DAVID ELLEFSON: 'I Do Not Own A Copy Of The New' MEGADETH Album, 'Nor Will I'

October 28, 2022

In a new interview with Canada's The Metal Voice, former MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson was asked if he has heard the band's latest album, "The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!" He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I heard bits and pieces of it as it was being put together — obviously, vocals and lyrics and things like that.

"I do not own a copy of the new one, nor will I," he continued. "Honestly, once I was let go, I moved on. And I didn't look back… For me, it's, like, 'Well, move on. I've been here before. I've been without MEGADETH once before. Everything worked out fine.' I think the difference was this time… The first time, I'd only done MEGADETH for almost 20 years, so when it ended, it was a pretty abrupt… the plane fell from the sky pretty frickin' hard for everybody. This time I was prepared for it. And the transition… I mean, look, we didn't work very much in the last five years I was in the band anyway — that album took almost five years to get it together and get it out. So honestly I'd been already working on a bunch of other stuff. I'd been doing Ellefson solo records, playing on other records, I worked with Al Jourgensen from MINISTRY, I wrote books. So my creative thing was really up and running and in motion. So it's kind of, like, 'Well, one gig went away. Oh, well. Next. Move on.' I don't have time to sit around and get all butthurt about it; I just fucking moved on. And that, I think, kind of just keeps me positive and moving forward."

Ellefson also talked about KINGS OF THRASH, his new project with former MEGADETH guitarist Jeff Young. Earlier this month, KINGS OF THRASH completed a four-date West Coast tour during which the band was joined for several songs by another former MEGADETH guitarist, Chris Poland. KINGS OF THRASH, which also includes drummer Fred Aching as well as guitarist/vocalist Chaz Leon, performed MEGADETH's classic albums "Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!" and "So Far, So Good… So What!" in their entirety.

"I think what we're doing with KINGS OF THRASH is we're honoring the legacy, in a way," David said. "I'm kind of trying to keep my arms around the legacy and keep it kind of pulled together, 'cause it's all of ours to share; it belongs to everybody. It's not just any one person's legacy; we were all there; we all created it; we were all part of it. And you can hear it, especially with KINGS OF THRASH. You go, 'My God. There it is. That's the sound.' And especially to bring in a couple of new guys, like Fred Aching on drums and Chaz on guitar. They're young; they appreciate it; they support it. And I'm grateful that the fans are there to support it. I listen to them; I hear what the fans are asking for. I tried to get a bunch of those songs in the set for the last five years, and it just didn't happen. And I'm, like, well, I know the fans wanna hear these songs. Fuck it. I'll go out and play 'em with my friends. And we'll have a great time doing it and we'll have fun and it'll make the fans happy. And at the end of the night, that's the ultimate hi-five."

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, MEGADETH leader Dave 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!" was 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.

Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, when the group briefly broke up because Mustaine suffered severe nerve damage that left him unable to play.

Mustaine reformed MEGADETH 18 years ago. Originally setting out to record a solo album, Mustaine enlisted studio musicians to play on what ultimately became MEGADETH's 2004 "The System Has Failed" comeback album, subsequently recruiting former ICED EARTH bassist James MacDonough to take Ellefeson's place for the album's touring cycle.

In 2004, Ellefson sued Mustaine for $18.5 million, alleging that Mustaine still owed him substantial merchandise and publishing royalties. In January 2005, the case was dismissed in court, and five years later, Ellefson rejoined MEGADETH.

In his lawsuit, Ellefson claimed that he "attempted to resolve his differences with Mustaine on an amicable basis and offered to continue to perform with [MEGADETH]." However, his "offers were met with verbal abuse, threats, lies and continued invective from Mustaine." Ellefson also said that Mustaine — a veteran of at least 17 drug rehab stints, according to the bassist — resented Ellefson, a former drug addict, for having kicked his own habit. According to Ellefson's court papers, the battle of the band spread to the Internet when Mustaine posted on Megadeth.com that Ellefson was trying to extort him.

Mustaine gave his version of why the 2004 reunion with Ellefson didn't pan out in a message posted on the MEGADETH web site. In lengthy essay, Mustaine claimed that Ellefson missed several deadlines to accept his offer, which included 20% of the artist royalties on "The System Has Failed", none of the publishing royalties and a $2,500-a-week salary while the band was on the road.

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