During a recent interview with The Metal Circus, David Ellefson further opened up about his departure from Megadeth. As previously reported, the bassist was ultimately fired from the band due to a sex video scandal involving him masturbating with a young woman online. However, he has since claimed that “personal grudges and resentments” played a role as well.
Ellefson said the following:
“I’m always gonna be known for my work in Megadeth. But me not being in Megadeth is not of my choice. [Laughs] I think people are appreciative that I’m continuing to make music — at least from what I’ve seen. It’s not like I left the band and said, ‘Fuck you. I’m out.’ ‘Cause if I did that, and then if I was trying to start new bands, people would be, like, ‘Fuck you, Ellefson. You left our favorite band. Fuck you. We don’t care.’ People know that that was not my decision; it’s not the way I would have handled that at all.
Clearly I’m not mad about the past. I’m not disrespectful. I didn’t just close the door on Megadeth and say ‘fuck you’ and move on to something else; I didn’t do that at all. I will always be an ambassador for that group and for those songs and for that music, because I’m a part of that. So I think that’s the difference.
I think I’m being very respectful toward it despite how my dismissal was handled. I think I’ve gone above and beyond being respectful. I can assure you many others would not have [laughs], but I did. At the same time, there’s new music. There’s a forward path. And I’m not just gonna live in my past, my glory days of the past.
Look, I can just quit and not do any more music — to be honest with you, I could. And there are some days I think about that and go, ‘Yeah, fuck all this shit. Maybe I should just stop and just fucking get rid of all my guitars and just call it a day.’ I mean, there really are days I think about that. But then I turn around and I go, ‘I’m gonna grab an instrument,’ and I start playing.
So it’s that natural instinct to want to play. That’s why there is another David Ellefson band. It’s because I’m passionate about it and I’m honest and I’m genuine about it. I’m not forcing something. I’m certainly not doing it for the money. All these bands fucking cost me money. I put my own money back into these things.”
He also had the following to say when asked if he was a victim of “unnecessary criminalization”:
“A hundred percent. Fucking a hundred percent I was. Everything about that was just not okay. [Laughs] But you can spend your life trying to get justice, trying to go down that road, and it’s kind of like it always just follows you. I had some good advisors around me, and at some point, it’s, like, ‘Look, it is what it is. What happened, happened. Just move on.’ Life is lived forward, not backward… Own your shit and move on.
Which is what I did. The night that a video was put out of me that I knew nothing about, and there it was. And all of a sudden, it’s, like, hey, own your shit. All right. Whatever. That happened. Move on. And don’t sit there and try to go back and do some spin control or call the publicists. ‘Cause that’s what some people wanted to do.
And I was, like, ‘Fuck that.’ It is what it is. Just fucking own it and move on. And I’d like to think there’s more integrity in just ‘own your shit and move on.’ … Let that situation help you get better rather than just sit around and hate on everyone.”
He later continued:
“I think the bigger picture here… ‘Cause I think right away… Look, I came forward and [said], ‘It is what it is. Sorry. It’s embarrassing.’ But the fact that I was discounted from my band was clearly… I think people can see, because [the announcement that I was being fired] was personally signed [by Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine]… There was other resentments and other things behind that. And I think that’s what became clear. And again, I did my best to try to mend that fence and to fix that, but he didn’t wanna know about it. So it is what it is.
I have not spent the last two years walking around saying ‘fuck you’ and ta-da-da-da-da. If anything, hey, I wish you well. Get on with your life. If that’s what it is, then it’s better to go our separate ways.”
He also added:
“The first [exit] was over the change of financial splits, and then the second time was clearly of something much bigger — personal grudges and resentments toward me. But that notwithstanding, I knew what I was walking back into. And we had a lot of good times. There was a lot of fun in the 11 years that I came back. Not so much in the recent years.
The last couple of years were pretty shitty and pretty difficult, especially trying to make that record. It was very clear I was not invited into it. I was not welcomed. Clearly Dave did not want me to be part of that story, of that album. And I knew it.
So, again, I’m a big boy. I get it. I see it. So that’s why when I was dismissed, it was kind of, like, ‘Well, all right. Move on from that.’ That’s why I’m not bitter about this. Now, it didn’t end the way I thought it would, but oh, well. Megadeth‘s over again. Well, now what? Move on. So I’d already been down this road once before.”
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