David Ellefson Recalls Why Megadeth Started Playing Faster Than Metallica, Reveals What New Tour With Other Ex Band Members Will Be Like

David Ellefson’s dismissal from Megadeth in 2021 will go down as one of the most dramatic moments in metal history. Although this wasn’t the first time he parted ways with Dave Mustaine, it seems that it will be the last one. Surfaced videos of Ellefson’s intimate exchange with a female fan was the last straw for Dave.

Nonetheless, Ellefson is determined to continue his career, be it with new music or Megadeth classics that he was a part of. This is exactly why he started Kings of Thrash, a band featuring guitarist Jeff Young, another former member of Megadeth. The MEGA Years tour will also include none other than Chris Poland joining them on a few dates. Along with them comes vocalist Chaz Leon and drummer Fred Aching.

Megadeth - Killing is my business

In his recent series of posts, David Ellefson promoted the tour by sharing some of the memories from Megadeth’s early days. And, of course, it’s impossible not to mention Metallica since they fired Mustaine, ultimately starting what’s arguably the longest-lasting beef in the genre. Ellefson said:

“It’s widely known that the KIMB [‘Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!’] album is one of the fastest Thrash albums ever to descend upon mankind. However, rapid fire tempos in the band was not always the case. When we formed the group and first batch of songs were being composed in mid to late 1983, the tempos were much, much slower.”

“In fact, almost at a Black Sabbath tempo. I recall ‘The Skull Beneath the Skin’ being almost half the tempo as it was finally recorded, which gave it this monstrous groove and weight. The same was true with ‘Chosen Ones’ which allowed me to play the bass lines with my fingers in a more Geezer-esque manner.”

As Ellefson further adds, it was one particular fan letter that inspired them to play faster. He explains:

“However, one day a fan letter showed up to our mailbox addressed to Dave [Mustaine] which pleaded, ‘I hope your new band is faster than Metallica’ and BOOM that was it…game over! That night at rehearsal, all the tempos were increased dramatically (20-40 beats per minute minimum!) and thus the KIMB LP represents a true turning point in the trajectory of speed being the primary calling card of cool factor with the founding fathers of the Thrash genre. Exodus was already fast as hell and once Kerry King had seen them live, Slayer would follow suit.”

David finished the statement by writing:

“On the Kings of Thrash tour we’re excited to highlight these finer details of the songs without losing any of the ‘teeth’ which made the album a staple in Thrash metal all these years later.”

Photo: Carter Sterling (David Ellefson)


  • 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, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.