Dave Mustaine says the period around David Ellefson's dismissal from Megadeth was a "little touchy"

Dave Mustaine of Megadeth performing on stage
(Image credit: Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

Dave Mustaine has shared his thoughts behind the hiring process he went through to find Megadeth's new bassist, following the dismissal of co-founder David Ellefson last year in the light of a much-publicised sex video scandal. 

While speaking on Full Metal Jackie's radio show, Mustaine elaborates on his decision to recruit Testament's Steve DiGiorgio to re-record Ellefson's bass parts on Megadeth's forthcoming album, The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!, which is scheduled to arrive on September 2 via UMe. 

Shortly after DiGiorgio's hire, ex-Megadeth bassist James LoMenzo returned to the band.

Opening up about what it was like to replace Ellefson following the scandal which — via an online leak — revealed that the bassist had been exchanging sexually-explicit video messages with a fan, Mustaine says (as transcribed by Blabbermouth): "I think the band and everybody that's associated with us, that period that we went through was a little touchy.

"So we wanted to do the right thing. And trying to find the replacement for anybody, I think, wasn't the right thing to do at the time because nobody really knew all the facts and I certainly didn't want to poach anybody. Not from Testament — they're my friends — and I don't think from anybody."

Referring back to an earlier period in his life when he was a member of Metallica, Mustaine continues, "As great as Steve is, I remember what it felt like when we [Metallica] went up and poached Cliff [Burton] from Trauma.

"I mean, granted, the band Trauma wasn't that good, but there are still guys in the band and their lives were changed when that happened.

"I tend to believe that… You've gotta ask yourself, 'Did he jump or was he pushed?' And I like to make sure, if I was gonna hire somebody, that I wasn't stealing him from anybody."

When asked what he thinks of DiGiorgio and LoMenzo in terms of their musical ability and as people to hang out with, the frontman responds: "I think that both of them are really fun people to be around.

"Although I didn't know Steve DiGiorgio as much as I know James LoMenzo, I found him to be just as enjoyable to be around as James was."

Listen to the full conversation below:

In the wake of the controversy, David Ellefson filed a lawsuit with the police department in Arizona alleging unlawful distribution of sexually explicit images of him by unknown offenders. The bassist subsequently compared the scrutiny that he experienced following the video leaks to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

"I guess I know how Jesus felt," he said. "I'm not gonna lie — I deserve better than that."

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.