Ellefson was fired in May, shortly after sexually explicit messages and videos involving the bassist and a 19-year-old woman who is not his wife were leaked online. The woman was initially rumored to be underage, leading to accusations of grooming against the 56-year-old. This was later debunked, and Ellefson announced he would seek revenge pornography charges.
Megadeth bandleader Dave Mustaine announced Ellefson’s departure in the days following the leak: “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.”
The bassist now says he’s “okay. I just went dark,” in a newly posted chat with That Metal Interview. “I took the time to just sort of process it all, heal up from it. I’ve obviously never had anything quite like that happen to me before. And the fact that it was happening like that was just – I couldn’t believe the level of just shittiness of humankind.”
Ellefson, a Christian who launched the Mega Life Ministries worship group in 2007, continued: “Not to use a religious reference, but I guess I know how Jesus felt. Carry your cross and then kill him. Shit, we got the wrong guy. Not to make it a religious thing, but it’s just one of those things. I couldn’t even believe it.
“I’m not gonna lie: I deserve better than that – which is why I got off social media and I got away from all that stuff,” Ellefson said. “And I was just, like, ‘You know what? I have poured my whole life into my craft and my work and my art and being a performer and entertainer, and no one deserves to be treated like that.’ That’s just absolutely uncalled for on any level.”
After firing Ellefson, Mustaine confirmed that he would scrub his bass tracks from Megadeth’s forthcoming album, The Sick, the Dying and the Dead. Mustaine also recruited former Megadeth bassist James LoMenzo to play on the recent Metal Tour of the Year dates.
Ellefson sounded mostly unfazed by Mustaine’s actions, even though he didn’t think it was “necessary” to remove his bass tracks. “I know what I recorded [for the album]; it’s fucking amazing,” Ellefson told That Metal Interview. “And I don’t say that because it’s just me, because no record is just one person; it’s a team of people that do it.
“At the end of the day, I am not the boss of that record,” he said. “I’m not the producer of that record. I’m not in control of that record, so if they wanna take my parts off and have someone else play it, they have every right to do so. I don’t feel it was necessary, but again, I’m not in control of that record – so they made the decision that they wanted to do that. So let it be what it is.”
Ellefson recently launched a new band called the Lucid, featuring Sponge vocalist Vinnie Dombroski, former Bang Tango guitarist Drew Fortier and Fear Factory drummer Mike Heller. The quartet released its self-titled debut album on Oct. 15.
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