David Ellefson Says He Was Ousted from Megadeth Over “Personal Grudges” in Revealing Interview

"I don't even think about Megadeth anymore ... it's dead to me"

david ellefson 2023 interview
David Ellefson, photo by Raymond Ahner

    With each subsequent interview, ex-Megadeth bassist David Ellefson opens up a little bit more about his unceremonious removal from the band in 2021 following a highly publicized online sexual encounter.

    Speaking with Spanish site The Metal Circus, Ellefson let it all out in a tell-all interview that hit on his exit from Megadeth, the aforementioned sexual incident, and Ellefson’s current musical endeavors — which even includes playing Megadeth covers in his Kings of Thrash project.

    Ellefson said he didn’t choose to leave Megadeth and is “clearly not mad about the past.” He still considers himself an “ambassador” for the group due to his lengthy history as its bassist.


    “I think I’m being very respectful toward it despite how my dismissal was handled,” he said [as transcribed by Blabbermouth]. “I think I’ve gone above and beyond being respectful.”

    Ellefson went on to say that he was “100 percent” the victim of unwarranted criminalization after online sexual encounters between Ellefson and a young woman went viral after the latter shared the videos with friends. Dave Mustaine and Megadeth parted ways with Ellefson soon after, with Mustaine declaring that he could never work with the bassist again. Ellefson has since said he was the victim of “revenge porn” and that Megadeth kicked him to the “side of the road.”

    “First of all, I’m entitled to a personal life, and I didn’t do anything to anyone — period,” said Ellefson when asked if he thought what he did was “bad.” “And that’s just the bottom line. And some people set out to really hurt me. And I don’t really wanna keep digging this up, because now we’re doing the very thing I’m talking, which is not digging it up. We’ve moved on from it. It is what it is, it was what it was, and I certainly set out to prove what it wasn’t. And that’s the path I took.”


    As for Megadeth, Ellefson said he’s happier now that’s he’s moved on from the band and his tumultuous relationship with Mustaine. The bassist also maintains that “personal grudges and resentments” were the key motivation behind his ousting.

    “I came forward and [said], ‘It is what it is. Sorry. It’s embarrassing,'” Ellefson said. “But the fact that I was discounted from my band was clearly… I think people can see, because [the announcement that I was being fired] was personally signed [by Mustaine]… There was other resentments and other things behind that. And I think that’s what became clear. And again, I did my best to try to mend that fence and to fix that, but he didn’t wanna know about it. So it is what it is…”

    He added: “I don’t even think about Megadeth anymore. I really don’t — I don’t think about it. That whole thing, to me, it’s dead to me, to be honest with you.”


    You can stream the full interview with Ellefson below.