David Ellefson Says He’s Not “Throwing Rocks” at Megadeth, Then Says He “Saved Their Asses” in the Same Interview
It’s finally happened, folks. The snake has begun eating its own tail. At least that’s the feeling that I got reading bits and snippets out of the latest interview featuring ex-Megadeth bassist David Ellefson. Sounds like when it comes to loving and hating his former band in the same breath, he’s spent the last 40 years learning from the best.
Speaking with Sense Music Media (transcribed by Blabbermouth), Ellefson almost mimicked Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine by saying he was done talking about his former band in one breath and then explaining how integral he was to their overall survival in the next. Just swap “Metallica” for “Megadeth” in this case.
In the interview, Ellefson looked back to his initial return to the band back in 2010. At the time, Megadeth nearly quit for good after Mustaine suffered an injury, leaving him unable to play guitar for some time. After a lawsuit and some time away from the band, Ellefson eventually came back into the fold. That move, he said, came at just the right time to “save” the band, he says.
“I knew that when I came back to Megadeth in 2010, I saved their fucking ass, because there was no one else who was gonna be playing Rust In Peace [in its entirety on that tour], and it was a perfect setup for that.”
It’s a little bit of a stretch to say there wasn’t a single person that would have been willing to play an insanely important thrash record like Rust In Peace with one of the biggest metal bands on the planet. After throwing that little tidbit out into the conversation, Ellefson said he wanted to make sure he didn’t linger on how he was treated when he was let go in 2021 like Mustaine has for four decades about his ousting from Metallica.
“And, you know, look, after 11, almost 12 years there, if that journey’s over, well, move on. And I didn’t sit around and lick my wounds and cry. I’m not making a career now of throwing rocks at them. It’s, like, why? Just fucking move on, man.”
Perhaps in the more eyebrow-raising part of the interview, Ellefson opined that the people that didn’t support him during the psuedo-sex scandal that ultimately cost him his job in Megadeth had their own demons that they didn’t want exposed if they stood up for him.
“What I found out is the people who distanced themselves from me are the ones who were guilty of shit way worse than anything I fucking did. Let me tell you that right now. And that’s where some friends came alongside me and said, ‘Man, I had something similar happen. And when my band or my boss or my people distanced from me, it’s, like, the mirror popped up’ of, like, ‘Oh, shit’ — they saw themselves in the mirror.
“Which is why I set out immediately to settle the score — meaning, to say, ‘Fuck you. How dare you do this to me, or anybody?’ Of course, everybody immediately, ’cause everybody’s trying to protect their reputation and their public image and all that…
“I mean, I understand — I understand on one level the embarrassment or whatever of, like, ‘Oh my gosh. What is this?’ But it’s, like, man, I think sometimes in situations that we’ve been in the longest, we find out we really aren’t that close after all, at the end of the day.”