Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine has newly spoken out about his relationship with the metal band’s former bass player, David Ellefson, in light of the Megadeth’s new single, “We’ll Be Back.” The song arrived Thursday (June 23); their 16th album comes out in September.
Last year, Ellefson was let go from the group following his a sex scandal that saw sensitive footage of him emerge online. Replacement bassist James LoMenzo joined the outfit last month. Testament‘s Steve Di Giorgio stepped in to record the album.
“With everything that had taken place over the past 10, 20 years with my relationship with our past bass player,” Mustaine tells Rolling Stone this week, “it just became time to… it’s so uncomfortable for me to talk about.”
He continues, however, “It was hard on me letting him go. And I’m happier now than I’ve ever been.”
Indeed, Mustaine calls Di Giorgio “one of those just really amazingly talented players” and adds of Megadeth overall, “It’s a different camp now, and I’m really happy. I feel totally invigorated. I feel like I’ve hit my stride, like my best years are ahead of me right now.”
Last year, on first learning of the controversy, Megadeth said they were “watching developments closely. As it relates to creativity and business, we are all familiar with one another. However, there are clearly aspects of David’s private life that he has kept to himself.”
Ultimately, however, the band’s decision about the bassist’s tenure in Megadeth was clear. It’s not the first time the two parties have separated. Though he’s a Megadeth co-founder, Ellefson missed the first six years of the act’s post-2004 comeback. Later in 2021, Ellefson returned in The Lucid, a group featuring Sponge singer Vinnie Dombroski, guitarist Drew Fortier and Fear Factory drummer Mike Heller. The Lucid released the singles “Maggot Wind” and “Damned.”
Meanwhile, Megadeth’s “We’ll Be Back” marks the Mustaine-led band’s studio debut of drummer Dirk Verbeuren, who joined in 2016 but had yet to contribute to an LP. The resultant album, The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead! arrives Sept. 2. Pre-order it here.
The 10 Biggest Rock + Metal Bands With the Most Lineup Changes
But they’ve all made it work.