DAVE MUSTAINE Accuses DAVID ELLEFSON Of Trying To 'Poach' MEGADETH Song 'Kingmaker': 'It Was So Pathetic'

September 1, 2022

During an appearance on the latest episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation L.A. Invasion", MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine spoke about the fact that the band's lead guitarist Kiko Loureiro received songwriting credit on eight of the 12 tracks that are featured on MEGADETH's new album, "The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!".

"I think a lot of that had to do with my being willing to open up my songwriting process to allow another player to get inside that circle," Mustaine as (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "There's my songwriting process and then there's his and then what we do together. And sometimes I don't want anybody coming into my songwriting process and changing a riff.

"I came in on the record that [producer] Johnny K did — it was before 'Dystopia'; I think it was 'Super Collider' — I came in one morning and Johnny K was in there [working on] a song named 'Kingmaker'," Mustaine continued. "'Kingmaker' was done and I came in there, and I heard [then-MEGADETH bassist David] Ellefson and Johnny K in there recording a part at the beginning of the song. And it was nothing to do with the song; it had nothing… the riff wasn't in the record anywhere. And I came in and I said, 'What are you two doing?' [Makes sound of someone struggling to come up with the right words] You know, trying to explain, 'I'm gonna fucking poach your song and I'm going to put one of my riffs in front of the song.' And it was so pathetic. I just felt so sorry for the two of them. I just said, 'Go ahead. Leave it in there.' But if you listen to 'Kingmaker' tonight when you go home, you're gonna hear the beginning of the song, there's a really dumbass part in there. And that's it."

In a recent interview with the "Mike Nelson Show", Ellefson said that he "started sending ideas over" to Mustaine for "The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!" during the early stages of the songwriting process for the LP but that Dave was "very resistant to 'em; he didn't wanna use 'em. So I was, like, 'Okay. That's fine. Whatever,'" Ellefson said.

David went on to say that the making of "The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!" was "a bit of a journey. We finally had some collaboration on it, and I was okay with it either way. My mindset was, 'You know what? Just show up and play bass. Be that guy. That seemed to have worked, and just do that.' But there always seemed to kind of be rubs over that kind of stuff. So then I was, like, 'Look, I make other records. I have other creative outlets and things that I do.' So I was okay with that. If I didn't participate on a MEGADETH record, it was okay; I could do other things. And that was kind of how I found my peace with it."

Last month, Mustaine told the "Appetite For Distortion" podcast that "there is no set formula" for the songwriting process in MEGADETH. "It depends," he said. "With Kiko and Dirk [Verbeuren, drums] writing music for MEGADETH now, it's been a breath of fresh air to have songwriting approaches from other bandmembers now that is similar to MEGADETH music instead of getting music that wasn't MEGADETH music and having to try and make that work, and it doesn't."

Ellefson, who has lived in Scottsdale, Arizona since 1994, was fired from MEGADETH in May 2021, just days after sexually tinged messages and explicit video footage involving the bassist were posted on Twitter.

Ellefson laid down his bass tracks on MEGADETH's sixteenth LP in May 2020 at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee.

In July 2021, Mustaine announced during an episode of his Gimme Radio program "The Dave Mustaine Show" that Ellefson's bass tracks would not be used on the new MEGADETH LP.

"The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!" will be released on September 2 via UMe. Just months after TESTAMENT bassist Steve DiGiorgio recorded his parts for the effort, former MEGADETH bassist James LoMenzo rejoined the band in time for the summer 2021 leg of "The Metal Tour Of The Year".

LoMenzo joined MEGADETH in 2006 and appeared on two of the group's studio albums, 2007's "United Abominations" and 2009's "Endgame". He was fired from the band in 2010 and replaced with Ellefson, who was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, and again from 2010 until his latest departure.

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