In a new interview with the "Shockwaves" podcast, MEGADETH's David Ellefson spoke about the fact that Dave Mustaine has seemingly been supportive of the bassist pursuing a number of business ventures outside of the band, including running a record label, launching a line of coffee, producing a horror film, writing books and releasing his first solo album.
"He knows I'm here," Ellefson explained. "I'm not going anywhere. I'm back. MEGADETH is my home. And there's a trust thing there. It's not like I've got a wandering eye and I'm out looking to find a new home. It's, like, no, I'm home. This is it. This is what we do until the end of MEGADETH. This is what we do. But in the meantime, there have been some transitions, of course, too. Obviously, we're in one [now because of the coronavirus pandemic]. This is almost gonna be two years of just the shutdown here… Of course, we did get to go to Europe with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and BAD WOLVES [in Janaury and February], and that was great, because I think that just kind of gave us all a much-needed boost of confidence after Dave was coming out of his throat cancer treatment-slash-care. And last year was all shut down because of that. The Ozzy [Osbourne planned North American] tour [was] canceled, and Dave had his throat cancer diagnosis. So I think we live in a time where you can't just have only one thing to do. So I think we all have to put our big-boy pants on and realize, look, we have to allow each other to be able to go out and find some space to create and do some other things."
He continued: "With MEGADETH, it's about working smarter, not harder. We've done these years of these grueling 18-, 24-month tours, and, obviously, when we ramp back up again, there's gonna be a lot of ground to get caught up on. But at some point, you can't just keep taking the beast around the world over and over and over again. It needs a break itself, and I think serendipitously, it's been an interesting couple of years here to have a little bit of a break. And I think when we fire it back up again — hopefully it'll be ready to go next year with the touring season opening up — it'll be like a big slingshot; we pull it back, and once we let it go, it's gonna go. We're gonna be really ready to rock."
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. After Mustaine reformed MEGADETH with an all-new lineup in 2004, Ellefson sued his former bandmate 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.
Ellefson has been open about the fact that he became a salaried employee upon his return to MEGADETH in 2010, something he shared with the world in his latest book, "More Life With Deth".
Six years earlier, Ellefson declined to rejoin MEGADETH upon the band's reformation, citing concerns with the business structure he had in place with Mustaine.
When Ellefson eventually rejoined MEGADETH 10 years ago, he was no longer as involved in the band's composing process and business affairs like he was prior to the group's breakup.
Earlier this week, Mustaine told Forbes that he doesn't really hang out much with Ellefson anymore. "I still love him, but we don't really spend any time together," Dave said. "He's got his own plan and, you know, you got a band to lead. I try to be as fair and as upbeat as I can."