Ex-Megadeth bassist David Ellefson has spoken about being fired from the band after claims emerged that he’d groomed an underage girl online last year.
Ellefson denied any wrongdoing at the time saying explicit text messages were between consenting adults and that the woman was not underage at the time.
Last year he filed revenge-porn charges against the person whom he alleged illegally leaked a video and screenshots that prompted the allegations against him, and he met police in Scottsdale, Arizona, last June to pursue the charges.
Speaking about his sacking in a new interview with Real Music With Gary Stuckey, Ellefson said: “You find out who your friends are and you find out who your friends aren’t pretty fucking quick when the shit hits the fan, ‘Cause everybody wants to be around you when you’re picking up your Grammy.”
He added: “Look, life is… You’re never on top all the time. Your life ebbs and flows, your career ebbs and flows – all of that. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a career musician and I’ve had to go with the ebbs and flows of the good, the bad and the otherwise, sometimes from within, sometimes from without.”
Following his sacking, frontman Dave Mustaine said: “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.”
Mustaine also re-recorded the bass parts with Testament’s Steve Di Giorgio on their forthcoming 16th full-length, tentatively titled ‘The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!’.
In October last year, Ellefson opened up about his firing from the band.
“The night [the videos were leaked online], a couple of people said, ‘Hey, don’t say anything,’” he said. “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.”
On how he dealt with the fallout from Mustaine – who was adamant that Ellefson would not rejoin the band – he said: “Dave and I are grown men, and we have opinions. 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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Megadeth recently shared the first track – ‘We’ll Be Back’ – from their new album which is out on September 2, 2022.
It is first record the band have released since vocalist Dave Mustaine recovered from throat cancer.