Yes, Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson are still talking smack about each other

Megadeth’s David Ellefson and Dave Mustaine against a dark grey background
(Image credit: Press)

The war of words between Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine and ex-bassist David Ellefson shows no sign of abating, with the former bandmates taking potshots at each other in separate interviews.

Speaking to, Mustaine claimed that he was the sole founding member of Megadeth, insisting that Ellefson – who joined the band in 1983, shortly after Mustaine was kicked out of Metallica – wasn’t there at the very beginning.

“There's a misnomer that there were two people that founded Megadeth,” said Mustaine. “I was the founder. I was the only one in the beginning. There was a bass player before who just was… who just left. So it's been my vision. When I got kicked out of Metallica, I got kicked out of Metallica. No one else was with me on the bus coming home.”

Ellefson himself was fired from Megadeth in 2021, after sexually explicit videos involving the bassist and a 19-year-old Dutch fan leaked online. Mustaine recently told Metal Hammer that “it was a hard decision that had to be made… All I wanted to do was make a clean break, and not hurt anyone, not hurt the fans and not hurt him.”

However, in a separate interview with Artists On Record Starring ADIKA Live!, Ellefson criticised his former bandmate for “not having his back” when the scandal blew up.

"Honestly, by the time we got to where things were last year, I think it showed the character of everybody, quite honestly,” said Ellefson. "And honestly, I was kind of, like, 'Hey, man, if you don't have my back, then fuck it, I don't wanna be here anyway.’ I’d rather get moving on.”

Following Ellefson’s firing, Mustaine enlisted Testament’s Steve DiGiorgio to re-record his bass parts on the band’s latest album The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!, while former Megadeth bassist James Lomenzo has subsequently returned for his second stint in the band.

Ellefson recently joined forces with ex-Megadeth guitarist Jeff Young and Chris Poland for the upcoming Kings Of Thrash tour, which kicks off on October 12 in San Diego.

Metal Hammer

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