David Ellefson claims Megadeth fired him over “personal grudges and resentments”

“I’m not mad about the past.”

David Ellefson

Image: John Shearer / Getty Images

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Ex-Megadeth bassist David Ellefson has claimed that he was kicked out of the band as a result of “personal grudges and resentments” toward him.

Discussing his former band’s legacy in a recent interview with The Metal Circus TV, Ellefson said: “I’m always gonna be known for my work in Megadeth. But me not being in Megadeth is not of my choice.”

“It’s not like I left the band and said, ‘Fuck you. I’m out.’ ‘Cause if I did that, and then if I was trying to start new bands, people would be, like, ‘Fuck you, Ellefson. You left our favourite band. Fuck you. We don’t care.’ People know that that was not my decision; it’s not the way I would have handled that at all.”

Ellefson then emphasised that he’s “not mad about the past” and that he will always be an “ambassador” for the band and their music “because I’m a part of that.”

“I think I’m being very respectful toward it despite how my dismissal was handled,” he said, referencing his exit following a sex scandal in 2021. “I think I’ve gone above and beyond being respectful. I can assure you many others would not have, but I did. At the same time, there’s new music. There’s a forward path. And I’m not just gonna live in my past, my glory days of the past.”

Asked if he is happier now than he was before, Ellefson replied: “Very much. And in fact, outside of you and me talking about this, I don’t even think about Megadeth anymore. I really don’t — I don’t think about it. That whole thing, to me, it’s dead to me, to be honest with you.”

He added, “The first [exit] was over the change of financial splits, and then the second time was clearly of something much bigger — personal grudges and resentments toward me. But that notwithstanding, I knew what I was walking back into. And we had a lot of good times. There was a lot of fun in the 11 years that I came back. Not so much in the recent years.”

“The last couple of years were pretty shitty and pretty difficult, especially trying to make that record [Megadeth’s 2022 album The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!]. It was very clear I was not invited into it. I was not welcomed. Clearly Dave did not want me to be part of that story, of that album. And I knew it.”

“So, again, I’m a big boy. I get it. I see it. So that’s why when I was dismissed, it was kind of, like, ‘Well, all right. Move on from that.’ That’s why I’m not bitter about this. Now, it didn’t end the way I thought it would, but oh, well. Megadeth’s over again. Well, now what? Move on. So I’d already been down this road once before.”

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