Ex-MEGADETH Guitarist JEFF YOUNG Opens Up About Challenges Of Post-'Scamdemic' Touring

March 15, 2023

Former MEGADETH guitarist Jeff Young has weighed in the realities of post-pandemic touring, including increased travel expenses — gas, tour buses, hotels and flight costs. Speaking to the "Brutally Delicious" podcast about the current run of U.S. shows with KINGS OF THRASH, in which he is joined by another former MEGADETH member, bassist David Ellefson, Jeff said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "[It's] post-scamdemic, and everyone's acting retarded in the wake of it… We're doing great, but you can definitely feel the difference in the world, in the business. And the attendance, even for bigger bands — I don't wanna name any, but think of some big bands that are out right now with attendance 60 percent of what they would normally do, which would be sell out. And I think it's partially because people have been so entrained after the scamdemic to just stay in their house, which was exactly part of their intent that they did that — but just stay home, don't go out and be afraid to go out in public… Plus the money — people don't have the same money that they had pre-scamdemic, because a lot of the mom-and-pops where people worked. So I think people don't have the luxury, as much as they used to, to go out and enjoy concerts, even if they want to. Having said that, we're really blessed that we've got really hardcore people coming out. We just played in a small town in Pennsylvania and had 18 VIPs. And that ain't cheap. And that's quite a few VIPs to come shell out that kind of money to come meet us after soundcheck and just get stuff signed.

"So we're really excited," Young continued. "We're a brand new band with no record out. Of course our DVD, CDs are coming out here [on] March 24th. But [we have] no single on the radio. No track record other than the four gigs we did back in October. So we're kind of doing this in an unorthodox way, kind of making up our own rules as we go along. And it's working. We're getting ready to go to Australia. We've got four dates in Australia. We'll be announcing soon Mexico, later South America, et cetera, and more U.S. dates."

As previously reported, KINGS OF THRASH will release a live CD/DVD package called "Best Of The West…Live At The Whisky A Go Go" on March 24 via Cleopatra Records. The 17-song set, featuring performances of MEGADETH's classic albums "Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!" and "So Far, So Good… So What!", was recorded and filmed live at the legendary Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California on October 15, 2022 and includes an appearance by another former MEGADETH member, Chris Poland (guitar). The DVD was directed by Michael Sarna for Inmotion Entertainment.

KINGS OF THRASH' "Thrashin' USA" tour is crossing the Midwest, East Coast, and southeastern part of the USA through March 15. As with the band's 2022 warm-up shows, the group, which also includes drummer Fred Aching as well as guitarist/vocalist Chaz Leon, is performing "Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!" and "So Far, So Good… So What!" in their entirety. Support on all shows is coming from HATRIOT.

Ellefson was fired from MEGADETH nearly 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 Dave 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.

Young's entire career with MEGADETH was spent recording and touring in support of the band's 1988 platinum-selling album "So Far, So Good...So What!"

Jeff made headlines in December 2009 for accusing Mustaine of, among other things, "dissing, exaggerating and just plain lying on some level about nearly every talented musician that has passed through his dysfunctional little ensemble." He also disputed Mustaine's claim in an interview that Young's drug problem led to MEGADETH's 1988 Australian tour being called off and the group being "banned" from performing in the country.

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