David Ellefson Says There Is No ‘Ill Will’ Between Him + Megadeth After Being Fired
David Ellefson opened about about his termination from Megadeth earlier this year after sexually explicit videos involving the bassist leaked on the internet, and claimed there is no "ill will" between him and the thrash group he spent more than 30 collective years in.
As a guest on 'Trunk Nation,' the Sirius XM program hosted by Eddie Trunk, Ellefson spoke candidly about his tumultuous exit from the 'Big 4' band and how everything went down internally as both he and Megadeth grappled with how to publicly address (or not address) the viral video leak and accusations of pedophilia (this notion was rebuked and it has been alleged the woman in the video was 19 when the two first met), for which the bassist since pursued 'revenge porn' charges over.
"I ran toward the bullets and dealt with it right away," Ellefson told Trunk (transcription via Blabbermouth).
"The night [news spread of the video clips and accusations], a couple of people said, 'Hey, don't say anything.' In particular, the Megadeth camp didn't want me to say anything. But my legal [advisers] said, 'Hey, I think you should say something. I think some people have done some really shitty things here and made some false allegations about you, and you have every right to defend yourself.' And I did," Ellefson explained.
He acknowledged that addressing the issue resulted in his termination from Megadeth but stated that everyone has a right to defend themselves, "especially when somebody is making false allegations about you like that."
Although he was ready to move on from the incident, Megadeth, in turn, had to handle the situation as well. "That pretty quickly led to them making the decision to part ways with me and to move away from it," Ellefson recalled and divulged, "We had originally talked about doing a joint statement of sorts, and, of course, that was not what happened. So I was disappointed in probably the way it went down."
"Ironically, things are fine between [me and Megadeth]. We parted ways, and they took their road. And there's not ill will between us, believe it or not. And I think any fights and those things, that was 20 years go — lawsuits and all that crap," he continued, noting that he did not feel past tensions were a contributing factor to his dismissal.
In Megadeth's official statement announcing Ellefson was no longer part of the band, Dave Mustaine took note of "an already strained relationship" before inferring that the video scandal was essentially a tipping point that warranted the firing.
Despite no longer being in the band, of which he was a member from 1983 through 2002 and again from 2010 through earlier this year, Ellefson still feels a sense of pride in regards to everything he accomplished with the thrash icons.
"It's a group I helped form almost 40 years coming up here for the band. And the songs that are on the radio that I see come up are songs that I had a participation in, and we built a big legacy. I still consider them family, and my DNA is all over that. I don't think you build something of that size together and then suddenly you're just out and that's it," he said.
The bassist, who has since moved forward with his newest group, The Lucid, also touched on his return to Megadeth in 2010 and how the working relationship differed from his original tenure as a co-founding member and partner while Mustaine was "100 percent" the boss "and running the show."
He implied the "optics" of the "visual partnership" of both Mustaine and Ellefson onstage together was good for the band.
"It's not the thing where it's just Dave and three side guys when it's me and the band. And apparently, they didn't want that anymore — they wanted it to not be that. And I can't speak for them, 'cause I don't know. I'm not trying to put words in anybody's mouth about that. But it just seemed like 'there's just too much history here, and let's just part ways now and let Megadeth move forward on a new day with kind of a new marching order,'' Ellefson suggested.
"So rather than fight it, which is what happened 20 years ago, because we were dissolving a partnership at that point, we're not dissolving a partnership [this time]," he added, comparing past and current events that led to his exits from the group.
"It's, like, 'Hey, we don't want you here. There's the door. Don't come to work on Monday.' So, it's, like, 'Okay. Fine.' And that's just how I viewed it, and that's how I view it today. I don't have any sour grapes over it, and I'm not bitter about it," Ellefson affirmed.