David Ellefson: Dave Mustaine Fired Me Due to ‘Resentment’

David Ellefson: Денис Седов,CC BY-SA 3.0 (Wikimedia Commons) / Dave Mustaine Photo by Aldara Zarraoa/Getty Images
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In 2021, David Ellefson was fired from Megadeth following a sex scandal he was involved in. Since then, the bassist has been keeping busy and working in a couple of bands. That said, in all that time that has passed, some continue to primarily associate Ellefson with his work in Megadeth.

While talking to The Metal Circus recently, Ellefson comments on this point, sharing that he’s “always gonna be known for [his] work in Megadeth.” He also shares that he’s “not mad about the past.” Speaking about being constantly associated with Megadeth, here is what Ellefson has to say (the following was transcribed by Blabbermouth):

“I’m always gonna be known for my work in Megadeth. But me not being in Megadeth is not of my choice. [Laughs] I think people are appreciative that I’m continuing to make music — at least from what I’ve seen. It’s not like I left the band and said, ‘Fuck you. I’m out.’ ‘Cause if I did that, and then if I was trying to start new bands, people would be, like, ‘Fuck you, Ellefson. You left our favorite band. Fuck you. We don’t care.’ People know that that was not my decision; it’s not the way I would have handled that at all. Clearly I’m not mad about the past. I’m not disrespectful. I didn’t just close the door on Megadeth and say ‘fuck you’ and move on to something else; I didn’t do that at all. I will always be an ambassador for that group and for those songs and for that music, because I’m a part of that. So I think that’s the difference.

“I think I’m being very respectful toward it despite how my dismissal was handled. I think I’ve gone above and beyond being respectful. I can assure you many others would not have [laughs], but I did. At the same time, there’s new music. There’s a forward path. And I’m not just gonna live in my past, my glory days of the past. Look, I can just quit and not do any more music — to be honest with you, I could.

“And there are some days I think about that and go, ‘Yeah, fuck all this shit. Maybe I should just stop and just fucking get rid of all my guitars and just call it a day.’ I mean, there really are days I think about that. But then I turn around and I go, ‘I’m gonna grab an instrument,’ and I start playing. So it’s that natural instinct to want to play. That’s why there is another David Ellefson band. It’s because I’m passionate about it and I’m honest and I’m genuine about it. I’m not forcing something. I’m certainly not doing it for the money. All these bands fucking cost me money. I put my own money back into these things.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, the sex scandal that Ellefson was involved in is brought up. Not long after an explicit video involving Ellefson and some explicit text messages between him and another woman were uploaded online, Ellefson was fired from Megadeth.

Prior to being fired, Ellefson released a statement denying rumors that he had “groomed” an underage fan. The bassist admitted that he had exchanged sexual text messages with a Dutch teenager, but also claimed that the person was 19 years old at the time of their first interaction.

When asked if he looks back on that scandal and thinks what he did was “bad,” Ellefson replies with the following, and shares that he feels he was fired from Megadeth due to “resentments” Dave Mustaine had: “First of all, I’m entitled to a personal life, and I didn’t do anything to anyone — period. And that’s just the bottom line. And some people set out to really hurt me. And I don’t really wanna keep digging this up, because now we’re doing the very thing I’m talking, which is not digging it up. We’ve moved on from it. It is what it is, it was what it was, and I certainly set out to prove what it wasn’t. And that’s the path I took.

“I think the bigger picture here… ‘Cause I think right away… Look, I came forward and [said], ‘It is what it is. Sorry. It’s embarrassing.’ But the fact that I was discounted from my band was clearly… I think people can see, because [the announcement that I was being fired] was personally signed [by Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine]… There was other resentments and other things behind that. And I think that’s what became clear. And again, I did my best to try to mend that fence and to fix that, but he didn’t wanna know about it. So it is what it is. I have not spent the last two years walking around saying ‘fuck you’ and ta-da-da-da-da. If anything, hey, I wish you well. Get on with your life. If that’s what it is, then it’s better to go our separate ways.”

What do you make of Ellefson’s points?

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