David Ellefson Opens Up About Missing Megadeth
via Rock Feed / Youtube
David Ellefson, the iconic bassist whose low-end thunder defined Megadeth for decades, is no stranger to the spotlight. After two stints with the thrash metal titans – once from 1983 to 2002 and again from 2010 to 2021 – Ellefson carved his name into the genre’s hall of fame.
More than just a band, Megadeth was a force in thrash metal, influencing countless acts with their aggressive riffs and thought-provoking lyrics. Fronted by Dave Mustaine, the band sold millions of albums, touring the world and leaving audiences headbanging in their wake.
Ellefson, alongside Mustaine, became one of the band’s founding members, his bass forming the rhythmic backbone of their sound. Together, they weathered internal conflicts, lineup changes, and industry shifts, solidifying their position as thrash metal legends.
From intricate bass lines on classics like Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? to his songwriting contributions, the bassist’s presence was deeply intertwined with Megadeth’s identity. But in 2021, his journey with the band came to an abrupt end. Now, looking back, Ellefson reveals what aspects of being part of Megadeth he cherishes the most.
Ellefson’s life after Megadeth
Nearly three years after his controversial departure from Megadeth, David Ellefson, the band’s longest-serving member aside from Dave Mustaine, opens up about what he misses most. The leaked online conversations from 2021 led to his abrupt exit, leaving a void in his life previously filled by the band’s vibrant energy.
“I mean, look, it’s my band too,” Ellefson acknowledged at NAMM, even encountering former bandmate Jeff Young there. “I helped start it. But let me be clear. There are things about it, of course, that I miss — the fans, the performances, the shows. And I enjoy the touring.”
Ellefson’s words hint at a complex mix of emotions. While acknowledging the controversy and moving forward with new projects, he can’t help but reminisce about the unique experiences and connections forged during his time with Megadeth.
This introspection offers a window into the impact of leaving such a significant musical journey behind. The electrifying connection with fans, the adrenaline rush of live shows, and the tight-knit bond forged on the road – these are the elements Ellefson cherishes, even as he carves a new path for himself.
Ellefson lives for the nomadic lifestyle on tours
The nomadic life on tour wasn’t just a necessity for Ellefson; it was a passion. He confessed, “I’m a wanderlust guy. My fortune in life is out there, not just sitting at home. I’ve tried that, and I get bored after about a month..”
He acknowledged the band’s trajectory wasn’t always smooth sailing, that Megadeth wasn’t always this big. The years did see them grind hard. But even at their rawest, the energy on the road was electric.
Ellefson humorously admitted his limitations. “I’m a shitty golfer and I can’t surf worth a damn.” With a self-deprecating chuckle, he concluded, “So I may as well stay on the road and play.”
His words reveal a deeper yearning for the unique experiences and connections formed on the road. While acknowledging the band’s past struggles, he emphasizes the undeniable thrill of live performances and the camaraderie cultivated amidst constant travel.
Ellefson embraces the journey, past and present
“Of course, there’s things about that and the big gig and everything,” acknowledged Ellefson. “but Megadeth was not always a big gig. We started where everybody else starts — it was small gigs. So I’ve known it from the bottom to the top and everything in between.”
Despite the nostalgia, Ellefson exudes contentment with his current path. The 59-year-old rocker assured he’s not pining for the past. Dave creates music he loves, connecting with fans through new projects like The Lucid.
The shows may be different, but the passion remains. The legendary bassist’s statement showcases the adaptability and resilience of a seasoned musician. Ellefson recognizes the allure of large-scale success, but his satisfaction stems from the creative process itself. Whether in intimate venues or wider stages, the love for music continues to drive him forward.
Looking ahead, one can expect Ellefson to continue exploring his musical avenues, cherishing the experiences that come with each new chapter. The journey, filled with both humble beginnings and grand achievements, continues to shape the “road warrior” within him.
The Dave Ellefson beyond Megadeth
David Ellefson’s career extends far beyond the thunderous bass lines he laid down with Megadeth for over two decades. His 40-year musical odyssey boasts numerous accolades, including Grammy nominations, awards, and millions of albums sold. Notably, he even snagged a Grammy win with Megadeth in 2017 for their album Dystopia.
But Ellefson’s passion transcends performance. He’s a skilled record producer, clinician, and lecturer, sharing his knowledge with aspiring musicians. His entrepreneurial spirit shines through various ventures, including reviving the legendary thrash label Combat Records and launching his own successful coffee brand. He even delved into filmmaking with his company Ellefson Films, producing an award-winning horror thriller.
Music, however, remains his core. Today, Ellefson actively fuels the metal scene with multiple bands: the death metal outfit Dieth, the alt-metal group The Lucid, and the power metal project Ellefson-Soto. He even reunites with Megadeth alumni in Kings of Thrash, reliving the band’s classic thrash anthems for dedicated fans.
Ellefson’s story is one of tireless creativity and diverse expression. He’s not just a bassist; he’s a builder, an educator, and a filmmaker, continuously pushing himself and leaving his mark on the world of music and beyond.