Dave Mustaine says period after Dave Ellefson’s sex scandal was “a touchy time” for Megadeth

“I certainly didn’t want to poach anybody. Not from Testament – they’re my friends – and I don’t think from anybody.”

Dave Mustaine

Image: Aldara Zarraoa / Getty Images

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Dave Mustaine has spoken about the difficulties Megadeth went through in the period immediately following former bassist Dave Ellefson’s sex scandal, calling it “a touchy time” for the band.

In an appearance on Full Metal Jackie’s national radio show, Mustaine spoke about his relationship with Testament’s Steve DiGiorgio, who played bass on Megadeth’s new album. Mustaine described their relationship as positive, but the Ellefson scandal strained relationships for a time.

“I think the band and everybody that’s associated with us, that period that we went through was a little touchy. So we wanted to do the right thing,” Mustaine explained.

“And trying to find the replacement for anybody, I think, wasn’t the right thing to do at the time because nobody really knew all the facts and I certainly didn’t want to poach anybody. Not from Testament – they’re my friends – and I don’t think from anybody.”

Mustaine went on to describe how his past experiences shaped his opinion on poaching members from other bands, describing one incident from his time with Metallica. “As great as Steve is, I remember what it felt like when we went up and poached Cliff [Burton] from Trauma. I mean, granted, the band Trauma wasn’t that good, but there are still guys in the band and their lives were changed when that happened.

“I tend to believe that… You’ve gotta ask yourself, ‘Did he jump or was he pushed?’ And I like to make sure, if I was gonna hire somebody, that I wasn’t stealing him from anybody.”

Mustaine has also spoken about his relationship with Ellefson following the scandal, where Ellefson was fired from Megadeth last year after sexually explicit videos of himself, allegedly sent to a fan, began surfacing online.

Mustaine said he would be willing to “forgive” Ellefson even though he wasn’t keen on jamming together anymore.

“It was hard for me when I lost my job. But I’ve forgiven him before when he sued me [in a since-dismissed 2004 case alleging millions owed in outstanding royalties] and I’ll forgive him a thousand times. I just won’t play music with him anymore.”

Megadeth’s new LP The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! is due to be released on 2 September.

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