Dave Mustaine Reveals How He Reacted to David Ellefson Scandal, Opens Up on Firing Him From Megadeth

The infamous David Ellefson sex video scandal that led to his dismissal from Megadeth is still rumbling through the online metal community. Sure, it’s been well over a year now since the whole thing unraveled. But now that both Dave Mustaine and Ellefson are doing press for their respective bands and projects, it’s impossible not to get reminded of the whole thing.

The first replacement was Testament’s Steve DiGiorgio who re-recorded all bass parts previously done by Ellefson for Megadeth’s new album “The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!” which came out in early September. The permanent replacement, however, is James LoMenzo.

Megadeth - The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!: Chapter III

In a recent chat with Cameron Buchholtz, Mustaine was asked about whether LoMenzo was the first and obvious candidate for replacing Ellefson. Dave replied (transcript via Blabbermouth):

“When all of that stuff happened, I was pretty blown away. And I didn’t want to do anything to harm anyone; there was already enough stuff going around. So I figured, ‘You know what? I’m not gonna take anybody’s side. All I know is that for now we need to do something.’ The climate was just horrifying, to have something like that. So we parted ways [with Ellefson].”

“And I thought about, ‘Do we get someone to come in as a session player? Or do I really, really, really go all in and start the search for a permanent guy?’ And we didn’t have the time. We had to have the record in — it had been two years since we started it and six years since ‘Dystopia’, so it was long overdue. And the idea for Steve [DiGiorgio] came up. He came out and recorded [the bass tracks]; it was great.”

“I, of course, would have liked to have had someone that plays like [Steve] play with Megadeth, but he’s in Testament, who are friends of mine. And although we are not very close — me and the guys in Testament — I do consider them my friends and I do consider them a great band. And I would never jeopardize that by trying to steal Steve.”

“So James’s name kind of [came up], and I went, ‘Oh my God! James! Yes!’ So we called him back. And James doesn’t have to be told how to look, how to act, how to play. He knows how to do the interviews. He’s like that old Roxette song: ‘You’ve got the look.’ He’s been to Megadeth camp, he’s been to the top of the mountain with me and with Ozzy. And what more needs to be said?”

Photo: Sven Mandel (Megadeth – 2017216231552 2017-08-04 Wacken – Sven – 1D X MK II – 1257 – B70I0729), Carter Sterling (David Ellefson (cropped2))

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.

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