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Dave Ellefson claims his departure from Megadeth was influenced by Dave Mustaine's own firing from Metallica

David Ellefson of Megadeth
(Image credit: Press/Melody Myers)

Dave Ellefson has discussed his 2021 departure from Megadeth at length in a new interview - and claims that the incident could have been influenced by Dave Mustaine's feelings about his own firing from Metallica in the 80s.

"I kind of saw the events of last year as just the perfect opportunity to choose box office over brotherhood," bassist Ellefson tells the 2020'd podcast (as transcribed by Blabbermouth). "I look back at it now and I feel like I got kicked out of hell. So, whatever." He goes on to describe his treatment by Mustaine as "unnecessary", adding: "Dave even said he had a resentment toward me that he couldn't let go, and I didn't know what it was."

Ellefson goes on to suggest that Mustaine's infamous exit from Metallica in 1983 may have indirectly influenced his decision to kick the bassist out of the band, which happened following a sex video scandal involving Ellefson and a fan.

 "Look, I think part of it, too, is he's obviously not gotten over this thing about being fired from Metallica, so he wanted to do to somebody else what he felt they did to him, which is kick him out and then someone else play his guitar parts," Ellefson says. "'So let's kick 'Junior' out and then have someone else play his bass parts.' And to me, I'm, like, 'I don't care. I already fucking helped put the record together. I played on the record. I got paid to be on the record.' So, hey, if you wanna get someone else to play, whatever."

Earlier this year, Dave Mustaine gave his side of the story in an exclusive interview with Metal Hammer.

"Let me just say this – it was a hard decision that had to be made," he explained. "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.

"All I wanted to do was make a clean break, and not hurt anyone, not hurt the fans and not hurt him," he added. "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.

"It was hard for me when I lost my job. But I’ve forgiven him before when he sued me [Ellefson filed a lawsuit against Mustaine in 2004, claiming that he was owed millions in outstanding royalties. The case was dismissed] and I’ll forgive him a thousand times. I just won’t play music with him anymore.”

New Megadeth album The Sick, The Dying...And The Dead! is out now.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.