David Ellefson Says Metallica, Not Megadeth, Were Always Thrash Metal’s Leaders


Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Big Dave (Mustaine) and Little Dave (Ellefson) haven’t exactly gotten along since the latter’s firing from Megadeth for reasons stemming from an online affair. You can also stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Dave Mustaine is still pretty sensitive about his firing from Metallica forty years ago, despite the fact that he’s gone on to have a remarkably-successful career with Megadeth.

Those things are probably why Little Dave is taking shots at Mustaine for what feels like the umpteenth time in the last calendar year, this time going right for the insecurities (transcribed by Blabbermouth).

“Ah, it frickin’ broke the doors down. Metallica were always the leader. They broke all the doors down to every obstacle in the way of heavy metal. To some degree, Iron Maiden, before them, had superseded and became an arena act and done this stuff too, so certainly you’ve gotta give credit to Maiden. And even Def Leppard, to some degree, because they started out as just kind of a grungy little heavy metal band out of Sheffield, and then they [went] on to become essentially almost like a pop act, on some level; I mean, they became that big.

“Those guys — certainly Def Leppard and Maiden — deserve credit for sort of carving the initial path to sort of the big-time mainstream path for heavy metal. But then Metallica came in, and they just fucking [said], ‘We’re here. We’re coming in.’ They really broke through every obstacle with MTV and daytime rotation with their videos and just became a household name.

“And it’s cool, because they have ‘metal’ in their name, so it’s not like there’s any ‘what is this?’ It’s, like, come on. It says ‘metal’ right in it. You know what it is. And they didn’t clean it up and pretty it up; they just kept it raw and frickin’ grungy and in your face, and it was, again, authentic. So, again, the likes of Lemmy [of Motörhead], who influenced Lars [Ulrich, Metallica drummer] and the guys, that inspiration that stayed true, that, ‘We don’t have to…’”

The former ‘Deth bassist isn’t wrong about the impact that Metallica had; they changed everything for heavy bands. I’m sure this won’t lead to more people involved with Megadeth talking about things that happened forty years ago.

Ellefson is currently covering Megadeth with Kings of Thrash.

Show Comments
Metal Sucks Greatest Hits