David Ellefson Compares Megadeth Firing to Being ‘Kicked Out of Hell’
Former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson has further commented on his ousting from the prominent metal band. He explained that songwriting collaboration between him and Megadeth bandleader Dave Mustaine had come to a standstill several years ago.
In 2021, Ellefson was let go from Megadeth amid a sex scandal. Bassist James LoMenzo replaced him after Testament's Steve Di Giorgio stepped in to record bass on The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!, Megadeth's new album that emerged last week.
Ellefson returned in The Lucid with Sponge's Vinnie Dombroski and Fear Factory's Mike Heller. They released the singles "Damned" and "Maggot Wind." Earlier this year, Ellefson added yet another new act to his resume, the band Dieth. They released a song called "In the Hall of the Hanging Serpents."
But that hasn't stopped Ellefson from commenting on his firing from Megadeth, such as he did during a new video interview with the podcast 2020'd this week.
"I kind of saw the events of last year as just the perfect opportunity to choose box office over brotherhood," Ellefson said, per Blabbermouth.
He added, "I look back at it now and I feel like I got kicked out of hell. So, whatever."
Ellefson continued, "It was just abusive. It was unnecessary. … Dave even said he had a resentment toward me that he couldn't let go."
Sharing how the collaborative nature of the songwriting between him and Mustaine had apparently broken down years before, the ex-Megadeth bassist looked back on Megadeth's 2013 studio effort, Super Collider — particularly its centerpiece, "Kingmaker."
"The record was done, or at least my bass parts were," Ellefson explained. "And Dave, at the end of the session, at the end of the day, he said to me, he said, 'Hey, man. If you wanna go through the record, if there's anything you wanna add or tweak or change, blah blah blah blah,' giving me free license to do so, 'cause he had signed off on everything. So [I said], 'All right. No problem.'"
Ellefson continued, "So after he left, me and [then-Megadeth guitarist] Chris Broderick and [producer] Johnny K sat in the studio and I said, 'You know, I do have this one little bit, this little thing,' and I showed it to them, and Broderick goes, 'Dude, that would be really cool at the beginning of 'Kingmaker'.' And I said, 'Huh. Interesting idea.' … We were all excited."
However, "Dave walks in the next day in a much different mood," the bassist recalled. "Grumpy, I might add [laughs] and not feeling so joyous as the night before. And I think either me or Johnny said, 'Hey, I've got something I want you to listen to that we worked on last night.' And there was this kind of disapproving look. And Johnny plays it for him, all excited. 'Cause I think the three of us all heard the same thing: 'Hey, if you wanna add anything, if you wanna work on anything, please do.' Well, Dave didn't seem to maybe remember that conversation. And what he walked into was, 'Why the hell are you messing with my song?' And I think he pulled Broderick aside and said, 'Don't you dare add David Ellefson's stuff to my songs.'"
This fall, Ellefson will join another ex-Megadeth member, guitarist Jeff Young, on "The MEGA Years" tour in the U.S. Their assembled band, Kings of Thrash, will perform two early Megadeth albums in full. Guitarist Chris Poland, another former Megadeth musician, will appear as special guest. Get tickets here.