Ellefson: Megadeth’s Really Over!
David Ellefson has made a ‘come and get me plea’ to Metallica. The bassist, who until recently had been with Megadeth since their inception in 1983, spoke exclusively to the Hammer about various rumours that have been buzzing around the internet since guitarist Dave Mustaine announced he had injured his left arm and was quitting the band in order to “explore other areas of the music business”.
“I’ve been through the gamut of emotions since then,” says Ellefson, who knew in advance that Mustaine was going to issue the statement. “I’ve felt sad, I’ve felt happy and proud, but now I’ve had time to digest the news I suppose I feel lucky that Megadeth got as far as we did. And I’m proud that we have bowed out with something as great as our live album, ‘Rude Awakening’. On that tour I felt we definitely played some of our best shows and restored Megadeth’s reputation.”
Although Dave agrees that Mustaine’s statement had been carefully worded to leave room for a possible reunion in future years – it had actually said, “For the time being I have decided to exit Megadeth” – he personally believes that the band have performed their last.
“Look, Dave called me and said in as many words that he was qutting Megadeth,” says Ellefson. “There way well be a situation in which Megadeth might play together again, but Dave had his reasons and they’re there in his statement. It’s possible that the band could work together again, but I won’t be waiting around for a reunion tour. Since the news, various doors have been opened to me in terms of production, songwriting and other things. People have said they didn’t think I’d have the time to get involved with their projects are now appproaching me, and I’m enjoying it all.”
David denied the rumour that he has been speaking to Metallica about replacing Jason Newsted, but didn’t exactly rule himself out of the running.
“A rumour on our bulletin board said that Megadeth were breaking up because I was joining Metallica – but that was on April 1st,” he chuckles. “It was kinda ironic that I knew Dave was gonna release his statement a few days later. But no, I haven’t spoken to Metallica. In the past whenever the subject has come up I’ve always been 101 per cent committed to Megadeth. Now my day-job’s gone I’m a free agent.”
So, would the Metallica job interest you?
“Oh man, I don’t think about what I could get from them – I try to think of what I could bring to the table for them. I’ve been in this business for a while now.”
Ellefson was quick to nip in the bud a particularly nasty piece of speculation, namely that Mustaine inflicted his compressed radial nerve upon himself when he slashed his wrists during a suicide bid whilst in rehab. “No, that’s total bullshit,” he says, his tone suggesting that this avenue of questioning is now closed.
Meanwhile, Megadeth drummer Jimmy DeGrasso recently became a father and guitarist Al Pitrelli has wasted little time in returning to his previous band Savatage. The Floridians reportedly ousted Jack Frost to accommodate their former colleague, prompting a justifiably pissed-off Frost to complain to Canada’s Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles website: “They called me up and said I’m fired, just like that. I’m not a drunk or a drug addict. It was just a decision to bring ‘their boy’ back.”
“Al goes where the work is, you can’t blame him for that,” Ellefson says. “He and I really bonded in Megadeth and there’s a possibility he and I could work together again. The thing with Al is that he had a good two years as a member of Megadeth, he can get on with his daily life without the type of disruption that Dave and I are going to experience.”