DAVID ELLEFSON On Latest Exit From MEGADETH: 'They Slammed The Door In My Face'

June 13, 2023

In a new interview with PowerMetal.cl, David Ellefson was asked if he would rejoin MEGADETH again if approached about it. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "They slammed the door in my face, and I didn't knock again. I just turned around and walked away.

"Bands are more than just the songs. It's about a brotherhood. And what that showed me is that while we may be brothers, we definitely are not friends.

"I don't wanna be in a band with people that I can't be friends with; I just don't," he continued. "And I did for a long time. It was successful, so sometimes you put your hands in the golden handcuffs and you still say 'yes.'

"I went back to [MEGADETH] in 2010 to save their ass, because, quite honestly, they were firing James LoMenzo at that time. The poor guy; he's a nice guy and he's a good bass player. And I went back at [then-MEGADETH drummer] Shawn Drover's request. And Shawn is a friend of mine, and it was the right request. Because they put a tour on sale and they didn't have a bass player who could play the parts… So I went back and I saved their ass. And not just that, but also some personal stuff inside the band I helped fix too. And, obviously, it was celebrated and it was big. And at the end of the day, having each other's back is what's important. When I went through some personal stuff and they didn't have my back, that just showed, you know what? I don't wanna fucking be in a band like that; I just don't.

"To me, I will always do things for the fans," Ellefson added. "And so I guess my attitude has always been, keep the door open for the fans' sake. But when it comes to having brotherhood and having a new song and having a new story and writing the rest of my life, that's not gonna happen over there in that band.

"Once that door was closed in my face, I just fucking turned and kept going and don't look back. That chapter of my life ended for a reason. And as I always say, relationships of people, bands — sometimes only for a season, a season of life, and always for a reason. So now that that season has passed, keep moving forward. I like the view out of the front [window] better. The front window of a car is big because you're supposed to look through it. The rearview mirror is very small, because you're not supposed to be looking at it. Keep looking forward. I like our view forward now. It's much better."

Ellefson was fired from MEGADETH by Dave Mustaine in May 2021, just days after sexually tinged messages and explicit video footage involving the bassist were posted on Twitter.

Shortly before Ellefson was dismissed from MEGADETH, he released a statement on Instagram denying all social media chatter that he "groomed" an underage fan. He also filed a report with the police department in Scottsdale, Arizona alleging unlawful distribution of sexually explicit images of him by unknown offenders. In the report, Ellefson admitted that he had been exchanging sexual text messages with a Dutch teenager, who captured a video of several of their virtual "masturbating encounters" without his consent and shared them with friends. (According to Ellefson, the woman was 19 at the time of their first virtual sexual encounter.) Ellefson, who lives in Scottsdale, first became aware of the video on May 9, 2021, when the claim "David Ellefson of MEGADETH is a pedophile" appeared on Instagram. Ellefson told police he was notified on May 14 by MEGADETH that the band would be parting ways with him. Three days later, he was fired.

Mustaine — who formed MEGADETH with Ellefson in 1983 — released a statement on May 24, 2021 announcing the bassist's departure from the band. In the statement, Dave said: "We do not take this decision lightly. While we do not know every detail of what occurred, with an already strained relationship, what has already been revealed now is enough to make working together impossible moving forward."

Two days after Mustaine announced Ellefson's latest departure from MEGADETH, the bassist released a follow-up statement in which he vowed to file a "defamation lawsuit" against the person who "illegally posted a very private video" of the bassist and made "false allegations" against him. He also said he was working with the police in Scottsdale "in their investigation into charges regarding revenge pornography to be filed against the person who posted the video. This person will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Ellefson wrote. He went on to say that he was "taking this time to be with my family" and wished his "bandmates" the best with their tour.

In 2004, Ellefson filed an $18.5-million lawsuit against Mustaine, alleging the frontman 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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