In a brand new interview with Ticketmaster, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine was asked what it means to have a longtime collaborator like bassist David Ellefson back in the band after so many lineup changes. He responded: “David and I have been friends for a long time, even during the lawsuit. I had made it clear that I loved him, and I loved his family. I said that the truth would come out and that it was very unfortunate. The lawsuit was dismissed, I forgave him, and we got back in business again. It’s been fun ever since.”
He continued: “There’s a couple web sites out there that don’t like me and they’re trying to twist some of my words around about David Ellefson being in the band or not being in the band, or being a founding member or not being a founding member. And that shit don’t matter, because it’s a gossip web site. The truth is, me and Dave are partners, we make good music together, he’s in MEGADETH, we’re going on tour. Hopefully people will know when they see him on stage and not think he’s somebody else. [Laughs]”
In a January 2016 interview with the Cape Girardeau, Missouri radio station Real Rock 99.3, Mustaine implied that Ellefson was not a founding member of the band because, he said, “MEGADETH was already in its formative phase long before I even knew David Ellefson.” The bassist later said that he was “technically” a founding member of MEGADETH because he was “in the room” the day MEGADETH decided to change its name from the previous working moniker of FALLEN ANGEL at the suggestion of the band’s then-guitarist Greg Handevidt.
Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band’s inception in 1983 to 2002, when the group briefly broke up because Mustaine suffered severe nerve damage that left him unable to play. After Mustaine reformed MEGADETH with an all-new lineup in 2004, Ellefson sued his former bandmate for $18.5 million, alleging that Mustaine still owed him substantial merchandise and publishing royalties. In January 2005, the case was dismissed in court, and five years later, Ellefson rejoined MEGADETH.
In addition to Mustaine and Ellefson, MEGADETH‘s current lineup includes LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler and Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, best known for his work with ANGRA.
MEGADETH‘s latest album, “Dystopia”, debuted at No. 3 on The Billboard 200, having shifted 49,000 equivalent album units in the week ending January 28.
In terms of pure album sales, “Dystopia” opened with 48,000 copies, marking MEGADETH‘s highest-charting album since 1992’s “Countdown To Extinction” debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the chart dated August 1 of that year. “Dystopia” also logged the group’s best sales week since 2007, when “United Abominations” landed at No. 8 with first-week sales of 54,000.