“To drag out resentment and be fuelled by anger would be age-inappropriate”: David Ellefson on moving on post Megadeth

“It would be very disruptive and, publicly, not seem very cool, either.”

David Ellefson performing live

Credit: Roberto Finizio/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

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David Ellefson was famously ejected from Megadeth in 2021 following a sex scandal involving a younger fan, and while tensions between him and bandleader Dave Mustaine would have been high at the time, the bassist moved on relatively quickly, and opted not to harbour resentment towards his former bandmates.

In a new interview with Metal Hammer, Ellefson recalls the tumultuous period in his life, and the lessons he learned.

“There’s two sides to it,” he says, regarding the scandal itself. “One: when you bare it all, you’ve got nothing to hide. Fuck it, now you can truly be yourself! We all come into the world with our birthday suit on, so what are we ashamed of?”

He goes on: “What I feel the worst about is the embarrassment that it caused some people, like my family, who didn’t deserve it. Out of respect for them, I’m going to keep the family dynamic off the table [during interviews]. That’s at their request.”

Ellefson received a call from Mustaine, his manager and his lawyer following the videos leaking online, and while he says one of them suggested they take a step back and “let Ellefson deal with it”, in order to “leave the door open for him to come back”, Mustaine had already made up his mind.

“Dave didn’t want that,” he says. “He made his decision and it is what it is.”

But Ellefson, who now plays in The Lucid and Dieth, holds no ill will for the decision that was made.

“Now that I’m not in Megadeth, I think, at this age, to drag out resentment and be fuelled by anger would be age-inappropriate,” the 59-year-old musician says. 

“It would be very disruptive and, publicly, not seem very cool, either. But if there was one person who could pull that off, it was Dave. He could write a song! I’m convinced that none of us come up with this shit; it comes to us.”

While things have simmered down in the years following the scandal, tensions were understandably more raised at the time, and indeed for some time after. Last year, Ellefson called Dave Mustaine “fucking pathetic” for “still bitching” about his exit from Metallica.


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