DAVID ELLEFSON Praises DAVE MUSTAINE's 'Ability To Sell An Idea': 'He Was Such A Good Salesman'

January 8, 2024

Former MEGADETH members David Ellefson (bass) and Jeff Young (guitar) were interviewed for the latest episode of "The Garza Podcast", hosted by SUICIDE SILENCE guitarist Chris Garza. Asked what it was like being in a band with Dave Mustaine, Ellefson said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "There's obviously a wonderful side to his musicianship, his musicality, his ability to sell an idea. You know what I learned from him? Maybe there's four other guys in the room, [and] their ideas were as good or better than Dave's, but Dave had a way to convince you that his was the best. And I think that was what was required. And Yngwie [Malmsteen] has that same thing. Yngwie has a way, obviously aside from his incredible skill, and a unique skill at the time that no one had — we hadn't heard that sound before. And probably with Dave — it was a new sound, METALLICA [Mustaine's pre-MEGADETH band] and all that stuff, that it was new. It was, like, 'Wow, I haven't heard this before.' That's what I felt when I met Dave. It was, like, 'I have not heard this before. This is brand new. This is a great sound.' But he had a conviction in how he would get you on board with his idea, and he was such a good salesman with it that you believed it. And that was a big part of it. You read it in his interviews. When he's on stage, there's a conviction. Ted Nugent was like this. When Ted's in the room, you feel like he's in control. And I always felt it standing on the stage with Dave. I would always say, it's, like, 'I'm glad I'm standing behind him,' because he had control. If some guy heckled him, man, he would shut that fucking place down. 60,000 people would just go, 'Whoa.' He just had that ability to do it. So, I mean, look, that's why he's a rock star."

Ellefson was fired from MEGADETH 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.

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."

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.

In February 2024, Ellefson will embark on his inaugural "Bass Warrior Tour". Accompanying him on the European trek is Italian guitarist and musical director Andy Martongelli, a longtime friend and collaborator who has been by Ellefson's side during his solo ventures, "Basstory", ELLEFSON-SOTO and ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE tours across Europe. On drums will be Roberto Pirami (Michael Angelo Batio, Rowan Robertson, Gus G.),on vocals Titta Tani (EHFAR, ex-drummer of Claudio Simonetti's GOBLIN),and on rhythm guitar Walter Cianciusi (Geoff Tate band).

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