Megadeth announced that they were parting company with Ellefson in May. This decision came just two weeks after sexually explicit videos featuring their former bassist, filmed and shared without his consent, surfaced online. Untrue accusations that the bassist had been in contact with an underage fan were subsequently dismissed by the fan herself, and Ellefson is currently seeking to press ‘revenge porn’ charges against the individual who alleged illegally uploaded the videos in question.
Speaking to popular US metal media personality Eddie Trunk on his Trunk Nation in regards to the circumstances of his exit, Ellefson admitted he remains “disappointed” about the manner in which Megadeth handled the affair.
“The night [the videos were leaked online], a couple of people said, 'Hey, don't say anything’,” Ellefson reveals. “In particular, the Megadeth camp didn't want me to say anything. But my legal [team] 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. Ultimately, that led to my dismissal from Megadeth. But I have every right, as anyone does, to defend yourself, especially when somebody is making false allegations about you like that.
"We [Megadeth’s management and Ellefson] 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.”
Despite this, Ellefson insists that relations between him and his old band are “fine”.
"There's not ill will between us, believe it or not… I wished them well in my [original] statement to them, and I mean it. 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."
Announcing Ellefson’s removal from the group in May, Megadeth declared: “We do not take this decision lightly. While we do not know every detail of what occurred, with an already strained relationship, what has already been revealed now is enough to make working together impossible moving forward.”
Asked if he had been aware of any mounting tension between himself
and Megadeth bandleader Dave Mustaine in the weeks leading up to his dismissal, Ellefson said, “I did not.”
“Dave and I are grown men, and we have opinions,” he added. “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’… 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 has since launched a new band, The Lucid, which features former Sponge vocalist Vinnie Dombroski, ex-Bang Tango guitarist Drew Fortier and ex-Fear Factory drummer Mike Heller alongside the bassist. The quartet’s self-titled debut album is out now.