David Ellefson Talks About Freedom To Wear Metallica T-Shirts Again

David Ellefson: John Shearer / Getty Images
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Back in October, former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson shared that since he’s no longer in the Los Angeles, California thrash metal band, he can “finally wear [his] Metallica shirts again.” As one might imagine, this sentiment caught quite the attention. In that same chat, he also shared that he’s “always gone to see Metallica” live, regardless of any drama between them and Dave Mustaine.

During a new conversation with Tulsa Music Stream, Ellefson expanded on this past comment about his Metallica t-shirts, addressing where he was coming from with it.

Regarding this Metallica tees comment, the ex-Megadeth bassist says (as transcribed by Blabbermouth), “Listen, I said that just kind of as a joke. In the other band I was in, you would not show up at soundcheck with a Metallica shirt on. I mean, trust me. And anyone who’s been even close to that would understand — certainly every band member would go, ‘Oh, yeah. No, there’s no fucking way you’d be wearing a Metallica shirt.'”

Following this, Ellefson is asked if he feels a new sense of freedom in his post-Megadeth career, and while he says yes, he notes that he isn’t looking to talk smack about them. Regarding this new sense of freedom, Ellefson shares the following:

“Totally. A hundred percent. And again, I don’t wanna go back into all that, but for sure. I feel really a newfound liberty.

“Look, life moves in its various waves and tides and ebbs and flows. And I’ve been here before, not playing in Megadeth. I use these seasons of life as a way to really spread my wings and fly, man. I mean, look, who I was in Megadeth, I was that because that’s who I am. It’s not like I was playing just a role of somebody that I’m not, and now I take the cape off and suddenly I’m Clark Kent outside of Megadeth. For those who are old enough to know Superman, that would be the Superman reference. So I’m not here to talk bad about it at all.

“But when you do move into a new season — and I say season with that, because that was most of my adult life, as a member of that group. But now, and at this age, I guess, there’s new horizons, there’s new things to do. And I think one of the fears is what am I gonna do? Where am I gonna go? And honestly, I didn’t have that this time [after my latest exit from Megadeth]. 20 years ago I did, in 2002 when the group broke up, it was, like, ‘Oh, shit. Now what am I gonna do?’ But now at this point, having done the ‘Big Four’ [shows with Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax], won the Grammy, I did all these big things, the legacy is secure, it’s cemented, my participation in that is forever emboldened into the flames of heavy metal, if you will. So now it’s kind of just sort of enjoying life. I mean, I don’t even play music every day. It’s hard for me to just go to the beach and goof off for too long, but I’m starting to just kind of relax into that.

“There’s other things I can do that don’t always have to be musically related either. And I say that as I was just practicing some songs, playing bass before the interview. So, this is who I am, right? I mean, it’s not like there’s some other guy in the other room. What you see is what you get.”

David Ellefson interview