It’s been more than two years since he was ousted from Megadeth, but David Ellefson‘s still got his old band in mind. And while he’s moved on to a whole mess of musical projects ranging from Kings of Thrash to Dieth, he can’t seem to shake questions from interviewers about the decades he spent being Dave Mustaine’s “Little Dave.”
During a recent interview on Avenged Sevenfold bassist Johnny Christ’s internet show Drinks With Johnny (as transcribed by Blabbermouth), the 59-year-old bassist said he’s no longer in contact with anyone over in Megadeth world, despite all the time he spent there.
“I don’t. Kiko’s [Loureiro, Megadeth guitarist] been a good friend. He and I have chatted a couple of times. He reached out to me. And Kiko’s not afraid of anything. He’s a grown-up. Look, he’s run Angra. I shouldn’t say ‘run.’ But he was the rock-star guitar player of that band. So he’s owned bands.
“Once you’ve been doing this a while, it’s not like you’re just a musician, you’re like a business owner.Pretty much every band I’ve been in, I’ve been a founding member. I started them, I put the corporations together, I’ve done the press packages, I call the agents and the managers, I invest my own money in them. So to me, it’s just constantly recycling the funds back into the next endeavor. And that’s how I roll, man. That’s what we do. I buy real estate. I do various things. Another band? Yeah. Why not? And I learned that from my dad. Farming was very entrepreneurial, especially to run a big agricultural business. And the bands are the same way. Feast or famine, right? We have hit records, we have not-so-hit records. Suddenly the world loves heavy metal, and then sometimes they don’t.”
So it turns out Kiko’s the only one that even so much as hit Ellefson up in recent memory. Kinda cold that Mustaine, who used to dose Ellefson without his knowledge in the 80s, won’t even so much as talk to his former bandmate.
Regardless of everything that’s happened, Ellefson said he learned so much throughout his time in one of the biggest thrash bands of all time.
“Being in a band is… We go through seasons of getting along, not getting along, being burned out on the road together.
“You build a family together and your offspring are your songs and your records. And that’s what you will always share forever. And let’s face it — our songs will outlive us. They will live past us. So to some degree, that’s what you leave behind as you sail on to the next universe after you die. We’ve created something that’s bigger than us. And I guess that’s probably the challenge, is the best you can while you’re here on planet earth, try to be a good steward of it, take care of it, as you have your differences, try to resolve them.
“It’s funny. When I saw my friend K.K. Downing leave Judas Priest, and I became friends with him. I was friends with him and then rekindled a good friendship with him here in more recent years. And we did a show together over at his [KK’s] Steel Mill [venue] over in Wolverhampton and it was great to get him back on stage, and he was excited to be playing. Then he put KK’s Priest together. He’s got records out again. He’s back as a recording artist and touring again. I just said to him, I said, ‘You’re not done, dude. Get your fucking guitar. Let’s go.’ … There’s no way Johnny Christ, David Ellefson and fucking K.K. Downing are sitting around the house not playing music anymore. That day’s never gonna happen. Till the day we die, this is what we fucking do — whether full time, part time, once in a while, or… whatever.”
It’s sad to think that all that legacy and all those years on the road together ended the way it did for Ellefson. You gotta remember, the scandal that broke ended up not really being a thing at all, so he lost his post in Megadeth over what seems like a whole nothingburger. Still, it’s Mustaine and Megadeth’s prerogative to work with and interact with whomever they want.
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