David Ellefson Explains What Rock Musicians Today Are Lacking, Talks What Was Different When He Was Growing Up

According to ex-Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, there are a few simple yet important things that rock musicians today are lacking. According to what he said recently in an interview with Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta on his “Jasta Show” podcast, newer bands we’re seeing today often don’t have that ” connection to the fabric of the society.”

Ellefson touched upon this issue while he was discussing his work after the 2021 dismissal from Megadeth. He offered (transcribed by Killer Guitar Rigs):

“What I find more and more — and you probably do, too — is that there’s a lot of bands that we all know that, while they may have some success, there’s not a connection to the fabric of the society.”

David Ellefson (Dieth) | The Jasta Show 688

Of course, Ellefson wasn’t saying that they’re completely out of touch. He was just trying to explain how seeing a remotely famous musician in public these days doesn’t have as nearly as same effect as it did back in his day. Ellefson continued:

“And I grew up in a day — just being an example — where these guys were heroes, they were icons. If you went to a mall and saw Yngwie or Ritchie Blackmore, you’d go, ‘Holy fuck, that’s fucking Richie Blackmore!’ You would know who that is.”

To further make his point, David added:

“I feel like you could go to the food court of any mall today and you wouldn’t know if fucking XYZ band walked in because they’re all kind of anonymous! [Laughs]”

David Ellefson Thinks MEGADETH Has Gone Downhill

When Jasta then pointed out how there would probably be a more noticeable reaction if people saw a famous YouTube or TikTok personality, Ellefson then replied by explaining how it goes way deeper than just the music that you put out to the world to hear:

“Again, that’s what I’m talking about. A connection into a world, right? It’s not just your song. It’s not just your music. It’s who you are, what you say — whether it’s Axl Rose, or Fred Durst, or Gene Simmons, or the YouTuber guy, like you say, it may not even be a musician.”

He then also made another point — who are the actual rock stars of our generation? Ellefson concluded:

“It may be Elon Musk and Zuckerberg — they’re like the frickin’ KISS of our generation, these guys. [Laughs] So people are into different things now other than music. When you and I were growing up, being a rock star was the ultimate. Now it’s like, ‘Eh, whatever, put a song on, any song.'”

It’s been over two years now since David Ellefson was, once again, dismissed from Megadeth. Although this wasn’t the first time, it seems that it’s for good. The whole thing happened due to the incident involving a leaked intimate video exchange between Ellefson and a female fan, prompting Dave Mustaine to cast the long-time bassist out of the band.

Nonetheless, Ellefson joined forces with another former Megadeth member, guitarist Jeff Young, to form a new band called Kings of Thrash. You may know Jeff from Megadeth’s record ‘So Far, So Good… So What!’ that was released in 1988.

As of this moment, Kings of Thrash are active and have some tour dates ahead of them. So far, they’ve been doing a lot of live shows playing old-school Megadeth material and have even had guitarist Chris Poland join them on stage. But, most importantly, there’s a full-length album full of original songs in the works. The lineup is rounded up with Fred Aching on drums and Chaz Leon on vocals and guitar.

Kings Of Thrash - Dave Ellefson (ex-MEGADETH) FULL INTERVIEW!

In an interview from a few months ago, Ellefson looked back on the firing in 2021 and how that happened. When he was asked whether there was any solution or alternative option given to him, he replied:

“I got one call: ‘You’re fired.’ [Laughs] And I said, ‘What the fuck, man?’ I said, ‘Some shitty fucking people just dropped a bomb on my house. And that’s it? It’s not even true. It’s fucking bullshit. And this is how you treat me?’”

“It was non-negotiable. I mean, I asked. I said, ‘I’m gonna take care of it. Let me just deal with it. And it will fucking be done. We’ll be ready to go on the road in two months, and everything will be fine.’ And it was. Because it was just false allegations and bullshit.”

“But [Dave] didn’t wanna know about it. I think he was getting pressure from some other people around him. And it’s too bad it went that way. Because it was really nothing. I took care of it.”


“And then once the word came out that I was fired, then it turned into this big fucking thing, which, quite honestly, was very damaging and very hurtful and not fair. I’m glad I don’t have that fucking amends on my shoulder, because that was fucked up.”

“Look, I have no choice but to have to forgive it so I can move on. I really don’t. So I don’t know what more to say about it other than that. Look, at some point… The damage was done. So you move on. We’re all human, and it is what it is. You can’t lament it.”


“I’ve watched how he’s treated his dismissal from Metallica, still bitching about it 40 years later, and I think it looks fucking pathetic. And it’s, like, ‘You know what? Fix your shit and move on.’”

“And that’s how I’ve chosen to deal with it: fix your shit and move on.”

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.