I have made mistakes myself and so I know what it feels like to have people gunning for you,” Mustaine told Metal Hammer. But what we had to remember is that MEGADETH has a lot of moving parts to it. There are four bandmembers, you’ve got their families, their management companies, the agencies, all of their technicians and on and on and on.

“I can tell you, I’ve made decisions in the past that were detrimental to the security of the band, and I know what harm that caused. But I don’t want to be saying anything about anyone who is unable to defend themselves.”

“Let me just say this – it was a hard decision that had to be made,” he continued. “There were a lot of people involved and I had to make a decision, because unfortunately, when you’re the leader, you’re the one that has to suck it up and face the music.

“All I wanted to do was make a clean break, and not hurt anyone, not hurt the fans and not hurt him. I just wanted to move on, and I hope the gentleman concerned is doing okay. I imagine there was some adjustment that had to take place when it happened.

“It was hard for me when I lost my job. But I’ve forgiven him before when he sued me [Ellefson filed a lawsuit against MUSTAINE in 2004, claiming that he was owed millions in outstanding royalties] and I’ll forgive him a thousand times. I just won’t play music with him anymore.”

MEGADETH will cap a summer of successful global touring with the release of its highly anticipated sixteenth studio album, The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!, on September 2 via UMe.