Upon the announcement of Megadeth’s new album, The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead, frontman Dave Mustaine has opened up about last year’s ouster of longtime bassist David Ellefson. While Mustaine says it was a “hard decision,” he insists he “won’t play music with him anymore.”
Ellefson was fired from Megadeth in 2021 when an embarrassing online sexual encounter between him and a young woman surfaced on social media. His bass parts for the upcoming album were subsequently re-recorded by Testament’s Steve DiGiorgio, while James LoMenzo has since been named as Ellefson’s permanent replacement.
In a new interview with Metal Hammer, Mustaine discussed his decision to let Ellefson go from the band. “Let me just say this – it was a hard decision that had to be made,” said Mustaine. “There were a lot of people involved and I had to make a decision, because unfortunately, when you’re the leader, you’re the one that has to suck it up and face the music.”
He continued, “All I wanted to do was make a clean break, and not hurt anyone, not hurt the fans and not hurt him. I just wanted to move on, and I hope the gentleman concerned is doing okay. I imagine there was some adjustment that had to take place when it happened.”
Mustaine also brought up the time that Ellefson sued him in 2004, claiming he was owed millions in royalties. While the suit came during a time when Ellefson was no longer in the band, he was welcomed back to the lineup in 2010 and remained with the group until his firing last year.
“I’ve forgiven him before when he sued me, and I’ll forgive him a thousand times,” remarked Mustaine in the new interview. “I just won’t play music with him anymore.”
Megadeth recently announced a September 2nd release date for their 16th studio album, The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead, along with unleashing the ripping first single, “We’ll Be Back.” The legendary thrash band will embark on a US tour with Five Finger Death Punch that kicks off in August, with tickets available via Ticketmaster.