David Ellefson, Megadeth’s former bassist/vocalist, has once again addressed his dismissal from the band in 2021 following the leak of explicit videos and allegations of an online relationship with an underage fan. While denying the accusations, a police report confirmed Ellefson’s involvement in an online relationship with a 19-year-old fan, which did not result in charges due to the age of consent. In a recent interview with Heavy Talk, Ellefson criticized his former bandmate, Dave Mustaine, for how he was fired following the controversy. Ellefson had previously stated his intention to pursue charges of revenge porn against the individual responsible for leaking the video footage.

 

During the discussion with Heavy Talk, Ellefson went into detail on being let go from the group:

“I got one call: ‘You’re fired.’ And I said, ‘What the fuck, man?’ I said, ‘Some shitty fucking people just dropped a bomb on my house. And that’s it? It’s not even true. It’s fucking bullshit. And this is how you treat me?’ It was non-negotiable. I mean, I asked. I said, ‘I’m gonna take care of it. Let me just deal with it. And it will fucking be done. We’ll be ready to go on the road in two months, and everything will be fine.’ And it was. Because it was just false allegations and bullshit. But [Dave] didn’t wanna know about it. I think he was getting pressure from some other people around him. And it’s too bad it went that way. Because it was really nothing. I took care of it. And then once the word came out that I was fired, then it turned into this big fucking thing, which, quite honestly, was very damaging and very hurtful and not fair. I’m glad I don’t have that fucking amends on my shoulder because that was fucked up.”

 

Later in the discussion, David Ellefson added fuel to the fire by bringing up Dave Mustaine’s longstanding feud with former bandmates from Metallica. Mustaine was infamously ousted from the band in the early 1980s due to his struggles with substance abuse, which have been well-documented. Although Mustaine had previously made peace with his former Metallica bandmates, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, their relationship seems to have deteriorated once again. Ellefson pointed out this situation and shared his thoughts, expressing:

“Look, I have no choice but to have to forgive it so I can move on. I really don’t. So I don’t know what more to say about it other than that. Look, at some point… The damage was done. So you move on. We’re all human, and it is what it is. You can’t lament it. I’ve watched how he’s treated his dismissal from Metallica, still bitching about it 40 years later, and I think it looks fucking pathetic. And it’s, like, ‘You know what? Fix you shit and move on.’ And that’s how I’ve chosen to deal with it: fix your shit and move on. And that’s why I put out four records in the time the last fucking Megadeth record came out, and I think every one of ’em are as good or better than the latest Megadeth record. I think the quality… And part of it is I’m working with great people. Whether they’re famous or not doesn’t matter. I’m working with good people. They’re safe, they’re reliable, they’re truly men of integrity, and I think that really makes a big difference. I feel safe around them. And the creative process is fun. It’s not restrictive. It’s unlimited. And so this creative explosion has happened. And again, listen, I’m not trying to be in 85 bands — believe me, I’m not. But it’s interesting that there was this sort of post-Megadeth season here where all these records came out. And rather than try to limit them and restrict them, I’m, like, ‘Fuck it. Put ’em out. Let’s go.’ In a lot of ways, it’s turned out okay. It’s been fine. And I’m okay. People ask, and I’m, like, ‘I’m okay.’ It was kind of a weird ending.”

 

Ellefson added:

“Look, I have no choice but to have to forgive it so I can move on. I really don’t. So I don’t know what more to say about it other than that. Look, at some point… The damage was done. So you move on. We’re all human, and it is what it is. You can’t lament it. I’ve watched how he’s treated his dismissal from Metallica, still bitching about it 40 years later, and I think it looks fucking pathetic. And it’s, like, ‘You know what? Fix you shit and move on.’ And that’s how I’ve chosen to deal with it: fix your shit and move on. And that’s why I put out four records in the time the last fucking Megadeth record came out, and I think every one of ’em are as good or better than the latest Megadeth record. I think the quality… And part of it is I’m working with great people. Whether they’re famous or not doesn’t matter. I’m working with good people. They’re safe, they’re reliable, they’re truly men of integrity, and I think that really makes a big difference. I feel safe around them. And the creative process is fun. It’s not restrictive. It’s unlimited. And so this creative explosion has happened. And again, listen, I’m not trying to be in 85 bands — believe me, I’m not. But it’s interesting that there was this sort of post-Megadeth season here where all these records came out. And rather than try to limit them and restrict them, I’m, like, ‘Fuck it. Put ’em out. Let’s go.’ In a lot of ways, it’s turned out okay. It’s been fine. And I’m okay. People ask, and I’m, like, ‘I’m okay.’ It was kind of a weird ending.”

 

Despite exposing moments of his unraveling private life in the most public and humiliating ways, David Ellefson has chosen to move on and let go of any grudges he may have had towards his former bandmates. This was the main point he expressed in the recent chat with Heavy Talk. In contrast, Dave Mustaine has been known to go back and forth with his grudge against his former Metallica bandmates, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, as seen in the infamous scene from the 2004 film, Some Kind of Monster. This grudge may never truly disappear. Despite his public humiliation, Ellefson has taken significant strides forward and continues to pursue his passion for music through projects like Dieth, The Lucid, and the Megadeth tribute band, Kings of Thrash. He remains dedicated to his craft and still loves what he does.