David Ellefson Implies Dave Mustaine Didn’t Approve of His Side Projects


When Megadeth let go of bassist David Ellefson earlier this year following a sex scandal, the band (mainman Dave Mustaine, really) commented that they had an “already strained relationship” with Ellefson, implying the scandal was just the final straw. Ellefson has now fired back at that assertion, indicating their working relationship was just fine but hinting that Ellefson’s involvement in other projects may have rubbed Mustaine the wrong way.

During an appearance on The Cassius Morris Show, Ellefson was asked specifically about the “strained relationship” comment, and he responded as follows:

“I did not feel that way, that’s from their side. And again, things are fine between us, I’m not here to throw any stones or cause any troubles at all.

“To me – suit up, show up, do the gig, keep moving on. Look, obviously, long history, and all that, and I like to think we tried to kind of work to stay in the moment and keep moving forward.

“I’m busy doing a lot of other things. When that group stopped working, I began working on other things, when a tour stopped, I got on other things, when we weren’t recording or writing, I worked on other things. And that’s just kind of the nature of how life is these days and how even our business is. I look at some of my friends who do the same thing – they play in other big groups and they’ll do some other things on the side. I didn’t use to do that many years ago because we were all for one, one for all. We just rolled right into another album-tour cycle. But it hasn’t been like that in recent years.

“You kind of just out of enjoyment, mostly, work with other friends and work on other things. For me, you know what side of your bread is buttered, so when it comes time to go back to work, you do. Then you pause all the other stuff and you go back and do that. Now, it is kind of an interesting season to be able to go do other things that I enjoy, and playing with other people, and doing other things.

I think it’s telling that Ellefson was quick to explain that he responsibly handled his work in both Megadeth and various side projects (such as Metal Allegiance and Altitudes and Attitude) when asked directly about the “strained relationship” comment. MetalSucks has it on good authority that Mustaine is notoriously prickly about his band members participating in other endeavors, so it wouldn’t be surprising in the least if that contributed to Ellefson’s dismissal even if Ellefson didn’t straight up say so.

Ellefson has since launched a new project, The Lucid, which also features vocalist Vinnie Dombroski (Sponge), guitarist Drew Fortier (Zen From Mars), and drummer Mike Heller (Fear Factory). While doing the rounds to promote that band’s eponymous debut, Ellefson has spoken quite candidly about the circumstances surrounding the scandal and his firing from Megadeth.

Ellefson recently revealed that he asked for his bass tracks on Megadeth’s new album to be kept on the final recordings, but the band had them re-recorded by a mystery bassist, rumored to be Steve DiGiorgio (Death, Testament, Dethklok, etc.). He also recently spoke about both the difficulties in his family life and the support he received from friends in the wake of the scandal breaking.

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