Dave Mustaine says that there is no chance of David Ellefson ever rejoining MEGADETH again.
Mustaine addressed the possibility of his longtime bandmate returning to MEGADETH while filming a new video message on Cameo, which lets users hire celebrities to record brief, personalized video messages about virtually any topic.
Asked by Rock Feed if Ellefson could once again play with MEGADETH at some point down the line, Mustaine said: "Any chance on Ellefson coming back later on? The answer to that is no."
Ellefson laid down his bass tracks on MEGADETH's sixteenth LP in May 2020 at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee. A short time later, he raved about his performance on the record, telling the 96.7 KCAL-FM radio program "Wired In The Empire" that his musical chemistry with MEGADETH drummer Dirk Verbeuren was comparable to the interplay between Geddy Lee and Neil Peart on classic RUSH albums. "I feel like on the new MEGADETH record, me and Dirk have those same moments," he said. "It's MEGADETH — it's not RUSH, obviously — but in the field of what we do, there were these moments that I was just going, 'Oh, my God.' This is me as a kid going, 'This is my Geddy/Neil moment right here.'"
Last month, Mustaine announced during an episode of his Gimme Radio program "The Dave Mustaine Show" that Ellefson's bass tracks would not be used on the new MEGADETH LP. He has since revealed that a mystery bassist has already re-recorded Ellefson's parts for the album, which is tentatively due before the end of the year.
Ellefson was dismissed from MEGADETH in late May, just days after sexually tinged messages and explicit video footage involving the bassist were posted on Twitter. The longtime MEGADETH member later released a statement on Instagram denying all social media chatter that he "groomed" an underage fan. He also filed a report with the police department in Scottsdale, Arizona alleging unlawful distribution of sexually explicit images of Ellefson by unknown offenders. In the report, Ellefson admitted that he had been exchanging sexual text messages with a Dutch teenager, who captured a video of several of their virtual "masturbating encounters" without his consent and shared them with friends. (According to Ellefson, the woman was 19 at the time of their first virtual sexual encounter.) The 56-year-old Ellefson, who lives in Scottsdale, first became aware of the video on May 9, when the claim "David Ellefson of MEGADETH is a pedophile" appeared on Instagram. Ellefson told police he was notified on May 14 by MEGADETH that the band would be parting ways with him. Three days later, he was fired.
On May 24, Mustaine — who formed MEGADETH with Ellefson in 1983 — announced the bassist's departure from the band, saying, "We do not take this decision lightly. While we do not know every detail of what occurred, with an already strained relationship, what has already been revealed now is enough to make working together impossible moving forward," Mustaine wrote. Two days later, Ellefson released a follow-up statement in which he vowed to file a "defamation lawsuit" against the person who "illegally posted a very private video" of the bassist and made "false allegations" against him. He also said he was working with the police in Scottsdale "in their investigation into charges regarding revenge pornography to be filed against the person who posted the video. This person will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Ellefson wrote. He went on to say that he was "taking this time to be with my family" and wished his "bandmates" the best with their upcoming tour.
MEGADETH is currently scheduled to take part in "The Metal Tour Of The Year" with LAMB OF GOD, beginning on August 20 in Austin. MEGADETH is also slated to appear at the SLIPKNOT-curated Knotfest in September in Iowa.
Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, and again from 2010 until his latest departure.
David, who studied for a year at Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Louis nearly a decade ago, and his wife Julie Ellefson have been married for 27 years. They have two children.