David Ellefson: “When Marty quit, he washed his hands of Megadeth. He left his money on the table and didn’t turn back”

The former Megadeth bassist explains why he didn’t approach Marty Friedman about joining his new band, Kings of Thrash.

[L-R] David Ellefson and Marty Friedman

Credit: Getty Images

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more

Former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson has revealed why he didn’t approach Marty Friedman about joining his new band, Kings Of Thrash.

Ellefson formed the new project, which also features ex-Megadeth guitarist Jeff Young, in late 2022, alongside drummer Fred Aching and guitarist/vocalist Chaz Leon, with one-time Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland making occasional appearances. They have been touring throughout 2023, and earlier in the year played a run of dates in the US where they performed the classic Megadeth albums Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good! and So Far, So Good… So What!

Ellefson addressed Friedman’s absence in an interview for Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta’s podcast The Jasta Show. Friedman played in Megadeth from 1990-1999.

“No, I didn’t call him, ’cause, look, when Marty quit, he just walked away,” he said. “He washed his hands of Megadeth. I mean, he left his money on the table. He just didn’t turn back. It was not, like, ‘Hey, you fuckers better pay me.’ I mean, nothing.

“He just literally walked out the door. That was it. He was gone, and he just washed his hands of the whole thing. So, yeah, Marty and I are friends, and we never talk about Megadeth — ever.” [as transcribed by Blabbermouth].

Ellefson continued: “Marty and I, I asked him one time about playing something. And he’s kind of more my — he’s my buddy. We don’t really talk music that much. We kind of check in, ‘Hey, what’s happening? How’s [everything] in Japan?’ And we don’t really talk business… So I intentionally didn’t hit him because I didn’t think he’d be interested.

“Plus he lives in Japan, and one of the beauties of Kings Of Thrash, essentially it’s based in L.A. and those guys, they’re even rehearsing now for when we go to Australia next week. I just walk in and plug and play.”

Ellefson was removed from Megadeth in 2021, though frontman Dave Mustaine also said that their relationship was already “strained” prior to his departure.


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.