DAVID ELLEFSON Explains Why Proposed Project With JIMMY DEGRASSO And AL PITRELLI Failed To Materialize

October 19, 2023

In a new interview with Real Music With Gary Stuckey, former MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson spoke about why a proposed project featuring him and some other ex-MEGADETH members failed to materialize two decades ago. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "When Dave [Mustaine] broke the band up in 2002, our manager wanted me and Jimmy [DeGrasso, former MEGADETH drummer] and Al Pitrelli [former MEGADETH guitarist] to come together and try to do something. And we were ready to do it. We were talking to some singers. You know who reached out to us, was the singer from STEELHEART [Miljenko Matijevic], which is the 'Rock Star' movie guy. And I love his voice on some of those songs, like 'We All Die Young'. I mean, just killer, man. I think he's such a great singer. And we were talking to the singer from — uh, what was that band on Maverick Records? God, their name escapes me right now. But there was a few guys around.

"But I always knew this: Every person in MEGADETH was there to basically support Dave's centerpiece — Dave's vision, Dave's songs, Dave's ideas," he continued. "And while we all contributed and we were part of it, it all centered around Dave being the chief engineer of the thing. So when you peel those individual members out and try to go do something on its own, what it really lacks is that leadership. The whole reason we were all there was for that.

"Al is just so… That SAVATAGE gig really developed a sound for him," Ellefson added. "And that's why when that turned into TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, I mean, Al is just — he's the centerpiece of TSO. He plays on all those records — on TV when you hear those songs, it's all Al. So Al is that guy. And DeGrasso has done so many different things. In some ways, DeGrasso is still the SUICIDAL TENDENCIES guy to me, as much as he's had a ton of gigs. I mean, we did MONTROSE together, we did MEGADETH together, we've done a lot of things together, but to me, he's still kind of the SUICIDAL TENDENCIES guy.

"So, sometimes these things don't work when you sort of peel them out away from the reason we were together, which in that setting was for MEGADETH."

Ellefson recently formed a new original band with ex-MEGADETH guitarist Jeff Young and drummer Fred Aching, all three of whom are also playing together in KINGS OF THRASH.

KINGS OF THRASH recently completed a couple of tours during which it performed MEGADETH's classic albums "Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!" and "So Far, So Good… So What!" A live CD/DVD package called "Best Of The West…Live At The Whisky A Go Go" was recorded and filmed live at the legendary Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California on October 15, 2022 and was released this past March via Cleopatra Records. The DVD, which was directed by Michael Sarna for Inmotion Entertainment, includes an appearance by another former MEGADETH member, Chris Poland (guitar).

Ellefson was fired from MEGADETH more than two years ago after sexually tinged messages and explicit video footage involving the bassist were posted on Twitter.

David was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, and again from 2010 until his latest exit.

In 2004, Ellefson filed an $18.5-million lawsuit against Mustaine, alleging the MEGADETH leader shortchanged him on profits and backed out of a deal to turn Megadeth Inc. over to him when the band broke up in 2002. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed and Ellefson rejoined MEGADETH in 2010.

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