Dave Mustaine says he was ‘blown away’ by David Ellefson scandal
Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine has admitted he was “blown away” by the cyber-sex scandal which ultimately led to bassist David Ellefson being fired from the band.
In May 2021, graphic exchanges including virtual “masturbation encounters” between Ellefson and a then allegedly underage girl were leaked online, leading many to accuse the bassist of “grooming”. He denied the claims and insisted the swaps – “although certainly embarrassing” – were not illegal and the girl was not underage.
“When all of this happened, I was pretty blown away. And I didn’t want to do anything to hurt anyone; there was already enough going around,” Mustaine revealed in an interview with the Rock 100.5 The KATT radio station. [as transcribed by Blabbermouth]. “So I was like, ‘You know what? I’m not going to side with anybody. All I know is right now we have to do something. The weather was just awful, to have something like that. So we parted ways [with Ellefson].”
Megadeth was already working on a new album and had tour dates planned, which caused Mustaine to ponder some tough decisions.
“I thought, ‘Are we bringing in somebody as a session player? Or am I really, really, really going to go all out and start looking for a permanent guy? And we didn’t have time. We had to have the record – it’s been two years since we started it and six years since dystopiaso it was long overdue.
Testament’s Steve DiGiorgio eventually recorded bass tracks for the album that would become 2022’s The sick, the dying… and the dead!. Still, he was not a permanent replacement for Ellefson.
“Although we’re not very close, me and the guys at Testament, I consider them my friends and I consider them a great group,” Mustaine noted. “And I would never jeopardize that by trying to rob Steve.”
Instead, Megadeth opted to recruit James LoMenzo, who had previously been part of the band from 2006 to 2010. According to Mustaine, the bassist’s return has been wonderful.
“James is just a consummate gentleman,” the frontman said. “He’s maintenance free and he’s a rock star. He walked around the block. He played with Ozzy [Osbourne] on gigantic stages, so it’s not like I have to stay above him, where we had periods from day one until recently where we had to have a bit of Rock School 101.”
Megadeth are currently on a national tour, with dates extending through mid-October.
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