David Ellefson says that the Metallica-Megadeth feud “was not my feud, because I was a huge Metallica fan.” Here’s what the former Megadeth bassist said about the feud on an episode of Riff’s Crew The Realm.
In Ellefson’s interview, transcribed by Blabbermouth, he says how the band had to have a united front when it came to Metallica:
The Megadeth-Metallica feud…Look, it was not my feud, because I was a huge Metallica fan. Look, I’m in the band with Dave, so I’ve gotta toe the company line. It’s one of these, ‘Hey, man, if you’re my friend, you have to love my friends and you’ve gotta hate my enemies with me.’ You know how that is. ‘We like that guy. That chick, fucker her. That sucks.’ We know how this goes.”
Ellefson goes on to talk about how much he loved Metallica and their demo No Life Til Leather:
So, here I am. And, look, I love Metallica. I hear the No Life ‘Til Leather demo and it’s frickin’ awesome. And I still love their demo. And then Kill ‘Em All comes out. I remember the day we sat there in stone cold silence for, like, an hour while we listened to the Kill ‘Em All album. And God bless Dave for just sort of biting the bullet and just going, ‘Okay, I need to listen to this. What did they do to my songs?’. Obviously the first thing he sees is the writing credits. Stuff that he had written by himself, like ‘Mechanix’, now had the writing credits of James and Lars. And to their credit, they did rewrite the lyrics; ‘The Four Horsemen’ is an entirely different lyrical thing. I wasn’t in the room as this stuff was going down.
Ellefson seems to have had a more positive perspective, stating that Metallica gave Dave Mustaine “the greatest gift ever” because “not only did they use your songs and pay you for them, they, just as importantly put your name on it.” Ellefson explains how much of a big advantage this gave Megadeth starting out and how “I often wish that he would have been a little more appreciative of how well we did and the gift we had, how many fans came to his side despite the departure.”
The former Megadeth bassist says he spent a lot of time listening to Metallica on the radio and that it seems like it would have been fun to be a part of the band:
I’ve listened to Metallica on the radio. Living in L.A., they had KNAC and things, and they would always do ‘Mandatory Metallica’ and all this stuff. That band broke down so many doors for all of us. And then, when i Met the guys – I met James and Lars [early on] – they were totally cool. I don’t know – it seemed like it would be pretty fun to be in a band with those guys. So I always like them. I watched them grow and develop and basically take over the world. I got a front-row seat for that, and I thought that was really, really awesome.
Watch Ellefson’s full interview with Riff Crew’s The Realm below.
Dave Mustaine recently said in an interview with Liz Barnes of Planet Rock’s My Planet Rocks that “it’s in public belief that there’s been some kind of beef between us, and there really isn’t.” The Megadeth frontman said that “the funny thing about is that we’re friends now.”