Dave Mustaine Says He Was ‘Blown Away’ by David Ellefson Scandal

Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine admitted he was “blown away” by cybersex scandal which ultimately led to dismissal by bassist David Ellefson from the band.

In May 2021, graphic exchange including virtual “masturbating encounters” between Ellefson and a then allegedly underage girl was leaked online, leading many to accuse the bassist of “grooming”. He denied such allegations, insisting that the exchanges — “while certainly embarrassing” — were not illegal and that the girl was not a minor.

“When all that stuff happened, I was pretty blown away. And I didn’t want to do anything to hurt anybody; there was already enough going on,” Mustaine revealed during an interview with Rock 100.5 The KATT radio station [as transcribed by Blabbermouth]. “So I thought, ‘You know what? I’m not going to take anybody’s side. All I know is that now we have to do something.’ The climate was just horrible to have something like that. So we split up [with Ellefson].”

Megadeth was already working on a new album and had tour dates planned, which left Mustaine pondering some tough decisions.

“I was thinking, ‘Do we get someone to come in as a session player? Or do I really, really, really go all in and start looking for a regular guy?’ And we didn’t have time. We had to get the record in – it was two years ago when we started it and six years ago 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.

“Even though we’re not very close, me and the guys in Testament, I consider them my friends and I consider them a great band,” Mustaine noted. “And I would never jeopardize that by trying to steal Steve.”

Instead, Megadeth chose to recruit James LoMenzo, who had previously been in the group from 2006-2010. According to Mustaine, the bassist’s return has gone swimmingly.

“James is just a consummate gentleman,” the frontman declared. “He’s no maintenance at all and he’s a rock star. He’s been around the block. He’s played along Ozzy [Osbourne] on giant stages, so it’s not like I’m going to stay on top of him, where we’ve had some periods from day one to even recently where we had to have a bit of Rock School 101.”

Megadeth is currently on one nationwide tourwith dates extending to mid-October.

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